A Vision for Texas Street

By Nevo Magnezi, BikeSD Board Secretary

On August 18, 2019, Tom Morris, a man with a walker, was killed due to traffic violence while trying to cross Texas St in North Park. On November 17 of the same year, a 33-year old man was killed, also trying to cross Texas St, this time by a big rig truck. They join 6,590 other Americans who were killed in 2019, doing something that comes naturally to all of us: getting around on foot. Indeed, 2019 saw the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the United States since 1988.

Other cities in developed countries don’t seem to have this issue. Oslo and Helsinki saw zero pedestrian deaths in 2019. This success is not because our Nordic friends are less likely to jaywalk. Rather, it is because urban planners in those places design their built environment to be safer and more forgiving to human error. The tired excuses that San Diego is so distinct from other places that we must simply accept the killing of our community members cannot be tolerated. We can and must do better to make our entire transportation system safer.

So what makes Texas Street so deadly? Between wide streets, heavy traffic, insufficient pedestrian crossings, and a complete lack of any biking infrastructure, Texas Street is not designed for humans in mind.


What Texas Street looks like today between University Ave and Madison Ave.


As city planners know well, speed kills. The National Association of City Transportation Officials, or NACTO, recommends that lane widths be 10 feet in urban areas to reinforce a 25mph speed limit, or 11 feet for designated bus and truck routes such as Texas St. The current distance from the edge of the street parked cars and the line delineating the center turn lane is 14 feet. The city must reinforce a design that truly limits vehicle speeds to 25mph, and that means ensuring lanes are only as wide as their intended use.

The relationship between speed and fatality risk. Provided by NACTO.

With two 11 foot vehicle lanes, the pedestrian crossing distance, should naturally be no more than 22 feet. By implementing mini-roundabouts, as done on Meade Ave, in conjunction with pedestrian refuge islands and curb extensions, the pedestrian crossing distance can be reduced to 11 feet at intersections. Furthermore, raised continental crosswalks implemented at every intersection could further increase the visibility of pedestrians and provide much needed mobility to disabled folks who currently cannot cross at many of the intersections.


Intersections on Texas Street could someday look something like this (though with a more compact roundabout design). Provided by Bike East Bay.

With each vehicle lane width of 11 feet and 7-8 feet for street parking, that leaves 16 feet left on this 52 foot wide street. We believe that the best use of the remainder of the street width would be for two 8 foot wide cycletracks, including buffer, adjacent to the curb. Similar designs of sandwiching cycletracks between the sidewalk and street parking have successfully been implemented in many other cities as well as downtown. We note that the North Park Community plan calls for a class II bike lane facility, which makes sense, as in addition to being a bus, truck, vehicle, and pedestrian route between North Park and Mission Valley, Texas Street is also a bike route and has class II bike lanes north of Madison Avenue.  That being said, we believe a class IV cycletrack is more appropriate for Texas street between Madison Avenue & University Ave because of the NACTO recommendation that streets with a speed of 25mph and an average daily traffic volume of greater than 6,000 vehicles be equipped with protected bike lanes, in order to become a facility suitable for all ages and abilities.



Finally, we would like to note that we think it would be great to keep the approximately 98 public street parking spaces, according to our count, on Texas St between Madison Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard, as well as points south. Parked cars can further provide protection and limit speeds by making the lane feel even narrower to drivers, and offer convenience to those who drive in the neighborhood. However, our top priorities must be satisfying our vision zero and climate action plan goals. Ultimately, we defer to the expertise of our city planners in determining how much street parking can be maintained.

No doubt, building roundabouts, protected bike lanes, and extending curbs will be costly. While BikeSD is not qualified in estimating the total cost, it is worth noting that in 2013, the state of California determined the economic loss associated with each traffic violence death to be 1.32 million dollars. With two deaths and twenty five reported injuries since the beginning of 2018, building a safer Texas Street will be a steal in comparison to doing nothing. The state provides funding for jurisdictions to build complete streets through SB-1, however so far the city has not used any of that money explicitly for that purpose. We ask that the City of San Diego use all available funding sources, including SB-1, in order to ensure that Texas Street becomes safe for users of all ages and abilities.

People carrying a table to a parking space.

Send a Letter to the Mayor & City Council to Show your Support for Open Air Dining San Diego

Send a Letter to the Mayor & City Council to Show your Support for Open Air Dining San Diego to Help Businesses Utilize the Public Right of Way during COVID-19

A diverse group of organizations is requesting that the Mayor and City Council consider changes to the special events permits to allow dining and physical distancing for designated businesses.  Join us in requesting that this extra public space be used to provide safer conditions for social distancing due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Click the green button below to can send a pre-written letter, or tell your own story and write your own.

Click here to send an email right now


Write your own personal message to kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov. Modify this sample letter and copy/paste to your personal email app.

