eBikes safety teen killed bike lanes
Brodee Champlain Kingman. Photo credit: Screen shot, nbcsandiego.com

State Sen. Catherine Blakespear presented Encinitas with $3.09 million Thursday for the Santa Fe Drive Corridor Improvements Project.

The project is crucial to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders others using the bustling street, supporters say. Blakespear, D-Encinitas, asked for it to include separated bike lanes to provide added protection.

“The recent death of Brodee Champlain Kingman, a talented, popular 15-year-old student at San Dieguito Academy who was riding his e-bike, illustrates just how dangerous roads can be for cyclists,” she said. “I am grateful I was able to get funding to pay for major improvements along Santa Fe Drive that will benefit everyone.”

Champlain Kingman died on June 22 after being struck by a van while riding an electric bike on El Camino Real. His mother, Clare Champlain, spoke at the check presentation Thursday.

“What happened to Brodee and the loss our family is suffering could have been prevented, and we should never allow this to happen again,” she said. “Brodee should be here now, and he is not because we have failed him. We have to do better for Brodee and prioritize the safety of our bikers.”

She went on to thank Sen. Blakespear “for prioritizing this bike safety project adjacent to Brodee’s high school.”

The funding will go toward building separate bike lines, buffered bike lanes, sidewalk improvements, parking, protected intersections, landscaping, storm drains and bus stop enhancements along the street that leads to the academy.

“The Santa Fe Drive Corridor Improvements Project is a critical mobility project that will support active transportation and make it safer for residents and students to walk or cycle through the area,” said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz. “This project helps get people out of cars by creating spaces where cyclists and pedestrians are comfortable and safer using the roads.”

Groundbreaking for the work is set for this fall.

– City News Service