The winter rains have created a new hazard for thousands of cyclists in San Diego.
Overgrown bushes now block several bike lanes and they're forcing cyclists to leave their lanes to get around.
Bushes along one stretch of Kearny Villa Road through Miramar have grown over the bike lane and completely block it in several places.
“There are spots all over the county that have the same issue, especially with our winter and all the rain that we got,” said avid cyclist and NBC 7 San Diego photojournalist Mark Mehlinger.
The southbound side of Kearny Villa Road near MCAS Miramar is overgrown along several stretches. Another cyclist reported them to the City of San Diego’s Get it Done App on June 2.
“You can get caught by the tree and have a terrible accident,” said Mehlinger.
He added the City of San Diego would never allow bushes to block a street or roadway for more than a day. However, the bushes over the bike lane had clearly been growing a while.
“Everyone could always do better,” said Mehlinger. “I think that the way they work is a little bit reactionary.”
A City of San Diego spokesperson sent NBC 7 this statement:
“Keeping San Diegans safe no matter how they choose to get around is a top priority of City of San Diego. As we continue to build bikeways that connect more neighborhoods and provide more mobility options for residents, there will be increased opportunity for trees limbs and low-lying brush to impede these newly constructed paths. Cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to report any public-tree overgrowth, large debris or any other impediments found in the bike lanes to the Get It Done App.”
The cyclist who reported the bushes on June 2 received a notice on June 4 that the bushes were removed. The notice said, “City crews recently resolved the issue or conducted the necessary repairs as reported in your inquiry.”
However, NBC 7 Reporter Joe Little went out to the location on June 5 and saw that none of the bushes blocking the bike lane along the two mile stretch of Kearny Villa Road had been removed.
“I think that they could do a bit better,” said Mehlinger.