Construction of the Pershing cycle path begins
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Cyclists will soon have a safer way to get around San Diego as work began Monday on the Pershing Bikeway project, which runs through Balboa Park and connects downtown to North Park.
It comes around the same time the family of a cyclist who died on the same road filed a complaint alleging it was a wrongful death.
On January 19, the family of Laura Shinn, 57, a local architect, filed a wrongful death lawsuit. In July 2021, Shinn was riding her bike on Pershing Driver when she was killed by a driver who allegedly swerved into the bike lane.
On Monday, the progress of the project can be seen by walking along Pershing Drive. As construction continues, all traffic for walkers and cyclists along the road will be closed until Valentine’s Day.
The city hopes the Pershing Bikeway, a permanent 2.3-mile route, will keep those who, like Shinn, travel the route every day safe.
“It will be a much better situation for people to connect between North Park and Downtown,” said SANDAG engineering and construction manager Sharon Humphreys.
According to SANDAG, on Monday concrete barriers were placed along the road, bicycle and pedestrian traffic was closed. Construction workers have painted markings where bikers will soon be separated from traffic.
Something riders like Carlos Flores appreciate.
“I think it’s well marked and I appreciate that the cars can see it well. And the bikes have a clear path to ride safely,” Flores said.
Shinn’s death is just one of many on Pershing. In September, a 34-year-old man named John was hit by a car while riding his scooter.
SANDAG hopes that by creating a median for the two-way cycle path, fatal accidents can be avoided.
“What we’re really working towards and committed to achieving is bike lanes that are separate from cars,” Humphreys shares. “There is a kind of barrier between them so that everyone can arrive at their destination safely.”
If you plan to drive on Pershing Drive, be aware of the various detour signs placed throughout. Next week, the northbound lanes for cars will be closed and the bike/pedestrian lane will reopen.
Regarding the claims, ABC 10News contacted the City of San Diego but did not hear back. It is up to the city to approve or deny the claim.