City of San Diego Planning Commission
1222 First Ave, Fifth Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Dear Members of the Planning Commission,
Bike San Diego asks the Planning Commission to reject the Uptown Community Plan Update. While we acknowledge the many years of effort developing the Update, the current version of the plan is inconsistent with the requirements of the City’s Climate Action Plan and therefore should not be approved.
The Climate Action Plan (CAP) calls for a bike mode share of 18% in Uptown by 2035, a significant increase from current levels. However, since the Uptown Community Plan’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) performed no analysis for Vehicle Miles Traveled as required by California SB 743, there are insufficient improvements to bicycle infrastructure necessary to achieve this target. The Uptown Community Plan Update also lacks a single continuous, safe east-west bike route through the entire community. To address this problem, the planned Class IV University Ave cycletrack should be extended west, to at least 1st Ave.
In addition, by only considering automobile Level of Service in the EIR, the resulting autocentric plan lacks the multi-modal infrastructure mitigation necessary to accommodate the growth forecast in the Community Plan Update, or the associated increase in greenhouse gas emissions when residents have no robust alternative to driving.
Finally, the Uptown Community Plan Update reduces the number of allowable residential units by 1900 units from the 1988 Uptown Community Plan. This also conflicts with the City’s CAP requirements of significantly increasing density in Transit Priority Areas to accommodate the growth anticipated by SANDAG and the CAP. Areas with higher population density have higher bike mode share rates.
This November, voters like you will be faced with a decision on SANDAG’s ballot measure, Measure A. SANDAG’s goal: get San Diego County voters to give a blank check to the tune of $18 billion for the agency to ensure that there will be no guarantees of traffic congestion relief, despite the agency’s public relations campaign promising congestion relief.
This past Thursday, the Measure A opponents (of which BikeSD is a member), held a kick-off event to highlight the burden that Measure A would place on San Diego, contrary to SANDAG’s claims.
Below is a KUSI video with a brief description of the ballot measure and the opposition behind it.
For more information on why the ballot measure needs to be defeated (besides the fact that widening existing highways will not reduce traffic congestion) please visit the No on Measure A website.
Given that SANDAG has no problems holding endless community meetings to build a protected bike lanes (of which not a single foot has yet been constructed), there is no reason voters should hand over a blank check to SANDAG to push a 1950s solution to address traffic concerns of the 21st century.
More information about this ballot measure will be forthcoming, but for now, please do tell all your friends and family to: Vote NO on Measure A.
By: Jordan Kohl, BikeSD Member
The San Diego City Council will soon be voting on the Downtown Mobility Plan, which outlines a network of protected bike lanes, pedestrian greenways, curb bulb-outs, road diets, and more. The benefits of this plan are numerous: reduced green house gas emissions, reduced congestion, reduced demand for parking, and increased mobility options for everyone. However the greatest benefit to me is that it will make downtown San Diego a safe place for my daughter to ride her bike.
Just a few years ago I was a complete car fanatic. In a span of five years I owned four different sports cars. Then I got married, had a daughter, turned thirty, and spent six months making a soul-crushing commute from Oceanside to Newport Beach. I was inspired to make a drastic change.
With my mind in that malleable state, I was ripe for the influence of Jane Jacobs, Charles Montgomery, Donald Shoup, and Jeff Speck. I learned about induced demand, the benefits of density, and finally started paying attention to climate change. I learned about Portland and Copenhagen and how bicycling can be made safe with the right infrastructure. From Strong Towns and Andres Duany I learned how suburban sprawl is financially and environmentally unsustainable, isolating, and keeping our children dependent on us for transportation. I want something better for my daughter. During my childhood, I gained vital confidence and independence from walking and biking home from school, by myself. I also learned to appreciate nature, neighbors, and the environment around me; all of which are nearly impossible to enjoy at 40+ MPH in the backseat of an SUV.
After living in a string of suburban homes, my wife and I downsized to one car and traded our fenced yard for a downtown condo. We want to walk to parks, restaurants, and schools. After the DMP passes (hopefully), we’ll also feel safe biking to Balboa Park, the library, and everything else that downtown San Diego and it’s adjacent neighborhoods have to offer.
