Fatal Crashes Between Cyclists, Cars On The Rise In West Sacramento

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A mixture of bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists are proving deadly along a heavily traveled road in West Sacramento.

Police say since July, collisions on the West Capitol Avenue corridor have claimed the lives of five people. What’s causing the deadly trend?

West Capitol Avenue is very busy for motorists, but also bicyclists too as they make their way from Davis to the Capitol city. The road is a mixture of industrial businesses and mom and pop stores, and sharing this wide swath of asphalt is fast-moving metal and flesh and bone.

“People get in their car and go to work, and I get on my bike and go to work,” said cyclist John Steggall.

Steggall commutes from Davis to Sacramento every day. For 21 years, he’s seen his fair share of danger.

“Eleven thousand miles a year is what I put in,” he said. Many times, drivers in traffic don’t see him.

“People in their cars should be focused on driving and not messing around with their damn cell phones,” he said.

Five people – two cyclists and three pedestrians — have been struck and killed by vehicles on West Capitol Avenue since July.

“Right now, those very big, long blocks encourage people to drive fast,” said Jim Brown with Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates.

Brown says his organization offers suggestions on improving the safety for riders on West Capitol Avenue. He suggests “greater separation between the bike traffic and the vehicle traffic” and mechanisms to slow down traffic like “changing signal timing, adding crossings.”

Police say they don’t know why there’s an increase in traffic fatalities on West Capitol Avenue. They’re still looking into that. But some motorists believe safety is a shared responsibility.

“You got to share the road. Both people and sides have to share the rules of the road of course. Be respectful of each other and the territory you’ve been given by the road,” said Steggall.

Police tell CBS13 they are now beefing up patrols on the road, they’re educating driver and riders and giving out more tickets to not only motorists but to pedestrians as well.

More from Ron Jones

One Comment

  1. G says:

    They can’t figure out why so many. It’s in the article, people are driving while texting and talking on their phones. I always drive against traffic while on my bike. I could care less about the law stating you ride your bike with traffic. I’ve missed getting hit by cars 3 times because the F ing drivers were on the cell phones texting and I saw them coming over on me. If I was riding with traffic, I’d been dead a couple years ago. I’ve also had 2 AH’s try to come over and hit me on purpose. Anybody that gets into an accident while on a cell phone talking or texting should lose their license 10 years and if anybody is injured or killed, forever.

  2. Joshua says:

    Dear Mr. Jones, Thank you for your initial reporting here. Please continue to report on this issue: This number of fatalities is a crisis for our city. Please interview city planners and leaders, as well as Planning Commission members, about what to do besides make big plans for removing bicycles from established corridors and amenities. Many people choose to bike to work, but many more simply cannot afford a car — and we shouldn’t be building and maintaining infrastructure that forces them to. Again, thank you.

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