University Ave. deemed most dangerous street in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- A fourth pedestrian death along San Diego city streets this year has one local organization calling for action.

The latest accident occurred Saturday night when a man was killed crossing University Avenue at 47th Street in City Heights.

Circulate San Diego advocates for safer streets and transportation.

“We found that University is by far and wide is the most dangerous corridor in the city,” said Kathleen Ferrier, Director of Advocacy.

Ferrier said the six-mile stretch of road accounts for 10 percent of all pedestrian accidents in San Diego.

“With the number of accidents we’ve had on University, we have to have a corridor approach,” said Ferrier.

The organization has come up with Vision Zero, a safety plan calling for improvements along eight major corridors including University Avenue.

“It includes more crosswalks, making pedestrians more visible, also coordinating the bus stops with where the crosswalks are,” said Ferrier.

Ferrier added that other components of the plan call for education and enforcement.

Fox 5 contacted city councilwoman Marti Emerald and was told $3.8 million has been requested to improve several problem areas along University. Staff members also told Fox 5 University and 47th is not included in the budget. However, it has been placed on a future priority list.

Those who live along University Avenue in City Heights agree on the danger designation.

“There’s no crosswalks or lights in a lot of the areas,” said one man. “It’s also really dark at night.”

“This is the best spot to cross,” a pedestrian name Talia told Fox 5 as she attempted to cross. “Over there where the crosswalk is, it’s all crowded and you don’t want to wait. Sometimes people don’t even stop. It’s always hard, so you might as well just start walking.”

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  • Pete T.

    How many of these deaths have occurred at crosswalks? I use University everyday. And people just walk across anywhere they want. Some even give me the stink eye when I stop and wait for them to cross.
    The police patrol this area like crazy. Maybe the first step should be issuing tickets for JAywalking.
    We the text payers do not need to pay for an expensive study to figure out the issue here.

    • billdsd

      This incident occurred at an intersection. Under California state law, CVC 21960, even when there is not a marked crosswalk, there is an “unmarked crosswalk” there and motorists are required to yield to pedestrians who are trying to cross there.

      I’ve tried to cross at intersections like this one on University, maybe even that specific one. Drivers in San Diego absolutely positively will not yield at intersections like this. They just won’t. I’ve waited for several minutes to cross in this situation. Maybe we need to start citing drivers who won’t yield as required by law.

  • thechurchofchrismartin

    I hate to drive along this street. There is just too much going on. Lots of activity over stimulates the brain. Cars, pedestrians, lots of big buses roaring past and people pulling out from University Ave. parking spots. Not to mention the jay-walkers. Driving down this street exhausts me!

    • Pete T.

      They will do what they are doing everywhere else. They turn a 2 lane road into 1 bike/car lane and 1 just car lane. The bikes have the right of way. It is very confusing if drivers do not know about it. It is very very annoying. The bikers take total advantage of it. Now they are almost swerving into the only lane left for cars.
      Why can they just not take side streets?

      • billdsd

        Bicyclists don’t have any more or any less right of way than motorists. The right of way rules are the same. That’s the law, CVC 21200(a).

        The road configuration you describe sounds like a road with 2 lanes in each direction with the outside (right lanes) having sharrows and possibly Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs. The sharrows and signs indicate that bicyclists can use the full lane, usually because exceptions to the keep right requirement in CVC 21202(a) are applicable on that road and so bicyclists are safer if they use the full lane. That does not mean that the left lane is a “just car lane”. It’s a travel lane and bicyclists can use it when preparing to make a left turn or when passing anything blocking their path in the slow lane or when maintaining the speed of other traffic.

        Why can’t you just accept that bicyclists have a right to travel on the road? It’s the law. Changing lanes to pass a bicycle on a multi-lane road is also amazingly easy. The only reason that you find it annoying is that you think that the road is your exclusive territory. The law says otherwise.

        A few months ago, I was riding in the middle of the sharrow lane in Leucadia and a car came up behind me and slowed to my pace. The driver could have easily changed lanes. There was nobody in the left lane. I pointed at the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” sign and he finally changed lanes and yelled: “That doesn’t mean that you can block the whole lane!”. According to him, the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” sign does not mean “Bicycles May Use Full Lane”. The law says it does.

    • billdsd

      The reason to encourage more bicycling on University Ave is because it is one of the longest relatively straight routes across that part of the city. It’s an efficient way for bicyclists to get places. I’ve ridden it many times, always trying to get from one place to another.

  • Nikki

    That’s so bogus. I have to drive down that road everyday to get to work and I’m sorry to say that it IS the pedestrians that make it dangerous. There are SEVERAL crosswalks and I rarely see people us them. They will be 6 feet away from it and STILL not use the cross walk.

  • Todd

    Driving this street everyday, I can tell you that it IS very dangerous… Most of the problems are with the pedestrians and bicyclists on this road THEMSELVES!! I’ve never seen such wanton brazen acts of stupidity like this in my life until driving University Ave. Its only a matter of time until my truck has a person as a hood ornament on it with the way these knuckleheads behave…

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