Woman biking in downtown San Diego

Downtown Mobility Plan: A Reason to Love San Diego in 2016

Biking by the beach
Biking in San Diego could be so much better. Photo: Flickr/Nathan Rupert

Some of you may have heard the news about the Downtown Mobility Plan, and UrbDezine has a short summary about the plan. NextCity had a great writeup about it and Damien Newton was kind enough to chat with me about the plan, tentatively scheduled for adoption by City Council in May this year. Public comments were due last Friday, and you can review our letter here.

The Downtown Mobility Plan is a result of a Settlement Agreement between Save Our Forest and Ranchlands  and Civic San Diego's predecessor (Center City Development Corporation) and related parties. Despite, or perhaps inspite of, the legal background, Civic San Diego has delivered on an excellent plan for re-envisioning downtown San Diego's streets to offer residents and visitors alike a way to get around without being forced to drive.

Yet, there will be challenges ahead prior to council adoption. The Little Italy Association has voiced opposition to the plan on account of potentially (as in, maybe) losing 50 vehicle parking spaces, despite the existence of a brand-new, shiny, taxpayer funded parking garage that was opened last year and approximately 65,000 parking spaces available within the 2 square mile radius that is downtown San Diego. As Hillcrest learned, vehicle parking is not a primary factor to business vitality or success. There is ample research demonstrating that converting street parking into bike lanes are good for business. Hopefully the individuals heading Little Italy Association come around and become champions for the Downtown Mobility Plan.



Bankers Hills/Park West Community Association Voluntarily Dismisses their Lawsuit over Fourth and Fifth Avenue Bike Lanes

Happy people riding on Fifth Avenue buffered bike lanes. Photo: Beth Peralta-Reed

Good news: Leo Wilson who (through Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association) sued the city of San Diego in December 2014 over the buffered bike lanes on Fourth and Fifth Avenues, has voluntarily dismissed their own lawsuit.

The exciting proof is below.20160314143946778-1.

Did Wilson have a change of heart and decide to focus his ire on more worthier offences than stripes of paint on the road? Is he more focused on his contra-flow bike lane proposal? Has he realized that advocating for parking is not a good use of his time? I haven't had the time to ask or figure it out, but I am happy to celebrate good news when I see it. So yay.

h/t to Liam Dillon for the tip on the dismissal.

This Weekend: Loads of Good Times with Festival of Funk, CRSSD Festival and CodeAcross

It's almost the weekend, and while you sit and procrastinate this Friday afternoon at work by clicking refresh over and over again on this site, we've got some fantastic events for you to attend. Hope to see you at one or all of them!


You are invited to experience The Funk at its highest level. The Festival of Funk is a celebration of sours, saisons, and all things funky, carefully curated from some of the most fearlessly innovative brewers in the world. We've put together a jaw-droppingly rad group of breweries and locked down one of San Diego's most legendary venues for a party of epic proportions.

Attendees will be baptized in the deep and diverse waters of funk, from the delightfully tropical to the intensely sour and everything in between, experiencing the truly amazing variety of flavors these exotic yeast strains and bacteria are capable of kicking out. The Festival of Funk will also a prime opportunity to pick the brains of some of the most talented and adventurous brewers in the world, so come prepared with your beer-nerdiest questions.

We'll have plenty of food options on site as well as water stations, an outrageously funky DJ mix from Peso, and a few surprises. We'll also have tons of ultra-sexy merchandise on hand, including a painfully fresh, limited edition Festival of Funk tee.

All proceeds from Festival of Funk will be benefiting the incredibly kick-ass BikeSD organization, a non-profit working to make San Diego a better place to live, work, and ride, and the Cleveland National Forest Foundation.

Screenshot from 2016-03-04 15:01:50
Use google's directions to figure out a good route to get downtown.

Tickets have sold out, but if you're stressing out about parking - don't. Ride your bike down and we will valet it for free so you can enjoy yourself in a gorgeous downtown park. If you ride Decobike, note that the nearest stations are #61 located at Cedar St. & Kettner Blvd located east of the Water Front Park. and station 208 (on B St. Pier) located south of the park. Because of the festival, stations 52 and 68 will not be available. If you're struggling to figure out the best way to get downtown by bike, check out the Ride the City app, or google maps for the best routes.