May 27, 2020 

The Honorable Kevin Faulconer
Mayor City of San Diego
202 C Street, 11th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101 


Open Air Dining San Diego: Request for an Expedited Permitting Process to Allow San Diego Businesses to Utilize Public Right of Way


Dear Mayor Faulconer,

On May 20th the State approved the County of San Diego’s request to allow the region to accelerate the reopening of the local economy. San Diego is moving further into Stage 2 of the California Resiliency Roadmap.  Under the proposal, in-person dining at restaurants and retail shopping is allowed, as long as businesses enact social distancing measures and follow various restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Many restaurants, retail establishments and small businesses in San Diego are submitting plans to the County to reopen as a result of Governor Newsom’s announcement allowing a transition from Phase II to Phase III reopening. We should comply with all regulations and facilitate a safe opening by expanding the use of the public right of way to accommodate mobility options such as bicycling, walking and utilizing more public space for shopping and dining while preserving accessibility.

It is critical that we remain flexible and innovative in these unprecedented times to facilitate the reopening of restaurants and businesses while also ensuring their ability to comply with social distancing requirements. To accommodate this, we have identified specific recommendations for the use of the innovative use of special event permits and public right-of-way (PROW) permits and that would enable a swift and safe opening of restaurants that could be referred to as the “Open Air Dining San Diego” program.

We request the following 3 measures be implemented by the City of San Diego:

  1. An expedited process to allow non-profits to apply for special event permits exempted from CEQA that would allow for innovative use of sidewalk areas, parking lanes, streets, or adjacent parking lots through an expanded business footprint for patio dining.
  2. Fast-tracking of Public-Right of Way (PROW) permits for businesses setting up tables and chairs in these newly identified expanded footprints.
  3. Waive the need for Police & Fire Department fees or SETC traffic personnel associated with these new special event permits.

New Alcohol and Beverage control regulations allow for businesses licensed to serve alcohol to apply for a permit to expand their footprint into adjacent property including the public right of way. The application requires a diagram that could also be used by the City of San Diego in an expedited approval process for the applicable Special Event Permit.

Many businesses may not be viable under the required social distancing guidelines, nor will some survive the time it currently takes to secure a Special Event Permit to expand their offerings and gain a critical number of customers. The requested measures will help those businesses and our business districts while preserving the public’s health and safety. As stated by the Downtown San Diego Partnership in their May 20th letter, our commercial zones are suffering, and these zones provide thousands of jobs, important services, and social and entertainment outlets for our residents and visitors. 

This is a matter of protecting public health, supporting our local businesses and making use of our public streets to enable San Diego businesses to reopen both quickly and safely.

We look forward to working with you on the Open Air Dining San Diego program.




And feel free to add these important CCs:

barbarabry@sandiego.gov, jennifercampbell@sandiego.gov, chriscate@sandiego.gov, christopherward@sandiego.gov, monicamontgomery@sandiego.gov, markkersey@sandiego.gov, scottsherman@sandiego.gov, vivian@vivianmorenosd.com, georgettegomez@sandiego.gov, cvincent@sandiego.gov, cbwear@sandiego.gov, talk@bikesd.org

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


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.

Action Item: Send a Letter

Send a Letter to the Mayor & City Council to Show your Support for Creating More Slow Streets for People to Walk and Ride Safely

Send a Letter to the Mayor & City Council to Show your Support for Creating Safer Places for People to Walk and Ride Safely

A diverse group of organizations are requesting the Mayor and City Council provide adequate space & facilities for social distancing due to the COVID-19 crisis. With the decrease in vehicles on our streets, and the need to provide space for people to walk and ride safely,  join us in requesting that this extra street space be used to provide safer conditions for everyone.

Click the green button below to can send a pre-written letter, or tell your own story and write your own.

Click here to send an email right now


Write your own personal message to kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov. Modify this sample letter and copy/paste to your personal email app.


Dear Mayor Faulconer,

Thank you for taking action by beginning to implement Slow Streets during the current public health emergency in San Diego. Bold action is required to flatten the curve and ensure the safety of every resident of the city and more neighborhoods could benefit from Slow Streets.

My family and I use sidewalks and bikeways to access both essential services and get much needed outdoor recreation that provides both physical and mental health benefits.  With the recent implementation of social distancing measures, however, it has become difficult for me and my family to walk and bike safely while ensuring proper 6 foot social distancing from other people doing the same. Meanwhile, the reduction in typical traffic means that our streets have cars that are driving faster than ever, making the choice between a crowded sidewalk or bikeway and fast-moving vehicular traffic both difficult and dangerous.

To mitigate these challenges, I request that the city considers the health and safety of all residents, and reallocate the extra street space from the reduction in vehicular traffic for the use of people walking and biking in more neighborhoods. This can be done by placing “no through traffic” signs on some streets, and reducing the number of vehicular lanes and increasing pedestrian and bicyclist space on others. Furthermore, I request that the city automate the pedestrian walk lights at traffic intersections across the city, because it is not safe to press pedestrian walk buttons and to practice safe hygiene.

