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Sacramento Ranks Fifth-Deadliest For Bicyclists

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A study has found Sacramento is the fifth deadliest city in the nation for bicyclists.

In September, three people on bicycles were killed on bicycles throughout the county.

"If we saw that many fatalities on light rail, we would shut down the entire system until we fixed the problem," said bicycle advocate Jim Brown.

RELATED: Bicyclist Struck, Killed By Pickup Truck In South Sacramento

A new nationwide survey is ranking Sacramento one of the most dangerous places to pedal in the country.

De'Sean Rowe-Manns, just 14 years old, is the latest victim to die while riding a bike. The driver took off.

"It's very sad that we are here right now because of this," said Kendra Dodson, De'Sean's aunt.

A new study by the Wall Street Journal shows Sacramento is one of the deadliest places to bicycle in the nation. The region places fifth in per capita bike fatalities.

RELATED: Report: Sacramento 5th Deadliest City For Bicyclists In US

"It's heartbreaking because these are people trying to rely on a bike for transportation, but our streets are just not quite suited for that type of travel," Brown said.

So why are Sacramento streets so dangerous?

"You've got this deadly combination of streets that are already dangerous to ride on, you got people driving more on average, and you got them driving faster than we want to see them be driven," he said.

Here are the latest numbers from UC Berkeley's Transportation Injury Mapping System:

2017 - 18 people killed and 53 severely injured
2016 - 16 people killed and 58 injured
2015 - 11 people killed and 71 injured

Brown adds most fatal crashes happen in South Sacramento.

"In Sacramento County, about half of all fatal by collisions occur south of Broadway and West of Power Inn Road," he said.

He says the city of Sacramento is making progress, like installing new high visibility bike lanes downtown. And an intersection near Sacramento State that has dedicated bike boxes at the front of the line for cyclists to get a head start in traffic.

"We haven't quite seen the investment in the outlying areas that we would like to see," Brown said. "Unfortunately it's these kinds of streets (like Stockton Boulevard) that discourage people from riding a bike because they are just intensely scary."

The city has a Vision Zero policy, a team committed to eliminating all traffic fatalities by 2027 and say it has several efforts underway to meeting this goal.

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