Road closed to thru traffic sign with bicycles

District 9 Seeks Community Input for SlowStreets By May 1 Support Safer Places for People to Walk and Ride

ACTION ITEM Please fill out this form by May 1 if you live or ride in City Council District 9

Road closed to thru traffic sign with bicyclesCouncil District 9 Slow Streets Input Form

Council President Gomez would like to find out from our D9 neighborhoods, planning groups, business districts and advocates thoughts and ideas for bringing the slow streets movement to District 9. She would like your feedback as we consider this initiative. Please provide your feedback by May 1, 2020. If you have questions, please contact Lara Gates, Deputy Chief of Staff, at lgates@sandiego.gov

Click here: INPUT FORM FOR D9 SLOW STREETS

Just to note, under this initiative, these streets would not be closed to emergency vehicles or local traffic that must use these streets to access a final destination and would not affect transit routes.

Adam's cargo bike with a keg strapped to the rear.

Local Cargo by Adam Deutsch

These are days where I think about how many post-apocalyptic narratives neglect the bicycle. We’re not at the end of world, but my motivation to bike came from the sense that driving made other activities almost impossible. How many times have we wanted to be sitting with friends over food and beer in the neighborhood, but can’t get there because there isn’t any place to park? When I lived in North Park, I figured I’d just stop off at Urbn for a little work-gathering, and circled for so long that I looked up to see I was two blocks away from my place at Texas and Lincoln. After that, it became clear to me that the only way to get around San Diego was by bike. It’s an idea I’ve kept with me for almost a decade, mostly riding if I didn’t have to crank up hills north of the 8.

Earlier this year, I decided to expand that geographical limit, riding from Normal Heights down El Cajon Blvd to either 70th or Baltimore, then heading north to my job at Grossmont College. A cargo bike (a Boda Boda by Yuba) makes this possible. I can ride 10ish miles in under an hour, and not be pouring sweat from the 276 ft. climb. I’ve been doing this about 4 times a week since January; the cargo also helped me accommodate biking with a growing toddler, and as he gets heavier, so does my imagination about what can be done with a bike in San Diego. A basket or paneer easily fit a bit of beer, but what about a 5 gallon keg?

Another factor, beyond a rebellion against parking frustration, has always been the awareness that the venture has been ecologically friendly, and I think about that in terms of beer, too. Getting beer in a keg (if one has the privilege of space and time to tinker with a carbonation system) is the most cost effective and ecologically friendly way to have beer—if you don’t mind pouring the same thing for 40 pints. Two weeks into the pandemic, the keg kicked. I hadn’t been this excited since the last time I was able to order a pizza at BLAH. I decided to bike the empty back up to a brewery in Miramar, and return with a full one. It did not happen that way.

If it’s not on social media, it doesn’t happen (right?) so I put up a quick post that I was excited to bike 15 miles with an empty keg (about 16.5 lbs) and come back with a full one (weighing in at just under 60). I wanted the adventure of trying it for the first time, and the bragging rights to say “Yeah, I bike 30 miles with kegs,” and thought of that while I aired up the fat double-wall tires, and got replies from friends: “Why did I have to go that far?” “There are like 50 breweries between Normal Heights and Miramar,” and “Why not something local?” I was going up there because that’s where I’d always gone. There’s lots of beer in between, but not all those places make kegs available to people (much less in 5 gallons). And, really, I just didn’t know that there were local options.

Also, I started to wonder (as I bungied the empty shell to the aluminum sideloaders) what does local mean to me?

Part of the resolve to ride a bike means reevaluating how we look at our city. It means thinking of new terms for how we understand distance and terrain. A drive all the way downtown becomes a 3 mile ride, mostly downhill on the way there; the freeway to OB is more of a quiet ride through Mission Hills to the path (when the paths and trails are open, that is). If I can commute to work 20 miles, surely I could also move my beer 30, in the smooth shoulder bike lane of Kearny Villa Rd. But this question of local raised some points I couldn’t ignore.