Neither Amtrak nor the Coaster will be running tomorrow, so if you live too far away, do consider either carpooling or taking the bus down. Each MTS bus can accommodate up to two bicycles.

  • #CodeAcross - This Sunday.
  • Bike riding software developers: rejoice. You are needed to help jumpstart a data driven approach to making San Diego streets safer for biking. 11am - 2pm |Origin Code Academy | 101 W. Broadway, Suite 1100, San Diego, CA

    Open San Diego (OSD) has been working on a bike app that will send data about where biking infrastructure is needed directly to San Diego’s transportation planners. This Sunday, as part of CodeAcross, a global event for people who want to make their City work better, OSD wants your input on how to make sure the app leads to better experiences for San Diego’s cyclists.

    Just like a data driven approach drove the adoption of Vision Zero, the WeBikeSD app can provide data to fuel decisions that make our streets safer. Learn more and let us know you’re coming by following this link: RSVP.

    Lunch will be provided and you’ll meet new people who care about the things that you do. Don’t think you’re a CodeAcross kind of person? You’re probably wrong, but use this handy flowchart tool to figure it out for yourself.

Today: Community Workshop for the Downtown Mobility Plan

The third Community Workshop for the Downtown Mobility Plan is scheduled to be held this evening at the Downtown Central Library:

6pm - 8pm

San Diego Central Library
Neil Morgan Auditorium
330 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(RSVP here)

Next City's Josh Cohen wrote a piece covering what the Downtown Mobility Plan does and doesn't do.

Long time BikeSD supporters will know that I'm usually not easily impressed with the half measures usually put out in this city. But I am impressed with the Draft Downtown Mobility Plan.

For one, as Cohen writes,

Perhaps a sign of how urban planning has evolved, the mobility plan specifically calls out the importance of creating a connected network: “Implementing the network as a whole, rather than individual segments, will improve the effectiveness of the cycleways and establish a well-connected grid of north south and east west protected bicycle facilities that can improve the safety and comfort for cyclists in Downtown.”

Additionally, the plan also,

promotes evaluation of removing the Cedar Street off-ramp, and switching Cedar Street from one-way to two-way traffic to improve pedestrian safety and re-establish the historic connection between Balboa Park, Cortez, Little Italy, and the waterfront.

Converting city streets from dumping grounds for high speed  vehicles exiting off the freeway into a calm, civilized city streets that connects San Diego's beautiful neighborhoods? Now that's exciting.

Yet the plan could do more. It could ensure that downtown's main streets: Broadway and Market Streets, are made truly multi-modal and incorporate facilities that promote, highlight and encourage bicycling. While the discussion around parking is sure to again dominate the discussion around a mobility plan that facilitates walking and bicycling, I hope that it doesn't detract city officials from committing to adopt and implement a plan that showcases what San Diego is capable of.


See you tonight!

City's Development Services Building: Now Less Ugly With Bike Racks on B Street

Screenshot from 2015-12-09 16:20:53
A scary place to park a bicycle is right next to a looming parking garage with a ramp from the garage right above your head!

I attended a meeting at the Development Services Building located at 1st Avenue and A Street about a month ago and found that there was not a pole or a bike rack to be found where I could look my bicycle up to. I wound up locking my bike up to the "A Street" sign which was not pleasant to either get to or lock my bike up to. See the google screenshot on your left to see what I'm referring to.

I was a bit unhappy to not have any spot to park my bike! After my meeting I complained about my experience with my Business Coordinator, Kyle, who then made a request with the city to install bike racks and this afternoon he got word (and proof) that new bike racks have been installed in front of the Development Services Building on B Street. So exciting! All these racks need are more bicycles parked next to them. Thank you to the city staffer Ahmad Erikat for getting these racks installed so quickly. If you'd like some bike racks installed in the public right of way, don't be shy to get in touch with Traffic Ops. If you want bike racks to install on your private property and support our work simultaneously, get in touch with Kyle. He's waiting to hear from you.

Photo via Ahmad Erikat.. Thanks Ahmad!