Laura Keenan remains to be adjusting to describing herself as a widow. Last year, her husband Matt was bicycling when he was killed by a improper method driver.
SAN DIEGO — Nearly 300 people had been killed in traffic collisions in San Diego County last year. This quantity contains pedestrians and cyclists who had been hit by automobiles.
Families for Safe Streets San Diego and the San Diego Bicycle Coalition are teaming as much as have their voices heard and visibly present the influence of the loss they’ve skilled by inserting 294 empty pairs of sneakers in the courtyard of the Civic Center Plaza in Downtown San Diego.
The 294 pairs of sneakers characterize the variety of lives lost in San Diego County from traffic crashes in 2021.
Laura Keenan remains to be adjusting to describing herself as a widow. Her husband Matt was bicycling when he was killed by a wrong-way driver in September 2021, abandoning Laura and their younger son Evan.
“20 minutes after he left our house the wrong way driver crossed into the bike lane and hit Matt’s head going at least 35 miles per hour. She never saw him despite his blindingly bright lights, and he died on the scene,” Laura stated.
She says Matt rode his bike to the movie show after they put their younger son to sleep. She then fell asleep, waking up the following morning to appreciate her husband had by no means made it dwelling. “I panicked,” Laura stated. “Then I noticed that I had a missed name and a voicemail from a San Diego quantity. It was the medical expert. They advised me over the telephone that he had been hit and killed. I didn’t perceive course of that on the time. Then I went and bought my 15-month-old out of his crib and simply bought by the day one way or the other.”
Using ache for advocacy
Laura now makes use of her ache to advocate for bike lanes in San Diego with Families for Safe Streets San Diego.
“These (bike lanes) will save lives. If the road that Matt was on had a protected bike lane, he would be alive today,” Laura stated.
Laura was simply one of many a number of relations represented on the gathering who mourned the lack of family members from traffic accidents in San Diego last year on the remembrance.
San Diego City Council President Sean Elo Rivera and Councilmembers Raul Campillo and Stephen Whitburn joined the gathering supporting pro-bike lane laws. Mayor Todd Gloria expressed his assist in a video deal with to the viewers, citing an in-person obligation with Governor Newsom.
Laura advised CBS 8, “We need to have a connected, protected network of bike lanes. We can’t just have one-off ones here and there because we’re trying to facilitate transportation, and it doesn’t make sense if one lane has one and the next doesn’t. We can build protected bike lanes using inexpensive equipment, which can happen in a few days, providing 90% of the protection as concrete ones.”
Bike lanes have been a contentious difficulty for some San Diegans.
Several communities throughout the county have organized towards the set up of motorbike lanes in their neighborhood, citing confusion, security, and the impact on parking as considerations.
Laura says she understands the pushback relating to bike lanes, however it is time to come collectively to make sure nobody else dies a preventable dying.
Families for a Safe San Diego and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition are asking metropolis and county leaders for 3 requests:
- Updated bike grasp plan by 2023
- Double funding for protected bike lanes
- Lower pace limits throughout the world
“We’re not trying to inconvenience anyone,” Laura said. “We are not trying to make their (critics of bike lanes) lives harder. We are trying to save lives and protect people from the pain that we live with for life. These will save lives. If the road that Matt was on had a protected bike lane, he would have been alive today.”
WATCH RELATED: How many cyclists are utilizing the thirtieth Street bike lanes? (Nov. 2022).