A cyclist remains hospitalized after he was struck and injured Friday night by a car driver at a Northwest Berkeley intersection that street safety advocates have long warned is unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The collision happened just after 7 p.m. on Friday, Berkeley Police Officer Byron White said, when the driver of a 2002 Volvo headed south on San Pablo Avenue hit the cyclist, who was crossing the thoroughfare while traveling east on Virginia Street.
The cyclist, a man in his 30s, was in an intensive care unit as of Monday morning, White said.
White did not release information on Monday about how the driver and bicyclist collided, or whether authorities have issued any citations.
Caltrans, which manages traffic on San Pablo Avenue because it is a state highway, installed a new signal at the intersection with Virginia Street earlier this year that was meant to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to get across.
But Caltrans has not yet turned the signal on. Spokeswoman Janis Mara said the transportation agency is waiting on design drawings from Pacific Gas and Electric Company to provide power for the signal.
Known as a “pedestrian hybrid beacon,” the signal would create a red light requiring San Pablo Avenue drivers to stop when someone pushes a button to activate it. A similar signal is in place at the intersection of Hillegass Avenue and Ashby Street.
Virginia Street is one of Berkeley’s Bicycle Boulevards, which the city identifies as “optimal routes for cyclists.” But riders have complained for years about the dangerous conditions they face when crossing San Pablo Avenue on Virginia Street.
Walk Bike Berkeley organized a protest at the intersection in 2018 as part of its push for Caltrans to install the pedestrian crossing signal. Ben Gerhardstein of Walk Bike Berkeley said Monday that he was frustrated to see a serious crash happen at an intersection where advocates had long pushed for safety measures.
“The fact that it took Caltrans four years [to install the signal], and then it’s been sitting idle for several months, is just tragically ironic,” Gerhardstein said.
This story was updated after publication as new information became available.