I’m just as excited for the improvements bike lanes will bring to pedestrians. The streets of downtown are unnecessarily wide, encouraging drivers to speed. By narrowing or replacing traffic lanes with a bike lane and pushing parking away from the sidewalk, it’s going to have a calming affect on traffic and shorten the distance pedestrians have to cross the street.
Safer, calmer streets will attract people, putting more “eyes upon the street”. People already flock to Little Italy for their inviting sidewalks, storefronts, plazas, and markets. This is why the Little Italy Association is willing to close several blocks to cars (including parking) on a weekly basis for the farmer’s market and soon permanently for Piazza Famiglia. Despite my idealogical differences with the LIA, they do an amazing job keeping the streets clean and preserving the character of the neighborhood. Which is why I’m so disappointed by their unwillingness to allow bike lanes through the neighborhood, instead choosing to support street parking over the safety of their residents.
Ultimately, I think the Downtown Mobility Plan will make downtown San Diego a safer and friendlier place for everyone, regardless of their chosen mode of transportation. I have dreams of fearlessly sending my daughter off to school, on her bicycle, to enjoy the neighborhood under her own pedal power.
BikeSD encourages you to support this game changing plan for improve bicycling in downtown San Diego! Meet up at the new Horton Plaza Park at 12:30pm on June 21, 2016. We will have a pre ride rally and then ride through downtown before arriving at City Council for 2pm meeting.
Kick off summer and celebrate the end of Bike Month with BikeSD at the Lafayette Hotel with a massive pool party following an easy townie ride. The annual Bike Month Bash will take place on June 4th, 2016, rain or shine, starting and finishing once again at The Lafayette Hotel in North Park, San Diego. Riders will have the opportunity to enjoy the complete Lafayette Hotel experience. The 15-mile ride will take riders through the historic neighborhoods of North Park, Hillcrest, Normal Heights & City Heights. Register online through June 2nd.
Wanna know why you should attend? Here is a personal story from member/volunteer Aire H. Thank you Aire for sharing your experience from last year’s ride.
When I first saw BikeSD’s Bike Month Bash last year, my first thought was, “Sign me up!” I was looking for a way to meet people who shared my interests and a fifteen-mile bike ride with a pool party afterwards seemed like the perfect opportunity to make some friends. So, I decided to volunteer for Bike Bash 2015. On the ride, I got to follow up with other riders, asking them about their experience riding bikes and riding in San Diego. Many were riding bikes for the first time in years and some had come with their friends from as far away as LA, while others like me had come in the hopes of making friends. We had time to talk and get to know each other without working too hard. Afterwards, the group enjoyed amazing drinks and food poolside at the Lafayette Hotel and while I definitely left with some new friends, I also left with an understanding of the need for bike lanes—not every cyclist gets to ride with 80 friends or can take the lane to stay safe.
By: Mana Monzavi, Board Treasurer
Bike San Diego
I’m not a bike enthusiast. It may seem strange that someone like me is an avid supporter of BikeSD. But it actually makes perfect sense. I own a bike (although I’m mostly too scared to ride it around). I also live in a walkable neighborhood (North Park) and drive a car. About 6 months ago, I joined the board of BikeSD because I believe in the greater vision of this organization. We all want safer streets, a better quality of life, and the freedom to choose our own mode of transportation.
San Diego, along with the rest of southern California, is a largely car-centric region. Public transportation and infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians are secondary notions. Our current infrastructure makes it difficult and unsafe to choose alternate modes for moving around this city.
Think about the streets in your neighborhood. Which ones do you think are safe or unsafe?
Three of the eight most dangerous streets in San Diego are in my neighborhood. I travel them almost every day.
One of the initiatives for Bike SD in 2016 is the recently passed Vision Zero Campaign. The main goal of this city initiative is to lower traffic-related deaths to zero by 2025. Saving lives and making our streets safer includes safety for bicyclist and pedestrians. This is a common goal that we all share, whether we are bike enthusiasts or not.
So I’ve decided to put all my extra energy and free time into helping BikeSD accomplish its goals to make San Diego safer for us all. But we need your help. Running an effective advocacy organization costs money and every little bit helps. Please take a moment to make a contribution of $5, $50, $500, or any amount that makes sense for your budget. We are currently in the middle of a major fundraising campaign with the goal of $25,000. Please help us make San Diego a great place to live for everyone.