On Saturday, just before noon, a 53-year-old bicyclist lost his life on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. The unidentified accident victim was riding with a group, fell as he pedaled downhill, ditched his bike and then got hit by an oncoming car. Apparently an uphill driver had rounded a blind turn, with little time to react.
Here’s the grim news, first reported by the Oakland Tribune:
The collision happened at 11:30 a.m. on Grizzly Peak Boulevard about a mile west of Claremont Avenue, Oakland police acting Lt. Robert Chan said. The bicyclist, who has not been identified pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 11:48 a.m., Chan said.
We could argue about whether the driver was cruising too quickly to take action. Particularly on nice days, like Saturday, Grizzly seems like the filming location for car commercials that warn “professional drivers” only. The boulevard invites speeders beyond the 25 mph posting, so this driver could have been above the limit. However this accident happened right after a blind spot, which makes the speed issue a bit moot.
More importantly, there’s a history of near-misses, bad accidents and deaths on Grizzly. Remember last year, when a women drove off the ridge and died, due to fog and slippery conditions? There could be more barriers to prevent drivers from falling down the ravines and hills. Maybe there could be more signage, too. It’s hard to know exactly how to fix the winding road.
Grizzly Peak Boulevard is a marvel, with amazing views and a feeling like you almost live in the mountains. Anyone using the curvy or exposed portions of this ridge line road surely knows they are accepting higher risks and responsibilities up there.