Bicyclist killed in crash in rural Templeton

May 6, 2022


A 68-year-old Templeton man was killed in a bicycle crash on Oakdale Road near Vineyard Drive on April 30. [Tribune]

Jeffrey Parks was headed westbound at about 25 mph on Oakdale Road in rural Templeton when he hit a culvert and flew off his bike. Even though Parks was wearing a helmet, the crash rendered him unconscious.

First responders attempted lifesaving measures, but Parks died from blunt force trauma.

CHP officers are investigating the crash.

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The roads are not designed for bikes and this is the result. IMO bicycles need an entirely separate road of their own. Promoting “sharing” just isn’t gonna ever cut it.

My heart grieves today after this terrible tragedy. I knew Jeff. We worked together for 16 years. He was a good man. A loving father and husband. A solid individual all the way around. He was very quiet and private. He never missed work, had a great work ethic and attitude, along being very talented at his job. I hadn’t seen or heard from for six years, what horrendous news to hear.

Jeff loved cycling and it has been a passion of his for years, long before I knew him. I was always amazed at the number of miles he would ride in a given week. I pray for his grieving wife and son. I hope they will be comforted through this terrible time of loss. I know the cycling community lost one of their own Friday and will be dearly missed. Once again, we see how precious life is. Be blessed in what you have and the gift of each day. Hug and hold your family daily. Rest in peace Jeff my friend.

Gibson has not been a champion for County Public Works so we can expext more bicycles on the substandard roads to harvest more like this. Tragic but a consequence of prorities that do not address the traffic growth/public safety in this county. Don’t blame SLOCOG, just try sharing the roads East of Santa Margarita or simply crossing Hwy 101 at Tassajara Crk Rd. We promote tourism, as in come one come all, enjoy the outdoors, spend your money at the numerous agtourism locations and stay in our many hotels. Then we have our state wanting more developement, only to fix our circulation issues after the head count warrants it. Maybe I should have just typed, don’t ge me started.

So, those of us who pay considerable taxes in order to have safe roads…FOR CARS…should pay again to pacify a recreation?

How about, don’t ride on roads that are well known to be dangerous for bicycle riders? SLO County has always been a rural countryside, with roads built only to access those parts for commerce or housing. It’s very well known by the cycling community, that many rods here are not designed, nor adequate for bicycles, yet bikeys still enthusiastically ride them.

I am very sad this man has died. Any tragic death hurts our community. But, nothing about the road is to blame for this terrible tragedy, of the rider going into the ditch.

Let’s look into bicycle helmet safety construction instead. It’s obvious to anyone that bicycle helmets only protect from large bug impacts. There is no standard like motorcycle helmets are subjected to. You can inject cheap foam into a mould, cover it with cheaper plastic in a rainbow of colors, attach a poorly designed chinstrap, and sell them to 5 year old children as a “safety helmet”, with no consideration for real protection at any level…and parents believe their child is now invincible!

I know what you re going to say; bicycles don’t go as fast as motorcycles. Well, that doesn’t seem to have helped Mr. Parks. Perhaps a real helmet, built with real standards, could have saved him from the deadly level of blunt force trauma.

Jorge, I have read your lamentations for years regarding traffic, circulation, and transportation infrastructure issues. For the MOST part I agree with you. However, nice things cost money, and where is all that money gonna come from? And please, DON’T BLAME it on pensions and benefits if you want to have a serious discussion about transportation funding. To do so suggests a lack of understanding of the CALPERS pension system and is an irrelevant topic when discussing transportation funding. Its a separate topic.

I would however suggest three areas for consideration:

1. Lengthy and costly environmental and public review process’ . Why is every public works and infrastructure decision put up to something akin to a popularity contest?

2. Transportation priorities, are we gonna just make things so uncomfortable for autos that will force people to transit, bikes, etc? How’s that been working…? How about a realistic discussion and examination at how and what we spend our transportation dollars?

3. California is a donor state. Meaning a portion (maybe 10 percent or more) of fuel sales tax goes to less populated states. I have mixed feelings about that, I can see both sides of it. How about you? Any thoughts?

“People get the congestion they deserve”

1. The costly environmental process is just that, costly with no mitigation for the consequences. Example: The 50 million dollar road improvement on the Cuesta Grade. The scope of the project was “limited” to the portion being widen which throttled havoc for those who reside between SLO and the Hwy 58 interchange.

Yes government spends allot on EIR’s but feeding that cottage industry, in many cases, yields paycheck not the fix. Currently, County Parks received a 3.2 million dollar grant for a foot path between Garden Farms and Santa Margarita School / Park. Let’s see what happens there with a clear focus on who really benefits?

2. Safe shoulders would be a reasonable requirement being that sharing the road with fast vehicles is NOT a safe resolve in MOST cases. Definitely improved separation from traffic, where reasonably possible, is the best case scenario.

3. We have fuel taxes that were instituted for a specific purpose, as in road maintenance / improvements, which end up in the General Fund thence is re-appropriate to unintended consequences. I would call that misappropriated and if I don’t like it I can spend a fortune going to court, the government do as they please without consequences reality. The public, I included, have limited understanding about the term “donor state”. This additional penalty to expensive real-estate thence property taxes is an insult and likely a staff secret.

All valid points, unfortunately I suspect they make most peoples eyes glaze over, even though they are important.