Friends of injured cyclist call on Encinitas City Council to take action

ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Advocates of pedestrian and bicyclist safety and friends of Roberta Walker, a recently injured bicyclist, spoke out at Wednesday's Encinitas City Council meeting.

The main focus was a call to action on the long-discussed Leucadia Streetscape plan, which would add roundabouts, bike lanes and sidewalks to a stretch of North Coast Highway 101, including the area Walker was struck.

"We know that somebody is going to die soon in Encinitas because we maintain consciously roadways that kill people," said one man.

Walker herself was a staunch defender of pedestrian and cyclist rights and also executive director of the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association. As of Wednesday evening, friends shared Walker had undergone two brain surgeries and remained in a medically induced coma.

After many pleas from the public, the council voted unanimously to put forth an interim safety plan. It is still unclear what the plan will include.

Council members were all in agreement the Streetscape project needs to move along as quickly as possible. Still, city staff reported the project has some hoops to jump through including full support from the North County Transit District.

According to city staff, if all goes accordingly, the project could break ground by late summer or fall 2019.

There is also a ride for Walker scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. starting at the Leucadia Post Office. Ride organizers say it's about peacefully demonstrating a rider's right to safety on the road "like Roberta always did."

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