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Public Safety

Mayor Gloria Directs City Staff To Create Protected Bikeways On Pershing Drive

A memorial for Laura Shinn, who was struck and killed while biking to work, sits next to a fence on Pershing Drive in Balboa Park, July 26, 2021.
Matthew Bowler
A memorial for Laura Shinn, who was struck and killed while biking to work, sits next to a fence on Pershing Drive in Balboa Park, July 26, 2021.

In a move to separate cyclists and scooter riders from cars on Pershing Drive, Mayor Todd Gloria Thursday directed city staff to install bollards to create bikeways in both directions.

The action was intended as a temporary measure until the San Diego Association of Governments begins construction on permanent protected bikeways on Pershing Drive, where two San Diegans recently lost their lives after being struck by cars.

"I brought to this office a firm commitment to creating safe and easily accessible ways for San Diegans to get from Point A to Point B without a car," Gloria said. "That's why my city budget this year included $1.1 million to create the Safe and Sustainable Transportation for All Ages and Abilities Team, a new 12-member unit dedicated to planning and building bikeways across the city.

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On Saturday, 34-year-old Johnathan Sepulveda was killed when a car struck him as he was taking a nighttime ride on an electric scooter in Balboa Park.

The northbound sedan hit Sepulveda from behind in the 2800 block of Pershing shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, according to police and the county Medical Examiner's Office.

Sepulveda, whose sister and brother-in-law were riding scooters in front of him at the time of the crash, died at the scene.

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On July 20, a man who was allegedly driving under the influence of methamphetamine fatally struck 57-year-old Laura Shinn, an architect and director of facilities planning at San Diego State University.

Police said that at about 7:30 a.m., Shinn was struck from behind while riding on Pershing. She was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, according to the Medical Examiner's office.

"And that's why SANDAG and the city have implemented policy changes to cut the permitting time on bike infrastructure projects," Gloria said. "Traveling around our city without a car should not be life-threatening. I will continue to work to make active transportation safe for all residents in all neighborhoods."

Work on the temporary bikeways to prevent similar collisions has begun. They are scheduled to be complete in early October. Construction on permanent bikeways by SANDAG is expected to begin in early 2022.

"Mayor Todd Gloria campaigned on making streets more safe, and now he is making it happen," said Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego. "Circulate welcomes this bold action to help make our streets safe for everyone."

Video: Mayor Gloria Directs City Staff To Create Protected Bikeways On Pershing Drive