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Posted on: August 26, 2009 Posted by: Bike San Diego Comments: 3

Editorial: Don’t Be a Mass-Hole This Friday

The last Friday of every month is Critical Mass, an event in which thousands of bicyclists in cities around the world demonstrate their right to the roads. San Diego’s Mass has grown substantially within the last year or so, typically topping 1,000 riders each month. With so many riders, there are bound to be a few who go off-message, or who show up to do something other than advocate for equal rights to the road. Unfortunately, a small subset of the riders who attend each month have temporarily succeeded in turning our local Critical Mass away from its positive agenda, and into something more like a raucous fratboy booze-cruise.

Perhaps this situation has evolved because there has not been a clear, positive concept of bicycle culture in San Diego to help shape the atmosphere of the ride. Some riders seem to arrive with a chip on their shoulders, angry at cars and drivers, and determined to “fuck things up” for everyone. This is not the goal of Critical Mass. Instead of yelling or laughing at drivers who have been stopped by the Mass, we should be smiling and waving. Instead of trying to intimidate drivers, we should be thanking them for their patience and assuring them that they will be on their way again soon. It’s not yielding the important message of bicyclists’ rights to be polite to drivers, it’s just common decency.

Thuggery by bicyclists is not a valid response to thuggery by drivers. Sure, we all have our laundry list of wrongs done to us by inconsiderate motorists. We’ve been doored, turned into, pushed over, yelled at, honked at, and flipped off, but if we turn around and repeat these behaviors on the last Friday of every month, we do nothing to increase the positive perception of bicycling in our community. Indeed, acting like a Mass-hole increases the danger for every San Diego bicyclist, who may become the victims of an irate driver’s misplaced, Mass-induced rage the next day or the next week. Critical Mass is about activism and advocacy, not animosity and anger. So, be an ambassador for bicycling in San Diego this Friday, and don’t be a Mass-hole.

Posted on: August 25, 2009 Posted by: Bike San Diego Comments: 0

Bicycle Funding

Have you ever wondered how bicycling projects get funded in the San Diego area? Most of the funding for bicycling projects in San Diego come from the TransNet program.

The TransNet program is a state program created by a one-half cent sales tax which funds transportation improvement programs in California. Between 2008-2048, about $14 billion is expected to be distributed among highway, transit, and local road projects to reduce traffic congestion in San Diego County. In San Diego County, SANDAG (comprised of 18 area cities) administers these funds generated by the TransNet program. The program is set to expire in 2048. During the period 2008-2048, $0.28 billion will be spent on Bike and Pedestrian programs. In comparison, major highway & transit projects will get $4.67 billion.

For Fiscal Year 2010, $8.0 million is available for allocation toward non-motorized transportation projects in the San Diego area. Besides various studies that will be conducted to evaluate the feasibility of constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, some of the funding will go toward the installation of bicycle loop detectors in Districts 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8.

Posted on: August 25, 2009 Posted by: Bike San Diego Comments: 1

9th Annual Bicycle Film Festival is coming to San Diego

The 9th Annual Bicycle Film Festival is coming to San Diego for the first time. The kickoff party begins on September 4th at the Kensington Club (4079 Adams Ave) at 8PM.

From their press release:

Join us for two days of films, parties, Goldsprints and fun. On Friday, September 4, please join us for Goldsprints at The Kensington Club, hosted by Adams Avenue Bicycles, to kick off the BFF in San Diego. Saturday, September 5, the screenings take place at The Museum of Photographic Arts. Film highlights include Where Are You Go, where directors Benny Zenga and Brian Vernor spend four months on the Tour d’Afrique riding from Cairo to Capetown, documenting their experiences and interactions with the people they meet along the way; the BMX documentary I Love My Bicycle: The Story of FBM Bikes directed by Joe Stakun; and Anima D’Acciaio, where “Ciocc” shares his wisdom and life story while hand building a revolutionary new frame for urban fixed gear cycling, directed by Daniel Leeb. Following the films, we head to the Whistle Stop Bar for the closing event.

Posted on: August 24, 2009 Posted by: Bike San Diego Comments: 0

City Projects Cropping Up

If you have been riding, walking, or driving on San Diego streets within the last two weeks, you have probably noticed some additional roadway construction. The results of a $102.7 million bond are coming to fruition across the city as crews get to work on a list of city council-approved projects, including resurfacing 120 miles of streets.

Bike San Diego noticed this morning that the wretched stretch of Maryland Street between Meade and Lincoln has been resurfaced. The lines have not yet been painted, but we can assume the bike lane will reappear there shortly. This is particularly handy for riders traveling between University Heights and Hillcrest, as they now have a smoother and safer ride down Maryland to Lincoln and the Vermont Street pedestrian bridge over Washington Street, rather than negotiating the often-hazardous intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Washington Street.

Noticed any other projects that are having an impact, either positive or negative, on bicycling in the San Diego metro area? Leave a note in the comments, or send us a tip.

Posted on: August 23, 2009 Posted by: Bike San Diego Comments: 0

Public Meeting on Transportation Alternatives in Chula Vista

On August 25, 2009, the City of Chula Vista, Caltrans, and SANDAG will hold a public meeting “to learn about our study to examine long-range transportation projects and services to improve bicycle, bus, freeway, freight, local street, pedestrian and Trolley travel,” in the City of Chula Vista.

The meeting will be held at 276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA. The flyer for the event is here