At times, advocating for improved bicycle infrastructure feels like a discouraging, prolonged fight for every single inch of our public streets. However, our streets are improving! This blog post highlights some changes that have occurred recently as streets are resurfaced. If you have seen other great changes to our streets, please leave a comment below or tweet us (@bikesd). Also, feel free to contact your city councilmember to ask for more improvements!!
Balboa Ave. is road that highlights San Diego’s challenges to become a world class city for bicycles. It’s a high speed stroad in sections but it also is a major connection to employment centers of Clairemont Mesa and Kearny Mesa. So BikeSD was very happy to see the old narrow shoulder replaced with a bike lane with protective flexible posts for a portion of the roadway. (Clairemont Dr. to Balboa Ave.) While certainly an improvement, Balboa Ave. is still plagued by the high speed ramps of freeways (805, 163) and even nearby surface streets such as Morena Blvd.
Balboa Park is great! This greatness is in spite of high speed roads throughout the park. Redesigning our streets throughout the park for bicyclists would allow more people to access the park without needing a parking spot.
26th St. connects the neighborhood of Golden Hill to the Florida Canyon portion of Balboa Park. It serves as important connection to Downtown for Golden Hill and North Park residents. Prior to the recent resurfacing, 26th had very wide travel lanes with only a narrow shoulder at the edge of each lane. After the resurfacing project, 26th St. has a buffered bicycle lane for the uphill portion (Florida Canyon to Golden Hill). The narrowing of the travel lanes should reduce the ability of automobiles to speed. Sharrows were added to the downhill portion of the roadway.
Currently, these improvements lead bicyclists into more Balboa Park high speed roads (Pershing Drive and Florida Drive). However, we are optimistic that the 26th St. improvements will connect to the planned transformative SANDAG project for Pershing Drive.
In 2010, influential Uptown Planner Board member, Leo Wilson, called Walk San Diego’s (now CirculateSD) suggestion for 6th Ave road diet as “extreme.” So BikeSD was thrilled to see the recent road diet for 6th Ave. (South of Laurel St). The 4-lane road has been converted to single travel in each direction with a left turn lane. Both sides of the road now have buffered bike lanes! BikeSD hope this project will continue further north to connect Hillcrest and Balboa Park.