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City Says Bike Lane May Have Made Intersection More Dangerous

— San Diego road crews have scrubbed out a brightly painted bike lane on a busy road near San Diego State University after realizing the lane made the area no safer, and possibly more dangerous.

San Diego officials say a bike lane on a busy road near SDSU made a nearby intersection no safer, and possibly more dangerous.

Montezuma Road is a common bike route leading to the SDSU campus. But its mile-a-minute car traffic is very dangerous to people on bikes. Most notorious may be the corner of Collwood Boulevard, where cyclists on Montezuma have to cross a fast line of right-turning cars.

Photo by San Diego Bicycle Coalition

City of San Diego road crews painted a diagonal path on Montezuma Road to help bikes cross a fast-moving turn lane near the corner of Collwood.

Photo by Tom Fudge

Four months after it was created, the city painted over the diagonal path, saying it may have made the section of Montezuma Road even more dangerous.

Last fall the city painted a diagonal neon-green bike lane to show where the bikes should cross through the right-turning traffic, thinking it would alert motorists and make cyclists safer. But now that bike lane has been painted over.

City traffic department spokesman Bill Harris said traffic engineers decided it wasn't a good solution.

"We were a little concerned that drivers were not going to slow, not going to notice the bicyclists as much as they should,” he said, “given the fact that we seemed to be encouraging the bicyclists to cross through that lane non-stop."

Harris said the city is working on other solutions for Montezuma Road and its Collwood intersection.

“It may include a dedicated bicycle crossing light. It may include a buffered bike lane, which is a separate bike lane. It may include changing the signal timing,” said Harris.

Last year, a cyclist was killed by a car on Montezuma Road. I was hit by a car while riding my bike at Montezuma and Collwood six years ago.

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