San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo discharged from hospital after being hit by SUV while on bike

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose's Mayor, Sam Liccardo, spent New Year's night and Wednesday in the hospital after he was injured while riding his bike. It was a crash with a vehicle on the city's east side on Maybury Road at Salt Lake Drive.

RELATED: San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo suffers broken bones after being hit by car while riding his bike

Ironically, the Mayor has been leading a campaign to reduce traffic crashes and injuries.

Mayor Liccardo appeared to be in good spirits when he was discharged from the Regional Medical Center at mid-afternoon. He made some brief comments but would not take questions.

"I'm very grateful to everyone here and the teams from ER and ICU, who are so supportive in helping me to get back on my feet," he said.

Earlier in the day, he posted a photo on his Facebook page, showing him walking down a hospital corridor with his back supported by a large brace. The Mayor says he doesn't need surgery. However, he'll need a couple of month of physical therapy.

"I've got fractures to two of my vertebrae and my sternum," he posted online, "but felt blessed to be able to walk on the hospital floor today."

The accident happened when a driver made a right turn in front of him. Police cited the driver.

San Jose had six fatal bicycle crashes in 2017. That represented 13-percent of all traffic crashes.

The Mayor is an avid cyclist and an advocate for the city's Vision Zero project to reduce all forms of crashes. The city has targeted corridors with high crash statistics and has been creating well-marked bike lanes.

In places where the city has already restriped the roadways to delineate and make clear where the bike lanes are, the city has already seen an improvement in safety. For example, in the vicinity of Branham Lane and Pearl Avenue, the city has noted a reduction of 40 percent in crashes in the year 2017.

Shiloh Ballard, executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, believes education and creating empathy between drivers and cyclists are critical to reducing crashes.

"It's really important for folks to just take some time to experience what it's like to either be a driver or be a bicyclist or be a pedestrian," she said. "That's how you can empathize and behave better when you're on the road."

Mayor Liccardo plans to work from home for the rest of the week with a goal of returning to his City Hall office next week.
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