In the early morning hours of Saturday June 6, 2015, a 42 year old Rosemead resident was bicycling home along Rosemead Blvd. near Whittier Narrows when he was struck and killed by the off-ramp of the 60 freeway.
According to law enforcement investigators, a southbound vehicle saw Heriberto Ruiz's body on the road after the initial collision and stopped. A white minivan then ran over Ruiz for the second time, crashed into the car that stopped, and drove off.
The victim of two consecutive hit-and-runs, Mr. Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. Our sincerest condolences to the Ruiz family, as well as the many friends he had in the community, for their loss.
CHP is still searching for the hit-and-run drivers who struck and killed Mr. Ruiz. While there is no description of the initial car that hit Ruiz, the second is purported to be a 2000 model white minivan. We strongly encourage anyone with additional information or who may have witnessed the collision to contact the East Los Angeles CHP Area Office at (323) 980-4600.
CA Senate Bill 461 (SB 461) - State Highway Route 164: Relinquishment
Sponsored by CA State Senator Ed Hernandez, M.D. (D., West Covina), Senate Bill 461 would relinquish a 2.6-mile segment of Rosemead Blvd. to Los Angeles County for the purpose of realizing a Complete Streets corridor in unincorporated area of Whittier Narrows.
The request is a first and necessary step before LA County can design and implement safety improvements (e.g., protected bike lanes) along its portion of Rosemead Blvd. SB 461 passed the Senate Appropriations 35-0 in May 2015, and will now be considered by the State Assembly. You can help support the bill's passage by contacting your state representatives and letting them know you support SB 461 and safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. Unsure who your representatives are? Look them up here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.
In 2007 control of Rosemead Blvd in the City of Temple City was relinquished from Caltrans to the local jurisdiction in order to allow the community to realize its vision of a safer, healthier and more sustainable "Complete Street" corridor featuring storm water capture elements, drought-tolerant landscaping, street art, enhanced pedestrian crossings, and protected bike lanes. This ambitious and first-in-the-region makeover was realized in winter 2013, and highlights what is possible when the community, local elected leaders, and stakeholders like BikeSGV work together to realize calmer, safer and more sustainable streets that serve all road users, not just motorists.
Dangerous By Design
Those familiar with this stretch of Rosemead Blvd. know that it was never designed to safely accommodate people on foot or bike. With free-flowing on/off ramps to the 60 freeway, few traffic controls, and little in the way pedestrian or bicycle infrastructure, a posted speed limit of 50-mph, and average traffic speeds well in excess of 50mph (speeds at which a pedestrian or bicyclists has little to no chance of survival in a collision, helmeted or not), this section of Rosemead Blvd. is plain and simply dangerous by design, even during daylight hours. In fact, much of it even lacks basic sidewalks, let alone bicycle lanes.
With nearly 1,500 acres of park space, the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area (WNRA) is the largest park in the San Gabriel Valley, attracting over one-million visitors on an annual basis. The WNRA is geographically split into four uneven quadrants by the SR-60, which runs East-West, and Hwy-19, which runs North-South. As a result, Rosemead Blvd. is a key access point to the park and its system of walking and biking trails.
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab