Last Sunday we held our second Bicycle Clinic in partnership the San Diego Library (Central), Bikes del Pueblo. the SDSU Bike Stand, and San Diego’s newest bike shop, Hub and Spoke. Thanks to all our partners thirty nine bicycles and two walkers were fixed and are all now rolling happily (with their happy owners) somewhere in San Diego.
Below are a few photos from the day. Much thanks to our excellent volunteer Kate for initiating our first program to perfection. Stay tuned for our next bike clinic.
This photo was taken in Copenhagen.
Kudos to National City for installing the first bike boxes in San Diego County. The location of the bike box pictured is located at 18th and Miles of Cars (National City Boulevard), which is simply the nicest possible indication from National City on how they intend to move away from their car-centric past.
If you recall, the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) (that obscure state committee that prescribes “uniform standards and specifications for all official traffic control devices used in California”), previously said a big “no” to all things bike related, including bikes boxes, back in 2010.
It seems like the CTCDC is on the mend in allowing National City implement bike boxes on their city streets.
But what is a bike box?
A bike box is a designated area at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection that provides bicyclists with a safe and visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during the red signal phase.
In the letter to the CTCDC, National City Traffic Engineer Stephen Manganiello wrote, in part (links and emphasis are ours):
As National City is proposing to add approximately 6.5 miles of Class II and Class III bicycle facilities to corridors that do not currently have designated bicycle facilities, drivers will need to adjust to an increase in bicycle activity. As such, improving bicyclist visibility to reduce the risk of bicycle-vehicular collisions is a high priority. These priorities are consistent with the goal of the National City Bicycle Master Plan to create a safe and comprehensive local and regionally connected bikeway network where bicycling is a viable travel choice for users of all abilities.
Bike boxes also improve the safety of road users in many ways, according to a research done by Portland State University.
We aren’t the only ones excited about bike boxes. On instagram, “mannyist” wrote:
“Big high five to #NationalCity! Give them credit because I thought a progressive corridor would have been the first to paint a bike box.”
“They’ve been repainting streets all over and putting roads on diets. It’s great!”
Tony Valdiconza from National City wrote, “it still amazes me!”
There are seven total bike boxes installed in National City. The locations are:
Four years after San Francisco installed their first bike box, San Diego county finally has them. Let’s hope it doesn’t take four years for it to make its way to the city of San Diego!
For all the talk about infrastructure and planning and advocating, we don’t talk much about cultivating the very good habit that is bicycling nor do we talk about its many benefits. But here is a brief discussion of those benefits: once the bicycle is purchased, expenses for transportation become negligible over time. It also happens to save money for the local economy. Then there is also the health benefit, both mental and physical. You’d think that with this cornucopia of good news, everyone everywhere should just be clamoring to get on a bicycle.
Well this weekend you most definitely should, especially if you plan on being anywhere in the vicinity of Hillcrest.
Uptown News’ Morgan Hurley writes,
As a main corridor of Uptown, University Avenue runs approximately 10 miles from La Mesa in East County to Mission Hills, and has long been deemed an unsafe roadway for bicyclists. Until the proposed changes regarding bicycle infrastructure along University Avenue take place, commuters either tough it out or find alternative routes to make their way across town.
With Bike Train, an alternative now exists.
“There is a need for people to feel safe when they are commuting,” Medina said. “We’ve been asked, ‘Why University? Can we go on Howard … or Orange?’ We made a decision; we want to be visible and we want to have the most direct route to get to wherever we need to go instead of going out of our way and feel safe doing so.”
Safety in numbers is the concept that the San Diego Bike Train is implementing, and this is a relationship first articulated in 1949 by Reuben Jacob Smeed. This relationship is now known as Smeed’s Law, now a truism. In 2003, this truism was further detailed in the British Medical Journal in a paper titled “Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling” which concluded,
A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.
Today the Netherlands is exalted for their high percentage of bicycling rates. But the road to a safer and more livable communities came at the cost of many lives lost and a long hard fight to obtain and created dedicated safe spaces for people.
While we work to transform San Diego into a city that allows us all to travel on our roads without fear of bodily harm or death, two women are creating temporary safe places to travel on two wheels along University Avenue. Below is a video that will give you an idea of what to expect and the amount of work needed to change our city’s streescape. For more information or to just jump aboard the train, visit their Facebook page to learn more.