Earlier this week, on Tuesday, San Diego’s City Council unanimously approved the creation of the city’s first Bicycle Advisory Committee. This was a goal that was originally proposed in the 2002 city adopted bike plan, the city’s second plan to accommodate bicycling.
Getting this committee established was one of our goals for our second year of existence (we launched as an organization in 2012). The composition of the committee calls for each Councilmember adopting one appointee and the two appointees made by the Mayor. Districts 4, 6, and 7 do not have a representative yet, so if you live in these neighborhoods now would be a nice time to get to know your elected representatives at City Council.
The current members of this new advisory committee include the following:
The 2050 Regional Transportation Plan is supposed to be a vision for San Diego’s future. The introduction of the RTP has gems like this:
The 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP or the Plan) is the blueprint for a regional transportation system that further enhances our quality of life, promotes sustainability, and offers more mobility options for people and goods.
Last Monday, the update to the 2002 Bicycle Master Plan passed with unanimous support from the City Council. This plan to build an additional 595 miles of bicycle facilities nearly doubles the city’s existing 510 miles* of facilities and further demonstrated our council’s growing commitment to bicycling.
During public comment, two of our proposed requests were included in the motion made by Council Member (and current mayoral candidate) David Alvarez and amended by Council Member Sherri Lightner. Our request to create a Bicycle Advisory Committee to ensure the implementation of the plan was also supported by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC). Our request to remove the Coastal Rail Trail alignments from Rose and Roselle Canyons was not supported by the SDCBC but was supported by the community that this alignment affected: the Friends of Rose Canyon, the University Community Planning Group and Council Member Lightner whose district includes University City. Council Member Lightner spoke to not only preserving the city’s limited remaining open space but to also saving the city the huge financial and environmental expenses of building in Rose and Roselle Canyons – an amendment that was accepted by Alvarez and the rest of the council.
Melissa Garcia, Senior Planner at the City of San Diego, presented the item for council consideration by stating that the goal of the plan was to “create a city where bicycling is a choice.” The goal to promote “environmental quality, public health and recreation and mobility benefits” were also mentioned. The purpose of the plan, Garcia stated, was to “maximize spending choices for implementation.”
When we launched last year, our board voted on a list of seven goals to help guide our advocacy efforts during our first year. We met many of our goals and are working towards or fine-tuning the remainder. We will provide a full update on how our first year transpired along with our annual report. Until then, I want to provide an update on our Goal #5:
Work to increase city funding for bikes from 0.1% of General Fund to 0.9% of General Fund to reflect existing bike mode share. Bike infrastructure, especially good quality bike infrastructure costs money and we’re going to advocate to increase funding in the City’s budget.
First, the good news: in this year’s adopted budget, 3% of the city’s transportation budget will be spent on bikes.