In May, CBS 8 in San Diego did a story for National Ride Your Bike to Work month asking how risky it is to ride a bike in San Diego. The bike path along State Route 56 (SR-56) was the focus of the story.
Cyclist Dan Valentine mentioned how he came within five minutes of being hit head on while riding on the bike path that runs parallel to SR-56 when a car came barreling through the fence. Valentine’s incident was not an isolated one. In 2011, while riding on the same path, Nick Venuto, a 40-year-old father, was killed by an out of control SUV that blew through the same freeway fence. Dan Valentine believes the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), who is responsible for the fence, needs to fortify it with a guardrail.
Still, just fortifying that one area is only part of what needs to be done to make the streets of San Diego safer for cyclists.
“Since 2011, 15 bicyclists have died on city streets and in most cases the cyclists were at fault,” said Mark McCullough of the San Diego police. “I can’t tell you how many bicyclists say I do everything correctly and they get on their bike and run right through our stop sign. Most bicyclists follow the laws and thanks to Mayor Bob Filner, who is a cycling advocate, San Diego is becoming more bike friendly.”
There are many factors that have led to San Diego cycling accidents, from drivers not sharing the roads by giving cyclists a little extra room to cyclists not taking safety courses so that they can learn to ride safely around cars. In addition, even as bike friendly a city as San Diego has become, there’s still room for improvement as far as making the infrastructure safer for bicyclists goes.
Did you know?: Over 48 percent of bicyclists ride on paved roads without a bike lane.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer