Photos from Bike to Work Day 2016

Friday was San Diego's Bike to Work Day, the single-day, annual outreach effort by our regional planing agency, SANDAG, to encourage San Diegans to try commuting by bicycle. This year, SANDAG definitely tried to go all out. Billboards advertising Bike to Work Day were spotted throughout the county. Here are some photos I took at the pitstop we hosted at 28th and B Street. Much thanks to my board member John Anderson for his effort and enthusiasm all morning. Here are a few photos from the day taken at 28th and B Street.

Bike to School (5/20/2016)
You can bike your kids to school before biking to work.
Bike to School (5/20/2016)
The Blacksons rode their daughter to school before heading to work.

Bike to Work (5/20/2016)
One of the people who biked to work on Friday.

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One of the people who biked to work on Friday.

Bike to Work 5/20/2016
One of the people who biked to work on Friday.

One of the people who biked to work on Friday.

Bike to Work 5/20/2016
One of the people who biked to work on Friday.

Special acknowledgement to one of our supporters, Evan Schumacher who not only biked to work, but rode his son to daycare first prior to riding to work. Parents are definitely super heroes.

There are benefits to have an annual day to promote an activity that very few attempt on a regular basis in San Diego, but these benefits can be exponentially increased when the facilitation becomes part and parcel of our streetscape. While the city has made moves in striping more bike lanes, alongside road diets throughout the city - much more needs to be done.

If you're having fun riding to work and everywhere else this month, come celebrate Bike Month on June 4th and become part of the change that is shaping San Diego to be a safer more livable city.

Bringing more "eyes on the street": Horton Plaza Park Opens

Yesterday would have been Jane Jacob's 100th birthday. This famed visionary known for her book, Life and Death of Great American Cities, is also equally famous for having fought against the building of an expressway that would have destroyed her Greenwich Village neighborhood. At the heart of her message is just this simple idea - to prioritize people first. Nnot too radical of a concept considering BikeSD's own mission.

Even Google paused its march toward for driverless cars to honor Jacobs yesterday:

Thus yesterday was a fitting tribute to open a new public space in San Diego, the Horton Plaza Park.

Our local placeshaker, Howard Blackson, took some great photos showcasing the new park downtown:

More people outside the automobile contributes to not just a more livable space, but one that is safe as well. I'd like to quote a bit from this article published last year on The City Fix:

Urban security is not simply a matter of policing: it is directly related to the quality of public spaces and their ability to attract people onto the streets.

Public spaces, like people, are not islands, isolated from the surrounding environment. Public spaces are connected to collective identity, everyday life, and the ways that we interact and meet one another. Cities gain their vitality from their residents—beyond the walls of buildings and in public spaces at the essence of urban life.

Pushing policies and agendas to keep people isolated from one another, whether it be through expanding more highways to induce more driving, or advocating for more vehicle parking on our most valuable public spaces - our city streets - is the antithesis of city living and ultimately contributes toward an unsafe environment. More public spaces and more bike lanes all contribute toward a better city and a better quality of life for everyone. Pretty nice to see that downtown is continuing to enable "more eyes on the street".

News, Links, and Other Views

Much better use of SANDAG's PR dollars. Save the date: May 20th, is Bike to Work Day.

Happy Monday! Time to check in and see what bicycling news has happened since the last edition of, News, Links, and Other Views.

