Advocates call for change after scooter rider killed in Balboa Park crash

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SAN DIEGO —  Local advocates are speaking out after police say a man riding a rental scooter was hit and killed by a 17-year-old driver on a road through Balboa Park late Saturday.

Police say the teen girl was driving a sedan on Pershing Drive near the Balboa Park Golf Course around 11 p.m. when she hit the 35-year-old scooter rider, who was headed the same direction in the bike lane.

The crash is now one of two deadly crashes that killed riders in the bike lane on Pershing Dr. near the Balboa Park Golf Course in two months. 

A ghost bike stands just blocks away in honor of Laura Shinn who was struck and killed by a driver while biking on Pershing Dr. in July. 

In efforts to make the stretch of road safer, SANDAG approved plans a few years back to improve the bike lane on Pershing Dr. through Balboa Park. The project includes a buffer between traffic and bike lanes with two-way bike lanes and a walking path. 

But the full improvements have yet to be made. 

“Here we are after two deaths on the street and we’re still not seeing construction on those improvements,” said Colin Parent, the Executive Director of Circulate San Diego. 

He and other supporters have been urging SANDAG and elected officials act faster. 

Nearby residents are also calling for added lighting along Pershing Dr., saying it gets very dark at night making it unsafe. 

He said it’s tragic and frustrating see yet another preventable death.

“We’re so sorry that this kind of thing has happened to their family member and were advocates like us at Circulate San Diego we’re just going to do everything that we can to make sure these kinds of tragedies don’t continue,” Parent said.

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