First, even a leisurely ride on a bike that weights 20 lbs instead of 60 cuts about two hours out of a day, and it’s a tall order to ask a partner to stay at home with a small child while I go out and ride my bike; it’s also possible to carry the kid along for the ride, but what’s great exercise for us is really just sitting in a chair for them. I couldn’t make this a habit, taking a ride like this every month or two (depending on how much we’re sipping at home). Another point is that Miramar, though possible and a really beautiful ride at parts, simply isn’t local. Also, I need to be honest about my own abilities and ignorance: riding with a full 5 gallon keg is a lot of weight, even on a bike designed to carry it. Bungie cords and tow straps give confidence, but I wasn’t sure it was

really wise to take on a challenge like 15 miles when I never even rode that far with my much-lighter child. Again, we stay local. That means maybe 5-10 miles, and that high end is pushing it.

I ran all this by my father in-law, who loves a long ride up to places like Torrey Pines or out to Santee. Marty’s the ideal riding partner: he’s not trying to break any records, is excited for the challenging new route, and is always happy to cheers when we arrive! He came with me, and we decided that if something went wrong, he didn’t want a torpedo making som

ething like a roadside flat repair more complicated (we attempted a ride up to Mira Mesa a couple of years ago, and popping a spoke on Black Mountain Rd. really killed that whole flow).

I also got some tips on local options I’d never known about, so the plan changed. A car is not necessary to get around the region, and we had a blast bringing the empty back up, but decided to return home with a few crowler cans instead of the full 1/6 barrel. But we didn’t head straight home; instead, we made it back to Uptown (via Texas, which is no longer impressive once the pedal assist is engaged), and went to a new spot on El Cajon Blvd. Just 1.3 miles from my place, I figured the ride was over.

Cargo bike with beer keg
Turns out a full 5 gallon keg on the sideloader isn’t a good idea.

It was not.

Turns out a full 5 gallon keg on the sideloader isn’t a good idea. I thought the lower position would make it easier, but it was a precarious few blocks. A keg is not a bag of groceries (which have also thrown me off, especially if you’re loading up and unlocked on a hill in a parking lot). No big deal. We repositioned it on the middle rack, and a couple walking their dog gasped, “He’s got a keg!” when I crossed Oregon on Madison.

I’ll do this again. If the ride is local, anything’s possible.

The next plan: a bag of chicken feed…

Adam Deutsch is the publisher at Cooper Dillon Books, and has work recently or forthcoming in Poetry International, Thrush, The Cossack Review, Ping Pong, and Typo, and has a chapbook called Carry On (Elegies). He is an English professor at Grossmont College and lives in San Diego, CA.


A Quick Look at FY 2019 City Council Budget Priorities

Council district mapSan Diego City Councilmembers submitted their priorities to the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) in January 2019 and the IBA created a report which can be seen here: https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/18_01_fy_2019_city_council_budget_priorities_complete_report.pdf

From the report:

"All Councilmembers indicated that support for the Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a priority in FY 2019, although no single-CAP related item was supported by a majority of Councilmembers. Budget priority memoranda included requests for adaptive traffic signals intended to ease congestion; additional staffing for the City’s Urban Forestry Program, Vision Zero program, and other CAP-related activities; a Community Choice Energy local buildout study; a mobility monitoring program to measure bicycle, pedestrian, and transit mode share; and the addition of CAP social equity metrics."

City Council budget priorities 2019

BikeSD is pleased that all Council members supported programs related to City’s Climate Action Plan and public safety including Vision Zero. But we continue to see a lack of clear direction with regard to exactly what projects should be prioritized. BikeSD Executive Director Judi Tentor spoke in favor of the Budget Priorities and encouraged Council to accelerate bicycle infrastructure projects as much as possible.

Councilmember Scott Sherman from the Seventh District was the only Councilmember who did not call out Pedestrian and Cycling Safety as a priority. All other Councilmembers cited many bicycle related infrastructure projects.

Eight Councilmembers prioritized projects in their memoranda designed to enhance pedestrian and cycling safety. A variety of requests were made as part of this priority including:

  • Prioritizing funding for infrastructure improvements in the corridors identified as part of Vision Zero, especially the “Fatal 15” intersections
  • Initiating traffic calming measures such as raised delineators or electronic (VCalm) signs
  • Installing rectangular rapid flashing beacons, crosswalks, and constructing Safe Routes to Schools program improvements

This is good news. BikeSD will be reviewing bicycle infrastructure projects outlined in the report in the coming weeks. If we can hold the the Council to account on these projects, push for funding and accelerated timelines, we might come close to meeting our CAP goals for bicycle mode share. Maybe.


