Despite Push to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities, More People Are Dying on L.A.’s Streets

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A cyclist rides next to a lane of parked cars on Manchester Avenue in South Los Angeles, one of the deadliest streets in the city for pedestrians and cyclists. Upgrades to Manchester were among hundreds made during the first 3½ years of Vision Zero, an initiative by Mayor Eric Garcetti to eliminate traffic deaths on L.A. streets by 2025. But rather than decline, fatal car crashes have risen 32% since 2015, the year Vision Zero began. In that time, more people have died in traffic collisions — 932 — than were shot to death in the city, according to coroner’s data. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A cyclist rides next to a lane of parked cars on Manchester Avenue in South Los Angeles, one of the deadliest streets in the city for pedestrians and cyclists. Upgrades to Manchester were among hundreds made during the first 3½ years of Vision Zero, an initiative by Mayor Eric Garcetti to eliminate traffic deaths on L.A. streets by 2025. But rather than decline, fatal car crashes have risen 32% since 2015, the year Vision Zero began. In that time, more people have died in traffic collisions — 932 — than were shot to death in the city, according to coroner’s data. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

On a clear afternoon last April, Frederick Frazier was riding his bike in South Los Angeles, headed to help a friend fix a flat tire, when a driver in a Porsche Cayenne rear-ended him.

Frazier, who had been in the curb lane of Manchester Avenue, was thrown more than 50 feet through the air. The speeding SUV hit the 22-year-old with such force that it shattered his white-and-blue bicycle. He died in the street as the driver sped away.

Afterward, city crews installed more visible crosswalks, yield signs and digital signs that tell drivers their speeds on Manchester, one of the deadliest streets in Los Angeles for bicyclists and pedestrians. Activists say the changes are a good start, but don’t do enough.

“You hear these terrible stories because drivers aren’t cautious,” said Edin Barrientos, 27, a bike messenger and a friend of Frazier’s who has been fighting for a bike lane on Manchester. “No one’s life is worth you driving that fast or that recklessly.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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