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SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego and SANDAG are looking to make streets safer for people who prefer to get around by walking or riding their bikes through the “Orange Bikeway” project. A final community meeting regarding the project was held Thursday.

The Orange Bikeway has seven segments and will provide about 13 miles of safer bike paths between Mid City and North Park. The City Heights portion of the project takes up about a two-mile stretch on Orange Avenue between 32nd Street and Estrella Avenue.

“Within almost a year I’ve been hit 13 times, three times with my grandkids. I welcome this because this is what our community needs,” said Maria Cortez, a City Heights resident.

At the meeting, Cortez joined the majority of local residents who voiced improved safety was a priority and support the bikeway project.

The Orange Bikeway project aims to make the commute much smoother on Orange Avenue by providing buffered bike lanes and median island traffic diverters.

“I think this is the only way to make it effective. Sometimes green paint is not enough and we need more infrastructure that is a little bit more permanent,” said Vianney Ruvaicaba, a bicyclist.

The diverters would reduce “cut through” traffic on some of the major intersections on Orange Avenue, but those diverters seem to be the only thing a couple people at the community meeting didn’t agree with. However, the vast majority welcome the change and the project, which is nearing final approval this summer.

SANDAG will vote to approve the project for the City Heights area on July 19. If passed, it will move on to the final design phase and potentially start construction in 2021.