Will Councilmember Ward Prevent Additional Delays and New Holes to the Uptown Bikeway Project?

UPDATE: After subsequent conversations with SANDAG, Councilmember Chris Ward has committed his support to the original construction phasing.   This will allow the entire protected bikeways on 4th and 5th Ave to be completed as planned.  Construction of this segment is planned to start in 2018.    BikeSD would like to thank Councilmember Ward for the continued support of Uptown Bikeways.

Recently we learned that Councilmember Chris Ward had made a request to delay the protected bicycle lane on Fifth Ave between University and Washington from the 1st construction phase to the 3rd construction phase in the Uptown Bikeway project. This would delay the implementation by 3 years. BikeSD Executive Director Sam Ollinger and Board President Jeff Kucharski met with Councilmember Ward and his staff earlier this week to discuss this issue. BikeSD asked for Councilmember Ward to reconsider his request. Below is the follow-up email to his office summarizing our meeting and discussion.  

Dear Councilmember Ward and Ms. Bailey,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with representatives of BikeSD. As we discussed we wanted to follow up with you over email on a few items:

  1. Since the Uptown Bikeway is part of the Early Action Projects that the SANDAG committed to completing within 10 years when they voted to adopt the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan back in 2011, it is important that no additional delays or gaps be created in the network. The project has had both unprecedented community outreach and feedback (>100 stakeholder meetings). It received environmental clearance in July 2016. Any further delays or gaps in the network will only delay the project’s construction and establish a terrible precedent for future bikeway projects in the region.

  2. Fourth
    Fourth and Fifth Avenue Proposed Alignments. Image source: SANDAG

    Here is a map showing the construction phasing of the Uptown Bikeway project. As we mentioned in person, delaying the Fifth Avenue segment between Washington Avenue and University Avenue is both unacceptable and unnecessary since it will create a break in the protected bikeway network. The Fourth and Fifth Avenue segments are protected bikeways as you will see here. The planned 3rd phase along Bachmann Place is different style  facility than the Fourth & Fifth protected bike lanes.  As the planned bikeway will rely on sharrows northbound from Washington to Lewis, no purpose will be served by delaying a single section of Fifth ave protected bike lane. Based on SANDAG program budget, the Third phase construction would not begin until 2021, 3 years after the Fourth & Fifth segments’ construction began.

  3. Councilmember Ward, as an urban planner, you know the critical importance of mobility and urban development as key tools to attaining the goals the City Council committed to when it adopted the Climate Action Plan. SANDAG’s own projections show increased population growth in District 3 and the time to ensure the implementation of a contiguous and safe bikeway network in District 3 is now.
  4. Finally we do want to express our thanks about the good news in the new bike lanes that will be striped along India, Redwood, and Jackson Drive. If you have additional information about the dates when they will be ready – we would love to write about it on the BikeSD blog.

Thank you.  Please feel free to contact us.


Jeff Kucharski, Board Chair, BikeSD

Sam Ollinger, Executive Director, BikeSD

Please help us fight the good fight and sign up to volunteer for the upcoming Bikes and Beer ride on April 8th! We need ride leaders and help at registration. Thank you!