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Bike Lanes And Buffers Could Make Montezuma Safer

— Mayor Bob Filner has introduced San Diego to a set of bike lanes and traffic buffers that he said will make the infamous corner of Montezuma and Collwood a safer place.

Mayor Bob Filner has introduced San Diego to a set of bike lanes and traffic buffers that he says will make the infamous corner of Montezuma and Collwood a safer place.

By Roland Lizarondo

A cyclist rides in a new bike lane.

The intersection near San Diego State is called a conflict zone: A place where slow bike traffic and fast-moving cars come together in a way that leads to accidents and injuries. So city engineers have created a green bike lane on Montezuma Road that gives better direction to right-turning cars. They have also narrowed the car lanes, near the intersection with Collwood Boulevard, and erected pylons to separate car and bike traffic.

Filner said there's more to come.

"This is the beginning in what we call complete bike infrastructure for San Diego, where you can get anywhere in San Diego, to anywhere in San Diego safely by bicycle," he said.

Filner attended an announcement at the intersection and was joined by several bike advocates who have pushed for more ways to separate bike and car traffic, with the aim of improving safety. The announcement was also symbolic because it took place a year after cyclist Chuck Gilbreth was killed, after being struck by a car on Montezuma near the Collwood intersection.

"I'm extremely excited about this improvement on Montezuma Road," said Samantha Ollinger, director of BikeSD, "The unfortunate problem was the whole thing got kick-started when a local resident was killed a year ago. And that started an effort to make Montezuma safer."

Filner said similar systems are being created in other conflict zones, specifically mentioning Genessee and Balboa Avenues in Kearny Mesa and 54th St. and University Avenue in City Heights.

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