Rough morning for cycling in the Bay Area

Update: The Santa Clara County Coroner identified the victim of yesterday’s Page Mill Road fatal collision as 52-year-old Jeffrey Donnelly of Palo Alto, CA. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

I count three vehicle-vs-bicycle crashes this morning in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a fatality on Page Mill Road just north of I-280 in Los Altos Hills.

Map - Page Mill at I-280

According to the Redwood City office of the California Highway Patrol, a southbound cyclist was merging onto Page Mill Road from Old Page Mill Road immediately north of I-280 when he was struck by the southbound driver of a black Volkswagen Jetta at Christopher Lane. The call came in 6:53 AM on Tuesday, November 3 2015.

Note: Earlier today, I incorrectly reported the location as Page Mill at Foothill Expressway. The collision location was Page Mill Road at Christopher Lane, immediately north of I-280.


The turn from Old Page Mill onto Page Mill becomes an off-ramp going to northbound I-280. To fix this nasty bit of work, Santa Clara County Roads proposes safety improvements to this interchange to avoid exactly this type of collision. .Los Altos Hills residents, however, have fought this safety project because they say it will erode the rural character of their town and negatively impact property values. The median home value in Los Altos Hills has shot up 18.4% over the past year to $4.2 million, so I can understand their concern.

Other Bay Area collisions

CHP dispatch shows an ambulance was called for a vehicle-vs-bike collision on Alameda De Las Pulgas at Cedar Avenue in West Menlo Park, CA. No further details are available, but this happened just as children are going to school at Los Alamitos Elementary just a few blocks away. Residents in this area complained about dangerous traffic on this street at a town hall meeting just last night.

Finally, the driver of a school bus apparently hit a cyclist this morning on Geneva Avenue at Delano in San Francisco.

It wasn’t just cyclists having a bad day in the Bay Area, with multiple sigalerts on several regional freeways. I-880 through San Jose was closed at Brokaw (jackknifed truck) and at 237 (motorcycle wreck). The Benecia Bridge was closed much of this morning because of an injury crash. Serious, multi-car collisions also took place on Highway 101 at Hellyer in San Jose, and in San Mateo at 3rd Avenue.

Drive safely and keep your eyes off the phone and on the road, please!

3 Comments

  1. Sadly, it was only a matter of time before a cyclist was killed at that terrible configuration at Page Mill & 280. I don’t use Old Page Mill for that reason; coming down the hill on Page Mill allows you to carry speed and merge across the two lanes in more of a parallel manner than perpendicular. I’ve requested sharrows there before, but there is little indication (yellow bicycle sign at top of hill hidden in trees?) to drivers (or bicyclists) that the bike lane ends and reappears across the two lanes, and in the summer the grass grows very tall there, obscuring visibility.

    As you know, the county has been looking into this and asking for feedback. I’m not the biggest fan of the proposed stop lights, as traffic has a hard enough time slowing to 35 at the bottom of that hill like they’re supposed to, but I think that may be necessary for slower cyclists (and pedestrians, who are currently just plain out of options there). My feedback was to consider both approaches, as many cyclists will continue to use the ‘VC’ approach and merge across the two lanes coming downhill carrying speed… so, sharrows regardless. A stop light at the bottom of that hill will likely result in many rear-enders and yellow/red runners, so its improvement to bike/ped safety is still a little questionable.

    Not sure of the latest situation with the county’s studies on this, but here’s some background and contact info:
    https://www.sccgov.org/sites/rda/plans/PageMill280/Pages/pagemill280.aspx

    My condolences to this rider’s family and friends. Let’s hope their memory is better served by meaningful improvements here (like what the county did at Alpine/280 after a woman was killed there) rather than a ghost bike.

  2. Interesting also to read the police log and see the confusion over the jurisdiction at Page Mill and 280. PA police refuse to respond, dispatcher forced to question jurisdiction, SC Sheriff responds, then requests CHP to come do traffic control.

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