I would like to see San Diego join the ranks of other forward-thinking cities implementing similar actions, such as Oakland, CA (Oakland is adding 5 miles of Slow Streets per week), Burlington, VT,  Boston, MA, Denver, CO, and many other cities. I support the joint letter sent out by the diverse coalition of advocacy organizations here in San Diego and would like to see a hyperlocal walking & biking network in my community.

Thank you again for your strong leadership during this critical time for not only the City of San Diego, but the world at large. Thank you for beginning the implementation of Slow Streets. I look forward to seeing our city continue to take bold and immediate action in fighting the spread of COVID-19, and continue to ensure the health and safety of residents.




And feel free to add these important CCs:

barbarabry@sandiego.gov, jennifercampbell@sandiego.gov, chriscate@sandiego.gov, christopherward@sandiego.gov, monicamontgomery@sandiego.gov, markkersey@sandiego.gov, scottsherman@sandiego.gov, vivian@vivianmorenosd.com, georgettegomez@sandiego.gov, talk@bikesd.org

BikeSD Letter graphic

Letter to the Mayor re: District 2 Recommendations for Transportation Actions as COVID-19 Response

The communities in District 2 have been drastically impacted by the closures of bikeways, pathways, and trails due to the COVID-19 crisis. We support these efforts, as we understand that these trails were overcrowded, and social distancing was not feasible. We want to encourage our leadership to support efforts to create safer space for our residents.


Residents need to be able to make essential trips safely, and many need to spend time outside for their mental and physical health. They understand that walking and biking are great ways to move throughout the community. 


The recommendations provided below for District 2 have previously been vetted by community organizations and plans, and through City planning documents as proposed bikeways, pathways, or important corridors for safety. While we would defer to city engineers to devise specific remedies at this time, the proposed corridors can be categorized based on those previous proposals, to facilitate access to essential needs.


Our first recommendation is to follow the efforts underway in Oakland, referred to as Oakland Slow Streets.


“Given the emergency physical distancing requirement, coupled with fewer cars on our roads, we need to acknowledge that people will be outdoors for a little personal exercise, and our responsibility is to make sure that it happens in as safe a manner as possible,” said Councilmember Dan Kalb, chair of the City’s Public Works Committee.

The City of Oakland will work closely with neighborhood residents and community organizations to install signs and temporary barricades along Oakland Slow Streets and at key intersections. Residents will also be encouraged to print Oakland Slow Street signs and post them in their neighborhoods. 

Below is an initial list of recommended streets to be closed to through traffic. The supporting organizations will continue to conduct community outreach to gather suggestions to further expand the network of open streets:


  1. Mission Blvd from Pacific Beach Drive to South Mission
  2. PB Pathways: Phase 1 and 2 (See attached map.)
  3. Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Cordova Street south of Point Loma Blvd. (This will drastically improve the safety concerns of overcrowding on the cliffs.)
  4. Bacon Street from Robb Field to Del Monte
  5. Brighton Street from Spray Street to Guizot Street
  6. Evergreen Street from Nimitz to Talbot
A second approach is to address the large, dangerous corridors where reduced vehicle volume has made it possible to dedicate a travel lane to people walking and biking:


  1. Mission Blvd from Law Street to Pacific Beach Drive
  2. West Point Loma Blvd. from Nimitz to Sports Arena
  3. Midway Drive
  4. Morena Blvd


Third, where there is limited space on the street, removal of parking to provide safe space for people walking and biking is highly recommended along these sections:


  1. East Mission Bay Drive and Mission Bay Drive
  2. Mission Blvd from Pacific Beach Drive to South Mission (This would be an addition or alternative to the above recommendation. Provide a secured parking lot for residents to use if residents have parking issues.)


Finally, we urge the City of San Diego to reopen the following trails that have created extremely unsafe riding conditions and are important active transportation corridors:


  1. The north-south bike path on the eastern edge of Robb Field and the car travel lane out to West Point Loma Blvd. (Currently, active commuters have no safe access out of OB.)
  2. Old Sea World Drive (Restrict vehicles but allow active commuters.)



We appreciate your attention to this safety matter and are available to support as needed.




Judi Tentor, Executive Director, BikeSD
Stephan Vance, District 2 Representative for City of SD Mobility Board 
Nicole Burgess, Bike Walk San Diego District 2
Noah Harris, Transportation Policy Advocate, Climate Action Campaign
Maya Rosas, Director of Policy, CirculateSD 
Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director, San Diego Bicycle Coalition
Richard Miller, Chapter Director, Sierra Club San Diego

CC: Council Member Jennifer Campbell
Council President Georgette Gomez