Tomorrow: Advocacy Rally to Make Clairemont Safe for All Users; Today: Call Caltrans District Director

Since David Ortiz‘s death last year, neither the City of San Diego nor Caltrans have made any changes to fix the deadly intersection at Balboa Avenue by the on/off ramps leading up from the I-805. Ortiz was killed while trying to navigate the intersection while vehicles travelling at a much higher speed than him were merging onto his route.

We can’t continue to live in a city where residents traveling at different speeds are unwittingly pitted against one another. Bicycling is something that is safe, healthy and fun and all San Diegans ought to be able to navigate the city on two wheels along a road network that should be designed for their safety and benefit. We have a two part advocacy strategy we need your help with which is the start of the process that will transform San Diego into one that is both safer and more pleasant to live in.

1. Today: call Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman at 619-688-6668 and ask her to please attend the City Council meeting tomorrow morning at 10AM and offer a verbal commitment that her agency will make a good faith effort to work with the City of San Diego to begin redesigning the city’s deadly merges and intersections that unwittingly pit road users against one another. Caltrans has jurisdiction and ownership of the freeways in the city and they need to work with the city in redesigning the areas that lead up to the surface streets where our riders travel on two wheels.  As an immediate first step, we would like Caltrans and/or the City of San Diego to mark these high speed merge areas as a construction zone with construction signs and orange construction barrels so that all road users can be appropriately cautious and drivers can slow down so that they won’t unwittingly harm another San Diegan.

No San Diegan should have to be unwittingly pitted against another because of poor road design. Photo: Kelly Cummings

2. Attend tomorrow’s City Council Session. Public comment is scheduled at the beginning of the session at 10 AM, and we intend to ask Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to recommend that the City of San Diego apply for the funds needed to fix these deadly interchanges, starting with her district. We would like Councilwoman Zapf  to call on Caltrans and the City to work together and to begin work  within this year so that Caltrans’ Deputy Directive 64 actually has some teeth behind the current nice intention. In the mean time, we would like Councilwoman Zapf display her leadership of not only recommending long term substantive redesign solutions along Balboa Avenue and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, but we also want her to recommend a quick fix of temporarily making the dangerous merges along these two roads a construction zone until they are fixed and made more inviting to the more vulnerable road users. If you are unable to attend the session tomorrow, please call or email Councilwoman Zapf’s office to offer your support for our efforts to make Clairemont safer.