On December 9, 2013, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update, which will add 595 miles of bikeways designed to connect the city, to create bike corridors to encourage biking to work or school, and to make biking a more mainstream mode of transportation.
This update is the city’s new blueprint to add to the city’s existing 150 miles of bikeways and follows SANDAG’s recent approval of $200 million for bicycle projects countywide under the Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit bike advocacy group, applauded the effort to create safer biking routes to encourage more people to bike to work and school.
San Diego’s current bicycle infrastructure currently includes approximately 500 miles of bike-friendly roads. The new plan will add to the existing infrastructure and increase bicycle parking and bicycle safety so that cyclists, both locals and tourists alike, can enjoy better access to local businesses, transit centers, shopping districts, parks and other amenities. The price tag for these improvements is expected to be $312 million.
These improvements should make San Diego roadways safer for bicyclists. On April 12, 2013, 63 year old cyclist Charles Gilbreth was struck and killed by a car while biking in the bike lane on Montezuma Road near SDSU. According to news reports, Gilbreth was struck following a road rage incident where a driver who was outraged by a slow moving bus passed the bus and then swerved in front of the bus to show his outrage. In doing so, his vehicle struck Gilbreth in the bike lane. Gilbreth was killed and the road rage driver pled guilty to a misdemeanor unsafe passing of a bicycle. He was sentenced to just 180 hours of community service.
Hopefully, the city and county improvements will make the roads safer for bicyclists as we attempt to integrate more bicyclists onto already crowded roadways. Drivers should watch for bike lanes and signage indicating bicycle traffic. Look out for bike traffic before opening your car door too.
If you, or someone you love, was injured in an auto versus bicycle accident, contact our office today to discuss your rights. Bicyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle on the road, but sadly, many traffic collisions are blamed on the cyclist. Know your rights!