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SAN DIEGO — Construction began Tuesday on the Pershing Bikeway project, a 2.3-mile bikeway aimed to improve connections for people biking or walking around Balboa Park and between North Park and downtown San Diego.

The project, which comprises a two-way bikeway, buffered bike lanes, and a path for people walk, has been in the works for years, but progress was recently sped up following two deadly crashes.

In September, a 35-year-old man was riding a rental scooter in a bike lane on Pershing Drive, near the Balboa Park Golf Course when he was hit and killed by a vehicle. The crash was one of two deadly incidents that killed riders in the bike lane on Pershing Drive. Their deaths underscore the need for safety upgrades, which is why the San Diego Association of Governments joined several other local leaders and bike advocated to celebrate the start of construction of the Pershing Bikeway Project.

The bikeway will run along Pershing Drive between C and Upas streets. At the north end, the bikeway will connect to the Landis Bikeway via Upas and Utah streets, and at the south end will connect to the C Street cycle track at 19th Street. The completed bikeway will connect homes and businesses in North Park with locations in Balboa Park such as Bird Park and Morley Field, and many destinations downtown.

The project is funded by TransNet Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Neighborhood Safety Program funds. TransNet is the region’s voter-approved, half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG.  

The project is costing $13.4 million and is expected to open to the public by 2024.