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San Diego cyclists call for extra protection on road after multiple deaths

San Diego cyclists call for extra protection
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 11:50:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Members of the bicycling community are calling for the City of San Diego to take action after five cyclists were killed in one month. The group wants protection on the roads and the city to make changes by the end of the year.

A large group gathered at Bird Park in Balboa Park, remembering the life of one of their own tragically killed while riding to work.

"Laura Shinn was a beloved, talented and dedicated member of the San Diego community," says community advocate Vicky Granowitz.

Laura Shinn was biking along Pershing Drive in Balboa Park when she was hit. Shinn was the Director of Facilities Planning at San Diego State University.

A memorial now sits on the side of the road with an all-white ghost bike and flowers resting on its tires and cargo rack.

"I just feel bad for Laura's family and friends because they'll never get over it. You never get over that kind of trauma," says Granowitz.

ABC 10News learned plans were approved to improve the safety of cyclists along Pershing Drive years ago.

"That included protected bike lanes, along with sidewalks for pedestrians," says Granowitz. "We were told funding was available, and the project would be completed in a few years. That was 2015, 6 years ago."

The group is now demanding city leaders do something.

"We are calling on SANDAG and Mayor Gloria to implement 25 miles of protected bikeways in San Diego every year," state a member of the biking community during Monday's Press Conference. "Starting with a complete network of protected bikeways before the end of 2021."

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria released the following statement on the recent cyclists' deaths throughout the city.

"One cyclist death is too many – particularly when we know it's preventable.

"My administration has taken a number of steps to help reach our Vision Zero goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, including establishing a new team to create bike lanes more quickly, joining the National Association of City Transportation Officials to learn and adopt best practices, and working with SANDAG to reduce the time it takes to process a bike infrastructure permit by 75%.

"Saving lives should not be controversial, and my administration will continue to work to make sure all who use our roads, regardless of method of travel, are safe."