Join Your Community Planning Group to Make San Diego a Better Place to Ride
Once a month volunteer residents in over 50 community planning areas meet to advise the City of San Diego on land use decisions. Community planning groups (CPGs) provide guidance on a wide range of issues, from the large, multi-year community plan updates to individual residential and commercial developments. To learn more about what community groups do and how to get involved, consider attending attending our next member meetup on March 6 at Iron Pig Alehouse in Pacific Beach. Circulate San Diego will be joining BikeSD to discuss how residents can (and should) get involved in local planning groups to help create a world-class city for biking.
Any effort to improve bicycling in San Diego is basically a land use decision; therefore, these groups play an important role in making San Diego a world class bicycling city. As an organization, BikeSD, encourages bicycle riders everywhere to join their community groups. While a CPG role is strictly advisory, these groups remain influential. We have highlighted a few recent examples to show how these groups have helped or inhibited our effort to improve bicycle infrastructure in San Diego.
- In March 2015, Uptown Planners held a special meeting to address the Uptown bikeway. Despite the passionate pleas of bicyclists, the Uptown Planners supported 4 motions that weakened or opposed the planned bikeway. Less than ten weeks later, the SANDAG transportation committee officially created a hole in the planned network by abandoning any improvements in western Hillcrest.
- In the “Complete the Boulevard” study, the need for dedicated bicycle infrastructure were widely ignored. While city staff did study these options, they were excluded after Kensington-Talmadge and City Heights CPGs made it clear that they would only support sharrows (or no bike infrastructure) on El Cajon Boulevard.
- The ridiculous creation of a hole in the Uptown Bikeway caused advocates to mobilize and join the Uptown CPG (including BikeSD endorsed candidates). The personnel change provided immediate sanity as the board passed a series of motions supporting a continuous east-west corridor. In a passionate defense of 4th and 5th Ave. segments of the planned Uptown Bikeway, former District 3 Councilmember, Todd Gloria, cited these changes in the local CPGs as positive sign of support for the project.
- City staff has cited the Uptown CPG’s motion to close the “Gap” when presenting the proposed “Hillcrest Gap” solution.
- The planned transformation of downtown San Diego’s streets, Downtown Mobility plan, was supported by the Downtown CPG. The San Diego City Council unanimously supported the plan in June of 2016.
Every community in San Diego should be a great place to safely ride a bike. Community planning groups play a large role in whether that happens. Whether it is advocating for secure bike parking at a new development or supporting a road diet, we need support (even minority support) on CPGs. If your community has either an upcoming community plan update (Clairemont, Old Town/Midway, Kearny Mesa) or is home to one of SANDAG’s early action bicycle projects, your CPGs will play a very important role in our transportation future.
Each planning group has slightly unique eligibility rules for elections. All CPGs hold elections in March. If you choose not to join a CPG, please consider voting (and bring friends) for bicycle friendly candidates!!