Another cyclist killed in San Jose

A hit and run driver killed a cyclist Monday afternoon on the Taylor Street overpass over Highway 87. This is the third cyclist fatality in the Bay Area’s largest city in a week.

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I’ll promote a comment left earlier this morning by San Jose resident Mark Saurwald. Saurwald has previously brought up the lack of east-west bike connectivity to city and county transportation planners.

This highlights the lack of East-West bike routes in San Jose from the area north of downtown (from SJSU to the Airport) to Santa Clara. The only options are Hedding which has a narrow bridge overpass over the Caltrain tracks, or Taylor where the bike lanes that exist on either side of highway 87 disappear to accommodate crossing traffic from all directions getting on/off highway 87. The cyclist was taking one of the only roads available to cross 87/Caltrain tracks, which has terrible bike accommodation, but is the best available.

Update: the cyclist was identified as Glenn Arnold Earnest, age 55. The ghost bike installed in his memory was removed in August.


  1. I cross over 87 at Taylor all the time (maybe once a week or so) heading to Japantown for dinner on the way home from the office (biking along the Guadalupe River Trail). Even during rush hour, I’ve never really thought of it as a particularly dangerous intersection, in either direction. The freeway onramps generally start in new lanes, so traffic has to intentionally cross the dotted bike lanes, and the freeway offramps all bring traffic to a full stop, so there is generally little to worry about there either. I can’t say I’ve ever even had a close call, which is more than I can say for other nearby roads (including the Taylor St tunnel under the Caltrain tracks).

    Maybe it is a poverty of expectations, but I would have generally used the Taylor Street bridge as an example of well done bicycle infrastructure.

  2. I recently moved and Taylor became the most logical place to cross over to the GRT. In the few months I have been doing it I have never felt unsafe going from East to West, but going West to East I have had some close calls. Drivers simply do not cross the bike lane in a safe manner. I’ve decided I’ll head on down to Coleman and use Santa Theresa/Ryland. It adds about half a mile to my commute, but is much safer.

    David, I have to disagree; Talyor is a poor example of bike infrastructure. At very least the bike lanes should have clear bright paint and there should be signage reminding people that bikes are on the road and drivers should pass safely. As it stands now the bike lane going West to East fades out right when it should be most clear and drivers do not treat it with any respect.

  3. Even though I probably still would hate this intersection, a green lane would definitely improve awareness among drivers. The one on Park Blvd in Palo Alto where it crosses Oregon Expwy certain makes that merge feel safer.

  4. Here is what I would like to see CSJ do – but they won’t because they will claim that it is too expensive:

    Build a bicycle tunnel under 87, connecting W. Mission St to the GLRT, and on to Emory St. Make this a bike Blvd, with disincentives to motor vehicles which would provide an alternative route to cyclists from the county offices/courthouse area to the O’Conner Hospital and the area around Santana Row, and the Valley Fair Shopping Center. Current plan is to add bike lanes to Hedding, but this will still leave a bridge over the Caltrain tracks which is too narrow to share with the volume of traffic that flows on Hedding.

  5. Instead of crossing Taylor I started going down to Ryland as well it just feels safer. Also wondering why the Guadalupe Trail can’t be marked better so riders who are unfamiliar with the area know where they really are on the trail. I’ve been riding my folding bicycle to the airport from Japantown to pickup a rental car. The exits from the trail there are a mess and no signage.

  6. I’m a cyclist myself and I’ve been in one bike accident so far riding a bike, anyways, everyone says a bike lane should be paved or something cool like a bike tunnel should be made, it already should be done, this is the fault of the city and in most cases, its the driver’s fault for not seeing blind spots, being on their phones, etc, the plan of paving a bike lane or building a tunnel or route for cyclists shouldn’t be until a cyclist is killed in that area, 48,000 bike accidents and 677 killed in 2011 is just one search i made, so what does that tell you. Cyclists and drivers should follow the same rules, but they don’t.

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