Biker on Pacific Highway

BikeSD Supports Your Journey by Bike

Bicycling can change the lives of people in San Diego by providing affordable and sustainable urban transportation. The number of communities benefiting from this form of transportation is growing every day, but we still have a lot to do before reaching our goal of providing safe and comfortable bicycle infrastructure in San Diego neighborhoods.

We are an organization of advocates and visionaries who bring varying backgrounds, ideas, and points of view to the work of making San Diego a world class bicycling city. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, religion, race or culture, we are committed to fairness, dignity, and respect for all who ride bicycles.

In that spirit, BikeSD is proudly riding in the Pride Parade to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible strides the LGBTQ community has made toward equality and in recognition of the work that is still continuing. BikeSD stands with those who are fighting for diversity and inclusion not just today, but all year round. No matter how you choose to identify or the path you are on, BikeSD supports your journey and will ride with you.


Inclusivity, Resilience, and Bicycles

Bicycling Research and Social Justice

Women, Trans, and Femmes bicyclists were reassured regarding their place in the bicycling community last week at the San Diego Regional Bike Summit. Ringing in day one of the San Diego Regional Bike Summit, keynote speaker Adonia Lugo, author of Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance led attendees on a journey through culture and mobility in Los Angeles. Lugo has spearheaded multiple projects across the nation, including but not limited to: advocating cycling for people of color and different socioeconomic backgrounds, strategizing multilayer approaches to urbanism with communities, and providing research so that “we create bridges between different bikers.” Her compelling concept of focusing on ‘core riders’ was one that opened discussions between attendees. Borrowing the term from the transit advocacy field, core riders “...are known to be the more frequent and regular users of transit. Such regular users make up most of transit usage. Transit planners should focus on core riders and those considered potential riders.” She continued to discuss that core riders also comprise those bicyclists that aren’t necessarily active in bicycle advocacy but need representation too. The concept of core bicycle riders is crucial to advocacy since they are the most prevalent users.

Check her out at urbanadonia.com for more information on her research background and ongoing work.

Adonia Lugo also co-authored The New Movement Bike Equity Today.

Resilience on Wheels

The theme of representation for core riders continued at the "Resilience on Wheels" session. Four advocates discussed their sense of place on the streets, representing different generations, ethnicities, and gender identities.

Tez de la Tierra discussed their educational classes as a means to use biking ‘as a tool of liberation’ through QTIBIPOC Spirit Bike Tours/Rides in the LA and San Diego areas. They highlighted the strong connection that biking provides with mother earth by experiencing the complexity of landscapes in detail and being able to create strategies to heal from oppression. Sharing their journey with others provides resources to persons who might not have the courage to jump on a bike and cruise.

Karissa Bo Bissa is a local artisan and a member of the SheWolves for over four years. Her story was one that focused on the importance of community and inclusivity that allows women/trans/femmes to feel comfortable bicycling on the streets. Being a SheWolf, she now experiences no boundaries on where she can take her body and bike. Check out SheWolves Facebook Page or Website to see upcoming rides.

Cresencia Garibo is a living example that ‘el querer es poder’ (to want is the power to be able to), learning to ride a bike at 62 years young! Growing up in Mexico she would rarely see women biking since riding a bike was considered to be only for men. She dreamt of learning to ride a bike from a young age and her desire never receded. She now uses bicycling as a therapeutic release.

These speakers bear witness to how much more work needs to be done by bicycle advocacy and transportation justice organizations in the area of gender and diversity equity. It is important for people who have been oppressed to be able to use public spaces, including the street space and have active mobility choices because that is what makes urban life great. By supporting one another and physically showing up, new opportunities will become accessible for women, trans, and others who have not felt the courage to do so by themselves. A successful bike system would provide equal resources and inclusivity to those of different types of backgrounds. A diverse community can provide a wide range of ideas and topics to ultimately understand what a comprehensive system for all would be.

Women/trans/femmes are underrepresented in active mobility and public space, but the San Diego Regional Bike Summit beautifully highlighted the presence that does exist in the community, research, and grassroot movements.

BikeSD continues to celebrate diversity and community by Biking With Pride in this year's The Parade - San Diego LGBT Pride

Date: July 14, 2018. Time: 11:00 am. Locations: The parade begins at the Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Ave. 
For more information on riding with us in the parade, email talk@bikesd.org