Rollout of Safety Measures at Rose Bowl Loop Marred by Bicycle Crash

Peloton cyclist injured one week after the implementation of safety measures at reconfigured corner

Published : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 6:04 AM

[Updated | Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 12:00 noon]  A member of a twice-weekly group of peloton riders was injured in a bike collision Tuesday along the Rose Bowl Loop, suffering apparent injuries to his right wrist and collarbone.

The 6:16 p.m. crash occurred just one week after the city implemented new safety measures at the corner of Seco Street and Rosemont Avenue, the site of the accident, and on only the group’s third ride of the new season.

The accident occurred while the corner was being monitored by at least four motorcycle officers as well as City Manager Steve Mermell.

These pictures show the Rose Bowl peloton bicyclist who was injured by a fall on March 19, 2019 as he appears to ride over the base of a safety cone, and his bicycle's rear wheel flies into the air. Images supplied by Lon Bender.

According to pictures obtained by Pasadena Now, the rider apparently ran over the rounded base of an orange safety cone which then knocked the bicycle’s rear wheel into the air and essentially tripped the mounted cyclist as he and  other bikers attempted to pack together closely to pass through the right-hand turn lane near the southeast corner of the Rose Bowl.

The cyclist appeared to lose control of his bike and tumble to the pavement in the middle of the curve surrounded by a number of riders in the tail end of the group.

The collision comes after members of the peloton group had criticized the City for its handling of the traffic at the Rose Bowl, saying that the new safety plan, which involves shutting down a right-turn lane to cars and narrowing that lane to cyclists and pedestrians with bright safety cones, could create safety problems for all groups.

Following the collision, some riders complained that Mermell had been rearranging the traffic cones at the time of the accident but video shows the City Manager across the street, out of earshot and out of sight of the accident at the time, which occurred behind foliage on a traffic island on the corner.

“He was not directing anyone,” said City Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian, following the collision, “nor was anyone adjusting the safety cones. The peloton riders were complaining about spacing of the most northerly cones, but the accident happened about 30 feet past that.”

Added Derderian, “City staff was not doing anything to the cones at the time of the accident. They were observing. The Police Department will investigate the cause of the accident.”

Motorcycle officers were called over to help the injured bicyclist by other riders. Pasadena Fire Dept. paramedics were also called to the scene.

Mermell has come under criticism from cyclists for his implementation of the traffic safety measures at the Rose Bowl Loop, a popular spot for not only cyclists, but joggers, walkers and baby strollers, as well.

The newly installed traffic cones slow down the tightly packed group ride dramatically at the corner of Seco and Rosemont, funneling the group into a straight line through the right-hand turn lane, a move which can be difficult when there are more than 50 riders.

According to longtime peloton rider Lon Bender, there are often between 50-75 riders circling the Rose Bowl loop in a pack, at about 25 miles an hour.

Although Tuesday’s accident involved only cyclists, said Bender, “The City has not taken a strong view on the pedestrians who are walking around the loop.”

Bender pointed out that the pedestrians, for the most part, walk clockwise, in the same direction as the cyclists.

According to Bender, the Peloton group rides the Rose Bowl loop every Tuesday and Thursday evening in spring and summer, and has done so for about 60 years, on days which see the loop packed with riders of all levels, walkers, joggers, and moms with baby strollers.

Bender told Pasadena Now last Tuesday, the first day of the peloton season, that he was concerned about an accident at that corner.

Pasadena police declined to comment on the collision.

The rider, who was unidentified, was transported to a nearby hospital by Pasadena Fire Dept. paramedics.



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