Cortez Hill residents participate in study to improve pedestrian, cyclist safety

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SAN DIEGO -- Downtown San Diego is always packed with people, whether they're walking, biking, in a car or on a scooter, and now a recent study aims to make one neighborhood safer for everyone.

"We want to get people out, moving, active," said Jana Schwartz with Circulate San Diego.

But that can be challenging downtown, where pedestrian accidents and fatalities are unfortunately fairly common.

A coalition of three groups -- Circulate San Diego, Downtown San Diego Partnership and Cortez Hill Active Residents Group -- recently came together to study what people living in the downtown neighborhood of Cortez Hill wanted to be able to feel safer when getting around town.

"People would express concern for just pedestrian safety, but now we are seeing a lot more people embracing bicycle usage and scooter usage in our neighborhood as well," said Ann Murphy, President of the Cortez Hill Active Residents Group.

For Cortez Hill residents, one of the biggest problems is being located next to a number of freeway on ramps and off-ramps.

Nearly 100 people responded to the survey and are now giving their continued input through community meetings to help decide what the solutions might look like. Those solutions could include anything from more lighting to signage, even reconfiguring roads if need be.

"This is really a study that’s laying the foundation for projects that can be implemented down the road," said Sean Warner with Downtown San Diego Partnership.

It is a process other downtown neighborhoods have already taken part in by using a portion of parking meter revenue to fund improvement projects.

"Each neighborhood has their own unique issues related to pedestrian safety and mobility. In Marina the focus there has been on Market Street and enhancing the pedestrian environment along Market Street," Warner said.

In Cortez Hill, some smaller projects couple be implemented in the next year while larger improvements will likely be in the works over the next five years.

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