ELYSIAN VALLEY — An elderly woman remains in intensive care after being struck by a speeding cyclist while on her daily walk on the L.A. River bike path in Elysian Valley. In response, some residents are calling on the narrow path to be closed to cyclists until safety improvements can be made.
The 65-year-old woman, known to her neighbors as Ms. Yun, was struck from behind by a speeding cyclist near a pedestrian entrance to the bike path on Riverdale Avenue at about 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, said David de la Torre of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch.
Yun was taken to a hospital where she received treatment for severe head injuries, said De la Torre. A prolonged hospital stay is expected for the long-time Elysian Valley resident and active member of the Jardin del Rio Community Garden, he said.
It is unknown whether the cyclist stopped to help Yun. The Eastsider has contacted Capt. Arturo Sandoval at the LAPD Northeast Division for more details but has so far no information has been provided.
Delatorre believes the cyclist is at fault for the collision for failing to yield to a pedestrian sharing the narrow path.
Yun was the most recent person injured in a crash involving a cyclist and pedestrian on the path. In 2014, an elderly woman suffered a broken arm after being struck by a cyclist. That collision also prompted residents to improve pedestrian safety and slow down cyclists. In their defense, cyclists have complained that pedestrians often walk directly in front of them, leaving little time or room to avoid a crash.
Although bright blue “Share the Path” signs and rumble strips have been installed along the bike path, collisions continue to happen. Members of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch are now calling on Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell to implement further safety measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
The organization is demanding that the bike path be closed to cyclists immediately until improvements, including speed bumps and exclusive dedicated walk paths, are implemented, said De la Torre. They also demand that LA River bike path be renamed to include the word “pedestrian” and to designate the Elysian Valley stretch of the path a recreational “slow speed zone”.
The collision with Yun and the cyclist happened near a rumble strip, which was installed near pedestrian entrances to the path by the L.A. Department of Transportation to alert cyclists that they are entering a pedestrian zone. The L.A. Department of Transportation and LAPD are currently working on adding more “share the path” and “slow” signs on the path as well as the additional rumble strips.
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