The Salk Institute lost one of its brightest colleagues, Swati Tyagi, 34, a postdoctoral researcher in the Hetzer lab, when she was tragically killed on June 23 when a person driving a car struck her from behind while she was riding her bike. In the days following, Tyagi’s colleagues and friends established an emergency fund to help her family during the difficult time.

Tyagi’s death was one of a dozen bicycle-vehicle fatalities in San Diego in 2021. The deaths prompted fervent advocacy by bicyclist groups who urged government officials to improve the city’s infrastructure and make streets safer for bicyclists in order to prevent future tragedies.

In August, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced his administration would take several measures to improve bike safety, including: creating bike lanes more quickly, joining the National Association of City Transportation Officials to learn and adopt best practices, and working to reduce the time it takes to process a bike infrastructure permit.

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