Menlo Park: Bicyclist dies 5 months after collision

A bicyclist severely injured last November after colliding with a car has died, according to Menlo Park police.

Sam Felder died on Thursday, April 11, following post-surgery complications, according to an announcement posted on "Sam's Supporters," a fundraising website formed to assist his family. Friends from across the country have been posting condolences, describing him as "an amazing person." He is survived by wife Julie and their young daughter.

Mr. Felder, a 33-year-old Menlo Park resident who worked at Facebook as a product design manager, was taken to a hospital in critical condition after the Nov. 18 crash, which occurred at Bayfront Expressway and Marsh Road.

The car's driver, a 33-year-old Union City woman, was determined not to be at fault, Menlo Park Police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said, after investigators found that the bicyclist, traveling east, ran a red light as the car was heading northwest with a green light.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of Sam's passing," said Margaret Stewart, a friend and co-worker at Facebook.

"He was a valued colleague and close friend to many people here at Facebook and also at Google where he also worked for many years. He was a wonderfully devoted husband and father to his wife and daughter. Our thoughts are with his family; we will miss him dearly."


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Three locals have died tragically, very recently, doing otherwise healthy outdoor activity. I am so sorry for them and all of their loved ones.

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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Yes, very sad best to the families

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Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I don't know all the details of this accident, such as what direction the cyclist was traveling. What I do know is that the loop detectors at this intersection do not reliably detect bicycles. It is possible that the cyclist ran the red light because he could not get a green light.

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Posted by location
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I believe the bicyclist was trying to get to the bike path that goes to Facebook. In that direction, the bike path is along the left side of the highway. The traffic lights are designed for cars trying to get between the Dumbarton Bridge and Hwy 101 and I do not believe they have a separate cycle for bicyclists trying to get to the bike path. Bicyclists have to squeeze in and hope for the best. This is a poor design having the bike path dead end right at the point that high speed traffic is making a sharp turn.

I remember when Facebook moved in, they promised the city millions of dollars for bike path improvements around their campus. Did any of this ever happened? I have not noticed any changes. There are still dangerous intersections to cross when approaching Facebook from all directions.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Or, maybe he just ran the red light because he was in a hurry. Does anyone know? Did the investigation reveal what happened?

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Posted by Former Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

If there is a two-way Class I bicycle path next to the expressway, that violates the provisions of the Caltrans Highway Design Manual.

Caltrans are the experts on highway safety in California, and are very safety-oriented. It boggles the mind when those who know less ignore the experts.

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Posted by RP
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

This is a dangerous intersection for cyclists trying to get to the bike path and it's used by a lot of Facebook employees commuting to work. Even the ride down Haven to get to this intersection is dangerous and lacking a dedicated bike path. It wouldn't take a huge amount of money to improve it. Too bad they can't extend the bike path on the levy from this intersection to Woodside road.

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Posted by Adina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

Very sad, and even more people are about to be put at risk. The intersection is perilous for walking in addition to bicycling. Try it some time, very scary.

A residential development is going in at Haven, which will put hundreds more people near that intersection, which stands between them and the nearest supermarket, ice cream shop and restaurants. I hope the city and Caltrans work on improvements before residents move in.

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