SAN DIEGO– San Diego police Thursday were searching for a hit-and-run driver in a crash that left a woman seriously injured. This comes as the San Diego City Council is discussing plans to make streets safer for walkers, bicyclists and cars.

“This is incredibly challenging work to take the city we built one way that was really more trying to accommodate people in their cars, to one that is more walkable, bikeable and safe for everybody that uses the roads,” said Joe LaCava, City of San Diego councilmember.

During a council meeting Thursday, members continued to discuss its Vision Zero Plan to eliminate but also prevent traffic collisions, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths.

Using data to drive effective safety improvements, the plan includes speed management plans, adding sidewalks and separated bike paths and an emphasis on projects in historically disadvantaged communities.

In February, the city received $680,000 in federal funding for safer streets. Click here to read more about the grant.

“If we really expect residents to shift from relying exclusively on cars, we have to build and improve all related the infrastructure where people can feel safe and confident to take other modes of transportation, including walking and biking,” said Kent Lee, City of San Diego councilmember.

“I know they want to make change, but I feel like they really need to have a measurable and actionable plan, with clear milestones.”

In 2021 a wrong-way driver hit and killed Laura Keenan’s husband, Matt Keenan, while he was biking.

“I remember him saying, ‘Bye, I’ll see you later,’ looked up and said, ‘bye,’ and that was the last time I saw him alive again,” Keenan said.

After putting their 15-month-old to bed, Matt biked from their North Park home to Mission Valley. Keenan said he wore lights and a helmet. A wrong-way driver entered Matt’s bike lane on Frontage Road along Interstate 8. The driver hit him head-on at at least 35 miles per hour.

“He was aware that cycling is dangerous at times. So he chose the safest route and the safest route was still deadly,” Keenan said.

The city’s transportation department keeps track of these incidents. In 2022, drivers hit and severely injured 46 pedestrians, and 16 bicyclists. Drivers killed 30 walkers and two bicyclists in 2022.

Click here to view the statistics and the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Adding to the staggering numbers, San Diego police are looking for the driver of a gray Nissan who is involved in a hit-and-run in Little Italy.

Police say the driver was turning left off Hawthorne Street when they hit a 32-year-old woman walking in a marked crosswalk on Colombia Street. The driver fled the scene, and the woman went to the hospital with a head injury.

Police say the car has a “4X4” sticker on the back section side near the rear of the car.

“Everybody should be able to walk around their community or bike around their community without fearing for their lives,” Keenan said.

After Matt’s death, Keenan started Families for Safe Streets San Diego, a support for lost loved ones of traffic violence. The group is also an advocate for street safety changes. Keenan said she has asked elected leaders to boost their funding for prevention projects, protected bike lanes, and to address the city’s most dangerous intersections.

Click here to learn more about Families for Safe Streets San Diego.

Keenan said, “this is an issue that affects all of us, I really hope people can realize we are talking about lives, someone else’s loved ones, husband. Make sure it doesn’t happen to any other family.”