Cyclists call for Caltrans to install concrete barriers on bike path near SR-56

Roadway near bike path called 'dangerous'

SAN DIEGO - 10News has obtained new information that indicates Caltrans may put up concrete barriers along a bike path near state Route 56 in the North County.

The bike path is a 10.3-mile paved route that is used by hundreds of people each week. While it's a source of exercise and sunshine, it can also be a source of concern.

"As I have learned over time, there's anxious moments while I am riding on that road," said Dr. Dan Valentine, an avid cyclist who lives near the bike path.

On a recent drive along SR-56, 10News found there are some spots with concrete barriers and others where there is just eight feet of ice plant.

10News obtained an email between the Rancho Penasquitos Planning Commission and Caltrans. In it, Caltrans told the board:

"As an alternative to metal beam guard railing, Caltrans plans to install concrete barrier along the edge of shoulder of eastbound SR-56 in areas where the bike path is less than 30 feet from the edge of traveled way."

"What I am really excited about is that something is going to be done about it," added Valentine.

Last week, Valetine came to 10News with a picture that he took with his cellphone. It showed a car just after it left the highway and crashed onto the bike path.

"The chain link fence did absolutely nothing for this car to stop it from getting on the bike path completely," he added.

Caltrans would not confirm the installation of the concrete barriers when asked about it Wednesday, citing pending litigation. That litigation stems from the death of cyclist Nick Venuto, who was killed when a car left the road and crashed into him on the bike path in May 2011.

"I applaud their (Caltrans) sensitivity to the dangers of that path," added Valentine. "I look forward to that being done sooner than later."

Approximately 74,000 cars have traveled on the state route every day since the bike path opened in 2004.


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