From the inbox: “Having to travel from First Avenue to Normal Street (on University Avenue) by bike scares me to death.”

If you cannot make it to the SANDAG Transportation Committee meeting tomorrow, please send in an email as mentioned at the bottom of this post.

Sharon Singleton, Uptown business owner, sent in this letter to the SANDAG Transportation Committee yesterday.

To the Members of the SANDAG Transportation Committee,

As a resident and business owner in Uptown, I urge you to consider the safety of cyclists and pedestrians along University Avenue.

Last Wednesday, May 27 at 1:00 pm, while walking along University Avenue between Dove and Eagle Streets (at the Vons), I witnessed a young man heading eastbound on University on his bike get side-swiped by a pick up truck pulling a trailer. He landed on the sidewalk. Fortunately the driver stopped and besides a bent wheel and some bumps and bruises, the cyclist was okay. However, the driver was upset at the cyclist and mentioned that the road was too narrow for both of them.

I am lucky to have option available to me to get between home and work. I can drive, walk or bike. Of the three, I will choose walking or driving 99% of the time. Having to travel from First Avenue to Normal Street by bike scares me to death. I will not ride on Washington Street because of the speed and the free right turns from 163 onto Washington. There is too much traffic on University and between the narrow lanes and parked cars, I am afraid of getting “doored” and I have seen far too many cars dart out quickly across lanes to make a left turn from westbound University to one of the side streets. My third option is Robinson, again, not a great choice due to the narrow lanes and potholes. The paving transition on Robinson across 163 is terrible, I pray every time I ride across that segment that my wheels don’t get caught in a rut or a car doesn’t make a quick turn in front of me either entering or exiting 163. When possible, I will ride south to Balboa Park, across the Laurel Street bridge and then head back north just to relieve the stress of trying to move east-west on Washington, University or Robinson.

Change is difficult any way you look at it. But change can be good and a bike and pedestrian friendly community benefits us all. If nothing else, make some temporary improvements and let’s see how it works – I think everyone might be surprised by the results.


Sharon Singleton