A major thoroughfare from North Park into downtown is getting a lot of attention from supporters and opponents of a bikeway project.
If all goes to plan, in 2018, Pershing drive will have separated bike lanes, a walking path and fewer car lanes.
“Theyre going to reduce the lanes in half. We already have a traffic problem,” said North Park resident Michael Garrison, one of the concerned locals.
“I’m 68 years old I’m going to start riding a bike?” Garrison said.
The Pershing Bikeway project is one of several high priority projects in SANDAG's $200 million Regional Early Bike Program.
The 2.6-mile bikeway would begin at Utah and Landis streets, continue onto Pershing drive and then run down through Balboa Park, connecting to B and C streets in Downtown San Diego.
“It's a win win project,” said Kathleen Ferrier, who Circulate San Diego, a supporter of the project. She’s also a mom, cyclist and driver who lives in North park, and for her, the project is about safety.
“I tell my kids never to go on Pershing because I’m so concerned about the very high speeds,” Ferrier said.
She says fewer lanes on Pershing will help bring down the speeds and more importantly increase safety for people biking, walking and driving.
“There have been numerous crashes on Pershing and it’s because they're speed related. And these are car-to-car crashes,” Ferrier said.
Still, Garrison calls the project “ridiculous.” He has voiced his concerns at a public hearing already.
“This isn't about biking," Garrison said. "I just think cutting the lanes in half on a major thoroughfare in and out of downtown from our community is not the answer.”
Wednesday’s public hearing began at 6:15 p.m. at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.
The next chance people will have of learning about the project and voicing their concerns is at a public meeting on January 20 in front of the SANDAG Transportation Committee.