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Are San Diego's bike lanes putting cyclists in danger?

The mild temperatures and scenic beauty of the San Diego area is envied by residents of other U.S. cities. Enjoying and exploring the great outdoors is a big part of life here and a growing number of area residents are choosing to do so by bicycle. Like much of the country, biking is growing in popularly throughout the region as more people choose to commute via bicycle and take to biking trails for recreation and exercise.

While cyclists are fortunate that many area roads have designated bike lanes, a study and investigation revealed that many of these bike lanes are poorly marked and maintained and that city officials must do more to promote safe biking and to make San Diego a biking-friendly city.

National statistics show that a lack of a designated bike lane was cited in more than 97 percent of all bicycle accidents involving a motor vehicle. Reported injuries among bicycles who were injured while traveling in a bicycle lane tend to produce "few fatal and incapacitating injuries." Additionally, nearly 69 percent of all bicycle and motor vehicle accidents involved a bicyclist who was hit while traveling through an intersection.

These statistics offer insight into the major factors that cities like San Diego must take into consideration when addressing and promoting bicycle safety. Additional and better marked bike lanes are needed throughout the city and area communities. Additionally city officials would be wise to allocate funds towards additional education and outreach campaigns to inform and raise awareness the awareness of both bicyclists and motorists about how to safely share the road.

Individuals involved in a bicycle accident in which a motorists turned into or failed to yield to a bicyclists may choose to take legal action. Injuries suffered in bicycle accidents tend to be more serious and debilitating in nature and can negatively impact an individual's ability to enjoy life and work.

Source: Sand Diego County, "SAN DIEGO - A BICYCLE FRIENDLY CITY: MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT," May 14, 2013

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