Cyclists push for safety in wake of fatal collision

Cyclists say that as the city moves forward with the construction of a new luxury hotel on Sand Hill Road, it must find ways to make the road safer following several cycling accidents, including one that killed Rodney Smith last week.

Smith, a 67-year-old Portola Valley resident and retired chairman of the Altera Corporation, died Friday morning after being hit on his bicycle by a Volvo driven by 87-year-old Woodside resident Anthony Rose.

Smith was struck on eastbound Sand Hill Road just west of Interstate 280, a dangerous area where cars often speed, Portola Valley Mayor Ted Driscoll said. Rose was not arrested, and the California Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the cause of Friday’s crash. There were no witnesses.

“It’s horrible — it’s a very scary stretch,” said MaryAnn Levinson, who was hit by a car while cycling near the same spot Dec. 23, 2006. She suffered a broken larynx, ribs, pelvis and tailbone.

Riders regularly cycle along Sand Hill Road as part of a long, strenuous loop through Menlo Park and Portola Valley, Driscoll said.

Stanford University plans to build a luxury hotel with 200 rooms and 600,000 square feet of office space near the Sand Hill-280 interchange.

“We hope to work with [Portola Valley] during its construction to make that area safer,” Levinson said. No specific changes have been proposed as of yet.

Smith had spent 20 years as Altera’s chairman before retiring in January 2003. The San Jose-based company makes programmable chips used by various industries.

Smith and his wife, Mary, donated $1 million in 2000 to help preserve a piece of land near City Hall, Driscoll said. They also hired workers to clean litter along the streets of Portola Valley.

“He was one of our leading citizens,” Driscoll said.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The admissions process at the academically competitive Lowell High School is set to change this year due to coronavirus restritions. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Lowell’s selective admissions process put on hold this year — and more changes may be in the works

School board votes unanimously to use normal student assignment lottery for competitive school

Dr. Vincent Matthews, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, said Tuesday that student would not be back in school before the end of this calendar year. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Superintendent: City schools will not reopen before the end of the year

San Francisco public schools won’t reopen to students for the rest of… Continue reading

San Francisco has failed to reduce traffic deaths enough to meet its Vision Zero goal. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco not on track to meet Vision Zero goals by 2024

Hamstrung by state laws, dwindling budget and limited resources, SFMTA tries to chart path forward

San Francisco will allow bars selling drinks, and not food, to begin serving customers outdoors under health guidelines going into effect next month. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF becomes first Bay Area County to move to least restrictive COVID-19 category

Change to ‘yellow’ will allow more indoor dining and fitness, reopening non-essential offices

City officials want to install more red light cameras but the process is costly and time consuming. (Shutterstock)
Transit officials push for more red light cameras

SFMTA says ‘capital crunch’ and dragging timelines make expanding the program cumbersome

Most Read