San Diego

San Diego County

  • Bicycle riders and pedestrians are the eyes and ears on our streets. More people outside the motor vehicle keeps everyone safe as this story illustrates, Carlsbad mom reunites with cyclist who saved her life.
  • Climate change denialism exists in San Diego County.
  • Bike corrals are coming to Leucadia.
  • Carlsbad's leaders envision a bright future for their city which includes building a parking garage.
  • After a 12 year old boy was killed after riding his bike to school, Oceanside City Council voted, after resident pressure, to widen bike lanes on Coast Highway. The pressure has resulted in a pilot project that is move in the right direction.
  • Construction for the Bikeway Village in Imperial Beach has begun. It's a development along the Bayshore Bikeway.
  • Anti-bike residents protested the construction of a multi-use path that would connect Cardiff and Encinitas.
  • If you want to ride north of Oceanside and don't want to ride on the I-5 shoulder, barriers to riding through Camp Pendelton has gotten more stringent, because...of "incidents around the world." In order to ride through the base, you have to "register and undergo the background check. Once approved, the bicyclist’s registration will be good for one year". Contact the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition if you want to have this rule changed.
  • In Coronado, like in the city of San Diego, bike baits are being used to nab bike thieves.
  • La Mesa is en route to creating a network of 22.1 miles of trails for bicycling and walking.
  • A ‘Complete street’ project is behind schedule in San Marcos.



Foto Friday: If you build bicycle infrastructure, they will like it

It's been a while since we posted anything under the "Foto Friday" category, but some of you miss it so hopefully this will be back in regular rotation again.

From the People for Bikes blog, good news about the Calgary bike lane network - which isn't too dissimilar from what's being proposed as part of the Downtown Mobility Plan here in San Diego.

The city of Calgary, "piloted a connected downtown network of low-stress bike routes all at once."

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Calgary’s quick-build protected bike lane network doubled bike counts in three months - PFB

the results have been large and almost immediate. Weekday bike counts on the affected corridors soared 95 percent in September 2015, three months after the network opened, compared to the year before. The proportion of those riders who were female jumped from 20 percent to 27 percent, and younger people are reportedly riding downtown more, too.

They say, women are an indicator species for a bicycle friendly city and so Calgary seems to be moving along to becoming a bicycle friendly city.

And to think that the bike network almost didn't come to fruition:

Despite a very close city council vote to create the network, once the public saw it in action, 64 percent decided they approve.

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Image via People for Bikes

And on this cold and somewhat rainy day here in San Diego, perhaps we can appreciate the woman in the photo above riding on Calgary's (still new) protected bike lane network and imagine how neat it would be if we could get that here too.

Throwback Thursday: San Diego Has Moved Forward Since 2012

2012 Die-in after David Ortiz was killed. Photo: Randy Van Vleck

Back in 2012, the city of San Diego was resistant to almost any progressive bike infrastructure. While the goal of BikeSD is to make San Diego a world-class city for bicycling by advocating for safer streets for everyone—via the implementation of protected bike lanes on main arterials alongside plenty of traffic calming—getting to this bicycling nirvana is clearly not a straight shot. For one, who could have predicted how annoying the mysterious parking lobby* would become? Or even the fact that a statewide environmental law would create a hurdle for putting down some paint.

In 2012, effective bike advocacy was still in its nascent stages. But a group of us wanted to be bold.

One of the demands leading up to the die-in, held in April of 2012, was for the city of San Diego to become a member city of NACTO, the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

"We are calling on the city to immediately adopt guidelines developed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). These progressive bicycle infrastructure designs strongly contribute to both perceived and actual safety for the cyclists using them."

Miracle of miracles, the city of San Diego actually became a member city of NACTO. And since then, the city has done plenty more, implementing road diets through out the city, and even striping across intersections. Yes, green paint on asphalt is very exciting to some of us: it's a little space for bicycle riders to travel safely without worrying about a honking driver too impatient to figure out how to safely pass or co-exist peacefully in a public space. There is still lots to be done, more hard hearts to melt, more parking fanatics to hug it out with (or drink a beer with). But it's certainly nice to see some progress in this city. It's just shameful that it had to come at the cost of actual lives lost—lives that could have easily been saved.

Striped intersection across Voltaire in Ocean Beach. Photo: Nicole Burgess.


*Yes, I am absolutely being facetious in highlighting a non-existent lobby group, the parking lobby. But I never fail to marvel at the fact that nothing motivates otherwise sane San Diegans to turn into frothing rabid angry individuals than the idea that our largest public asset, our streets, ought to benefit all road users instead of a single group: drivers.