Often, I am asked about what upcoming bicycle project is the most exciting. I love all bicycle projects but I often suggest upcoming SANDAG projects. Whether I select Pershing Bikeway or a North Park – Mid City Bikeway, my audience usually groans. Typical responses include “Is that actually going happen?” or “Are the NIMBYs just going to win like they did in Hillcrest?” Frankly, I never have a convincing counter argument.
For supporters of SANDAG’s planned bicycle projects, the excitement has waned as the planning process has dragged on. SANDAG’s Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program (EAP) was approved by the SANDAG board in 2013. The EAP’s goal was to have the entire project list built in 10 years. Below is the project list sorted by priority:
For city of San Diego residents, the highest priority projects, Uptown and North Park Mid City Bikeways, brought a lot of enthusiasm. The first outreach meetings for Uptown Bikeway and North Park Mid City Bikeway was 2013. At the time, SANDAG project told the community advisory groups to expect construction in 2016. Currently, neither of these of projects have started construction.
In the table below, we highlighted all of the SANDAG current bicycle projects in the city of San Diego. Comparing the past 2 program budgets shows just quickly these projects can be delayed multiple years. Will SANDAG finish the EAP projects by 2023 as promised? From the FY 2017 to FY2018 program budgets, many bikeways suffered opening delays of greater than 1 year. All segments of SANDAG’s EAP top priority projects, Uptown Bikeway & North Park Mid-City, suffered delays of at least 1 year.
We understand that project delays occur. Our concern is that delays are related to a lack of political will to get these projects completed. SANDAG staff is directed to spend far too much time mitigating the smallest of NIMBY concerns relating to bikeways. We need City of San Diego elected leadership to champion these projects and demand results. The City of San Diego is represented by Council President Myrtle Cole and Mayor Kevin Faulconer on the SANDAG board. On the Transportation Committee, Councilmember Georgette Gomez represents the City of San Diego. We encourage our elected officials to review the Bicycle EAP progress. These projects complement the City’s Vision Zero goals and Climate Action Plan.