On Tuesday, April 21, San Diego city councilmembers are expected to approve a settlement offer in the amount of $225,000 to a cyclist who sued over the city's inadequate and defective bike lanes.
The lawsuit, reported by the Reader in October 2013, was filed by Belinda Martinez.
In June of that year, a car struck Martinez as she rode her bicycle on Santa Fe Street near Pacific Beach. She later sued the city, claiming the area was a "concealed trap for bicyclists" and pedestrians.
According to the complaint, the stretch of road had a "defective design, defective signage, defective bicycle lane, bicycle route and/or path, defective traffic control devices, defective pavement lane markings, street marking, street width, speed limit, defective line of sight, defective and/or non-existent warning signage."
The region's failure to provide adequate bike lanes has become well documented in recent years.
According to the settlement agreement, the city plans to pay Martinez from the Public Liability Fund.
In 2013, the San Diego County Grand Jury released a report documenting the dangerous conditions that some cyclists face on city roads.
"The designated bicycle paths and lanes in the City of San Diego (City) are often substandard because of their location and relative lack of maintenance. On many streets, the poorly designated bicycle lanes have large gaps. The gaps and lack of maintenance often force cyclists into traffic lanes. Poorly marked bicycle lanes cause accidents."
Recently, cycling advocates as well as government agencies have pushed for additional and better maintained bike lanes throughout San Diego.
Often times, the proposals are met with resistance from neighbors or nearby businesses who say that traffic issues should be addressed before dedicating roadway to cyclists.
Residents near SDSU and their councilmember Marti Emerald are opposing university officials’ plan to add additional lanes of traffic to College Avenue from Montezuma Avenue to Interstate 8 in favor of bringing dedicated bike lanes and expanding sidewalks for pedestrians.
In Hillcrest, residents and some business owners object to a plan from the San Diego Association of Governments to close a portion of University Avenue in Mission Hills to traffic and install bike lanes east into the center of Hillcrest; the intent is to entice more people out of their cars and onto bikes or walking paths.
On March 24, the community planning group sided with a group of residents and rejected the plan. The association of governments agency will continue with the planning process and try and gain more support from neighbors and business owners.
The city council is expected to approve the settlement offer during the 10 a.m. session on April 21.