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.
Tomorrow marks the third installment in SANDAG’s series of North Park – Mid-City Regional Bike Corridor Project Community Advisory Group meetings. According to Bridget Enderle, Associate Active Transportation Planner at SANDAG “The focus of this third meeting will be to review the alignment study results and to discuss the benefits, challenges, and other considerations related to each of the alignment options.” During the past meetings, three main corridors were presented as options: Meade Ave, Howard Ave/Orange Ave and Landis St/Wightman St.
As we have reported previously, cycle tracks on El Cajon Blvd have not appeared to be of much interest to SANDAG officials involved in the project, regardless of the overwhelming vocal support they have garnered at the meetings. The main discussion by project leaders has revolved around neighborhood greenways that push bikes off to the side streets. One of the main project goals claims to be “to provide DIRECT ACCESS to schools, transit, community destinations, and commercial centers”. With this stated goal, it would make sense to provide cycling facilities along a major corridor with actual destinations, rather than directing bikes through residential areas.
Here at BikeSD we are pushing for “great” facilities, not just “good enough”. If you love cycling and want to see San Diego progress as a world class cycling city, come out tomorrow and let your voice be heard. Help us fight to transform San Diego into the world’s best city for bicycling!
Montezuma Road stands as something of a poster child for failure: it is a city road linking the thick populations and work centers of College Area, Rolando, parts of City Heights, La Mesa and beyond with Mission Valley and points west and north. Yet, it has wide lanes, high speeds, and a general layout that seems to forget that fleshy humans inhabit the city and that pedestrians and bicycle riders might also use this important route.
The Active Transportation Manager at the City Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC), Randy Van Vleck, sent out an email yesterday stating that the bike lanes on 54th Street had been upgraded with green paint.
The standard bike lane was upgraded with green treatments to alert bicyclists and motorists of the conflict point on the north-west corner of the 54th St & Uni Ave intersection. The treatment also includes bike lane dashes in the conflict point and a “Yield To Bikes” sign with an image of a green bike lane; the first of its kind in San Diego.
The green bike lane was installed by the City last week in response to City Heights CDC’s request on behalf of the City Heights Built Environment Team (BET); a group of residents advocating for a health-supportive built environment. Residents and BET members have been raising the profile on the need for improved safety at this intersection for 2 ½ years. We’d like to thank the following folks for the great work they’ve done to make this intersection a priority:
“Montezuma between Fairmount and El Cajon looks like a freeway and drives like a freeway for the western segment.” That was the description Brian Genovese, City of San Diego’s Senior Traffic Engineer for the Multimodal Program gave at last Wednesday’s College Area Community Council meeting. Unfortunately, that’s the way it may remain if other members of the Multimodal Program decide to stick with their track record of upholding the status quo. As he pointed out, the City of San Diego Bicycle Master Plan designates a Class II Facility along Montezuma which, by current standards, already exists.
Nonetheless, the crash data from 1999 – 2012 presented at the meeting confirmed what the audience was already aware of: Montezuma Road is not safe. BikeSD representatives, the CCAC, various members of the community and Brian Genovese himself all agreed that the current state of Montezuma is unacceptable. The biggest problem was identified as speed of motor vehicles.
When Genovese’s division tried an experimental approach to creating a safer cycling environment by installing a green painted section along Montezuma leading to the intersection with Collwood, many were excited to see this use of innovative new treatments. However, after four months of mounting opposition from within the City’s Traffic Engineering Section, much of the paint was removed. This defeat is representative of the current disaccord among engineers in the Multimodal Division. The Division at present lacks any type of consensus on a forward-thinking, broad-based progressive approach to dealing with capital improvement projects and instead adheres to a myopic view of individual endeavors.