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Grand Jury Report: San Diego Needs To Be More Bike-Friendly

Video by Katie Euphrat

You may be gearing up for this Friday's "Bike to Work Day" - or maybe you're a year-round rider - but either way, you might have some thoughts on San Diego as a bicycle-friendly city - and so does the County Grand Jury. KPBS reporter Tarryn Mento brings us the grand jury report, which was released today.

Whether you're an expert or occasional rider, you might have thoughts about how San Diego measures up as a bicycle-friendly city. So does the San Diego County Grand Jury.

Whether you're an expert or occasional rider, you might have thoughts about how San Diego measures up as a bicycle-friendly city. So does the San Diego County Grand Jury. In its report evaluating the city's efforts to accommodate cyclists, it noted some ares of concern.

Like on Montezuma Road, where 49 cyclists have been hit since 2000.

Jury Foreman Paul Christian said the city can make changes to help keep riders safe.

"Just sweeping the bicycle lanes is a great improvement because of the debris that they sometimes have to avoid by going out into the traffic lanes, which can cause an accident," he said. "Nationwide, the statistics state that 97 percent of all bike and automobile mishaps happen outside of a bicycle lane, so we'd like to keep the bicyclists in the bicycle lanes to keep them safer."

Additionally, the report recommended opening a city bicycle office, separating bicycle from vehicle lanes and increasing the enforcement of traffic laws.

"We found out that through January to August of 2012, there was only 52 citations, and I think we all see bicyclists violating the California traffic code nearly on a daily basis," Christian said.

Executive director of BikeSD and an avid cyclist, Samantha Ollinger was ecstatic about the report.

She said many of the recommendations fall in line with those she advocates for, and she was pleased to see cycling get the attention it deserves.

"The fact that the grand jury is taking a notice of this speaks to the fact that how important of an issue this is from a overall city livability perspective," she said.

The mayor has 60 days to respond to the report, but Ollinger said she's going to bring it up with him the next chance she gets.

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