Mission Bay Drive Bridge
As far back as March of this year, locals have been asking the city for better access to the San Diego River bike path from Sports Arena Boulevard.
“Anyone else experience going to the bike trail and the cross walk on Sports Arena and the highway 8 onramp almost getting hit? This is the 3rd time. This time someone stopped, but cars went around the nice lady who stopped as we were crossing with a child in the bike trailer,” Angel writes on Nextdoor. “Then we heard skids from 4 cars behind, almost slammed into the cars waiting. The crosswalk is not lit when someone is trying to walk.”
Bike path and freeway
The crosswalk in question, located at the entrance to the onramp and off ramps of interstate 8 from Sports Arena Boulevard/West Mission Bay Drive, currently fall right in the middle of the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge Replacement construction zone, which began back in 2018.
“Most crosswalks in dangerous areas light up when you cross. A freeway onramp should be the first to do this.”
photo credit: Monty Burns
“The construction workers that were expanding the bridge said it’s the worst they have seen,” Angel continues. “And numerous people have almost gotten hit every day they have been out there…is there a safer way to get to the bike trail from the Loma Riviera community? I am scared now to go to the bike trail and have to cross that on ramp…I guess if they won’t do anything unless I start a petition to get some lights installed. Most crosswalks in dangerous areas light up when you cross. A freeway onramp should be the first to do this.”
Another neighbor, John, shared a similar experience. “A couple years ago I reported the same situation on the west side of Sports Arena Blvd to the city (re cars coming south off the bridge and turning right onto the 8 onramp). I was told it's Caltrans’ responsibility. Reported to them, and they said there's a light at the ped crossing there, so they did nothing. The light is basically worthless – cars don't even see it. Both east and west sides are really dangerous. I heard a bike rider was killed on the west side awhile back.”
Others contacted me with the same concerns. “I’m interested in creating a safe path for pedestrians to access the San Diego River bike path from Sports Arena,” one woman wrote. “I live in the Loma Riviera community and many of us are hoping we can reach out, as the construction is ongoing.”
Point Loman Daniel shared his experiences with the crossing
This looks like a perfectly safe place to cross.
photo credit: Monty Burns
“It was worse when traffic coming from the beach in the right lane never had to stop. It was impossible to get an opening to cross. At least now they have to stop at a red light periodically providing a window (albeit short) to dash across. I have complained many, many times about this to no avail. Like Angel, I am always scared for someone who nicely stops knowing someone is ready to slam into them. They need a quick button activated light (like the road entering the Seaworld entrance) That would turn the light yellow, then red for a quick 10 seconds or so to allow crossing but that will never happen. Hopefully this entire bridge project will include a completely new design for safer access to the river path. The bike path is one of the best places to ride safely away from traffic from the beach, all the way to Mission Valley, but if you have to risk your life to get there it kind of defeats the purpose.”
Eva almost got hit three times. “I live off West Point Loma Blvd,” she shared via email. “I almost got hit there many times before, the worst is when one car in one lane stops and then the other cars just keep going, even going around the stopped car, as if they don’t see people crossing, it’s completely unsafe.”
Jessica: “I got badly rear ended because I stopped for a pedestrian at that crosswalk and now unfortunately I never stop because I’m scared of getting into an accident. The city needs to do something about that horribly unsafe crosswalk.”
“I’ve had this conversation way too many times,” Mike commented. “If you have a mobility disability around here, drivers gonna run you down. This is a major problem.”