San Diego cycling 'deathtraps' continue killing

17 deaths in 6 years, group calls for action

SAN DIEGO - It’s a scene that plays out over and over again: bicyclists battling to legally cross the on-ramp to Interstate 805, without a crosswalk, around a sharp curve, and trying to out-pace cars accelerating to get on the freeway. Groups are asking, why isn't more being done?

It happens on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and the Balboa Avenue Bridge every day. 

10News checked, in the last six years there have been 17 serious or deadly wrecks involving pedestrians in this small area.

Dan Gilleon, a lawyer working with the San Diego Bike Commission says, “enough.”

“People are surviving this on a daily basis, and it’s amazing that more people are not being killed,” said Gilleon.

10News cameras were there after a fatal crash last March on the Balboa Avenue Bridge near southbound Interstate 805.

There is no designated bike lane on the roadway, and the cyclist was struck by cars three times. None of the drivers even realized they’d hit anyone.

A second fatal crash was in early January. With no crosswalk a cyclist needed to cross the onramp from eastbound Clairemont Mesa Boulevard to I-805. He was hit and died on the pavement.

“These freeway interchanges are definitely one of the most dangerous areas we have in San Diego,” said Kathleen Ferrier of Walk San Diego.

Ferrier showed 10News exactly what makes these locations so deadly.

She says Balboa and Clairemont lack or have inadequate bike lanes, and then there’s the speed.

“Cars here ramp up their speed to go on the freeway or they’re slowing down their speeds from 80 mph on this freeway to merge into this traffic,” said Ferrier.

10News contacted the California Department of Transportation and asked if there are plans to make the area safer. They said that they weren’t immediately aware of any plans and that any information on budgeting would take three to four weeks to receive.

Gilleon said the fix is simple and relatively cheap -- lines and flashing lights. He says the progress is too slow since there’s so much at stake.

“There’s no doubt it’s going to happen again. Someone is going to get killed again. Someone is going to get seriously injured again,” said Gilleon.

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