If any of you were complaining about the lack of love for bicycle facilities on the north side of Montezuma Road, rest easy. Robert Craddick sent in photo documentation of the newer wider bike lanes complete with painted buffers that went in earlier this month.
Have you had a chance to check these new bike lanes out? What did you think?
Craddick offered this comment: “Really nice job!”
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.
This morning, on Bike to Work Day, we learned that the eastbound (from Fairmount Avenue to Collwood Boulevard) side got the Genovese Treatment.
“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.
Tonight’s College Area Community Council meeting has an item on its agenda that is of importance to us: city staff will be making a presentation about their plan for early action striping modifications on Montezuma Road to improve bicycle safety along the corridor from Fairmount Avenue to El Cajon Blvd.
The presentation will be at the College/Rolando Public Library located at 6600 Montezuma Road, San Diego, CA, 92115 and the meeting is scheduled to begin at 7pm.
We’re hoping that today’s presentation has taken the recommendations made by the College Area Community Council and our supporters from last November into consideration.