News Roundup

From around the web, a few items that are worth reading:

The dangers of riding on Jamacha Boulevard

San Diego bicyclist William Karstens having gotten fed up with San Diego County stalling in making any progress in removing the k-rails on Jamacha Blvd took his grievances to the media. The k-rails that were placed on Jamacha Boulevard were placed by developer Pointe International. Pointe International purchased a large tract of land that was originally owned by Fred Hansen's estate with the intention of continuing Hansen's vision of creating a resort community. Much of the land surrounding the Streetwater Reservoir was originally purchased by Pointe in 1982.

Meanwhile as the various county officials, developers and contractors debate on various issues relating to the resort community, bicyclists riding along Jamacha Boulevard have to ride in dangerous 50 mph conditions. In the video below, Karstens shows the NBC reporter exactly how dangerous the conditions are for riding.

While the various concerns raised by the county and developers may well be legitimate issues, we here at Bike San Diego wonder why a temporary slower speed limit is not being implemented as a much more safer and cost effective solution. Would the $300,000 still be an issue if the k-rails were blocking access to automobiles?

Are new pedicab regulations a slippery slope for bicyclists?

The San Diego City Council approved new regulations for pedicabs today, which will limit the number of pedicab permits to 250, down from 400. The new city ordinance will also ban pedicabs from sidewalks as well as public roadways with speed limits of more than 25 mph, and establishes restricted operating zones downtown and in some beach areas. Pedicab operators will also be required to clearly post fare information and provide seat belts for customers. The tougher regulations, which will go into effect October 2, were championed by District 7 Councilwoman Marti Emerald after the death of Sharon Miller of Illinois, who sustained a fatal brain injury after falling from a pedicab in July.

The issue for bicyclists is that by writing all of these regulations into a city ordinance, the council doesn't seem to be distinguishing what should be industry regulations, such as requiring fare information, seat belts, and setting permit limits, from traffic issues, like street and zone prohibitions. This potentially establishes a precedent for the council to restrict all pedal-powered traffic on certain streets or in certain zones as long as they do so under the veil of public safety. Industry regulations are fine, but shouldn't all legal vehicles be able to travel legally on all public roadways?

Ask your council member what they think.

City's "Lose the Roaditude" Campaign: Condescending or Helpful?

The City of San Diego's new "Lose the Roaditude" campaign has now launched, including a full line of posters to help get the safety message across. Here are the bicycle-related posters. So, what do you think, are these condescending or helpful? What other messages might the city have chosen to highlight that would have been more useful? Keep in mind that the campaign seeks to appeal both to experienced road users who perhaps need a reminder not to crash into each other and to inexperienced users who haven't figured that out yet. Click for full images.

Manivela delivers food to your door, by bike

DSCN5182At first, Matthew Reate doesn’t seem like the owner and co-founder of one of San Diego’s newest and most exciting bike businesses. Young, unassuming, and soft-spoken, Reate started Manivela Delivery in July to fill a unique niche in San Diego’s food delivery industry.  After noticing that few San Diego restaurants offered delivery, Reate decided that his service would be available to pick up food from any restaurant within a four-zone area, and deliver it to your door, all by bicycle.

Bike San Diego sat down with Reate recently to learn more about Manivela:

BikeSD: What inspired the idea of a bicycle-based food delivery service?

Reate: I was laid off from my retail job as a manager in the beginning of the year. I spent a while on unemployment and was getting frustrated with job hunting. I thought about what skills I had to offer and bicycle riding was one. I started reading blogs about bicycle-related jobs and businesses and thought "why not me?" You can deliver a lot of things on bicycles but food is where I found a gap in service. Food delivery in San Diego is fairly limited to pizza and Chinese and its all done by car. I already frequently made late night burrito runs on my bike for myself, so I thought why not other kinds of food? I also knew that with San Diego traffic a rider could get from one place to another as fast or quicker than a car.

BikeSD: What kind of response have you had so far from customers? Restaurants?

Reate: The customers who have been ordering are stoked and very appreciative. We have a couple frequent customers now who are taking full advantage. Most of the restaurants we have been delivering from are excited and think its a great idea, and they love not having to hire a delivery person. Right now, there are four restaurants that we deliver for exclusively: Pokez, The Alchemy, The Linkery and The Sea Rocket Bistro.

BikeSD: How many riders do you currently employ? Are you hiring?

Reate: There are four of us running the whole operation right now. I dispatch a lot and deliver fairly often too. We have had a ton of people interested in riding for us, usually receiving four applications a day. Once the orders start picking up more we will begin interviewing for more riders.

BikeSD: What challenges have you and your riders encountered?

Reate: Our baskets are taking quite a beating out there. The streets of San Diego are in need of some TLC. We have designed and made a custom pizza rack that sits above our handlebars to stay steady. Everyday we are learning.

BikeSD: What can customers expect when they place an order with you?

Reate: They can expect honesty. We handle your food with care while doing something we love, riding bicycles. We want to see San Diego develop into a working cycle city so we make sure our customers are satisfied. Your food will be hot and so will your rider from riding across town. Our riders put in a lot of energy to make sure this idea and company continue to grow.


At the moment, Reate says Manivela is handling about forty orders per week, most of those on weekends, and he expects that business will continue to increase as word spreads.  He adds that his riders will also pick up the odd non-food item from the store, too. “We’ll even pick up diapers for you, if that’s what you need.”

For more about Manivela, and to place an order, visit their website.