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Bicycling advocate crushed to death in Playas de Tijuana

Part of the collectives trying to change Baja car culture.

Memorial to Diana Pelaez - Image by Crisstian villicana
Memorial to Diana Pelaez

On November 2 the Colectivo Roll Por Playas held a tribute to Diana Pelaez, a cyclist and scholar from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, who was crushed to death by a cargo truck while pedaling through Playas de Tijuana neighborhood. Pelaez's death caused division in the local community.

According to her husband, Fabio Cuttica, Pelaez was biking back home after seeing a friend that day. The driver was speeding in a residential area where trucks should not be circulating. She was a mother of one seven-year-old child and a beloved person among the collectives who are trying to change the Tijuana car culture.

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“The bicycle is the perfect transport for Playas de Tijuana since the neighborhood is just five kilometrs long and just two kilometers wide. Especially taking into consideration that the public transport system is really bad and inefficient. But the city and the 'Californian car culture' influence hasn't evolved to respect cyclists on the roads.” Fabio said.

Diana's family comes from the Colombian capital, Bogota, where there are 450 kilometers of cycle lanes. Fabio pointed out that collectives like the Roll Por Playas which Diena was part of started a change in how the city can provide security for cyclists.

Ivon Hernandez, who's one of the organizers of the Roll Por Playas collective, addressed the importance of generating data on the population in Tijuana that uses bikes in order to identify what kind of infrastructure the cyclist needs. She believes that without a proper study on this matter, projects like the current new cyclist path connecting Tijuana with San Diego won't last.

Hernandez: “We need to start talking about the hours and the routes that the heavy cargo trucks circulate in residential areas during school hours. The traffic of this kind of heavy trucks should be better regulated, and because it isn't, we think this was not an accident, this was negligence.”

According to Hernandez, the project to connect Tijuana and San Diego through this bike route will be an issue due to the huge investment gap between the projects. Especially when Tijuana has a real problem with its bike infrastructure causing deaths on the road.

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Memorial to Diana Pelaez - Image by Crisstian villicana
Memorial to Diana Pelaez

On November 2 the Colectivo Roll Por Playas held a tribute to Diana Pelaez, a cyclist and scholar from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, who was crushed to death by a cargo truck while pedaling through Playas de Tijuana neighborhood. Pelaez's death caused division in the local community.

According to her husband, Fabio Cuttica, Pelaez was biking back home after seeing a friend that day. The driver was speeding in a residential area where trucks should not be circulating. She was a mother of one seven-year-old child and a beloved person among the collectives who are trying to change the Tijuana car culture.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“The bicycle is the perfect transport for Playas de Tijuana since the neighborhood is just five kilometrs long and just two kilometers wide. Especially taking into consideration that the public transport system is really bad and inefficient. But the city and the 'Californian car culture' influence hasn't evolved to respect cyclists on the roads.” Fabio said.

Diana's family comes from the Colombian capital, Bogota, where there are 450 kilometers of cycle lanes. Fabio pointed out that collectives like the Roll Por Playas which Diena was part of started a change in how the city can provide security for cyclists.

Ivon Hernandez, who's one of the organizers of the Roll Por Playas collective, addressed the importance of generating data on the population in Tijuana that uses bikes in order to identify what kind of infrastructure the cyclist needs. She believes that without a proper study on this matter, projects like the current new cyclist path connecting Tijuana with San Diego won't last.

Hernandez: “We need to start talking about the hours and the routes that the heavy cargo trucks circulate in residential areas during school hours. The traffic of this kind of heavy trucks should be better regulated, and because it isn't, we think this was not an accident, this was negligence.”

According to Hernandez, the project to connect Tijuana and San Diego through this bike route will be an issue due to the huge investment gap between the projects. Especially when Tijuana has a real problem with its bike infrastructure causing deaths on the road.

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