News and links from around the web

Chris Nixon, reporter for the  San Diego News Network, has written an update on his car-lite month. This week's edition is focused on rides beyond his commute. An excerpt:

I’ve started to view my vehicle as a large metal box with wheels, cutting me off from the outside world. Riding to work in a car can be a very antiseptic experience, but rolling on two wheels has given me a new appreciation for the sights and smells of the incredibly diverse neighborhoods along the way: Linda Vista and Kearny Mesa

Parking Day
Parking Day. Photo from gcbl.org

September 18th is PARK(ing) Day. What is it? PARK(ing) Day is a worldwide act of playful, generous activism and is strictly a non-commercial enterprise.Originally created by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.

El BMX Hall of Fame is moving to Chula Vista and the grand opening is also on September 18.

El Boston Biker has written about how a bad car/bicycle encounter was turned into a more positive one. We suspect that a primary reason there is much antagonism between various users of the streets is because of fundamental lack of empathy.

Do you have other newsworthy or any other interesting links? Post them in the comments!


Coronado Appoints Residents to Bicycle Master Plan Committee

To date, the only public involvement with the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan has been participation in an online survey, and attendance in an open house. Meanwhile in Coronado, the city appointed Coronado residents to their Bicycle Master Plan Committee. Coronado has successfully obtained a grant of $75,000 from SANDAG to draft a bicycle master plan.

The members of the new committee will look at how bicyclists in town share the road with vehicles, skateboarders, Segways, pedestrians and pets. Putting together a bicycle master plan would make the city a good candidate for other bicycling-related grants in the future.

Read the entire story here.



San Diego Reader Article on Pedicabs

reader09The new issue of the San Diego Reader has a great look at the world of pedicabs, which provides a much-needed street-level view of the issue. Key themes seem to be that the industry is not capable of regulating itself and that the City of San Diego, before the death of Sharon Miller in July, had previously taken little interest in meaningful regulation. Of course, the underlying concern remains: do greater regulations for pedicabs threaten bicyclists' right to the road?


A "Bikeway Village" for Imperial Beach?

More interesting bike news from the mainstream press! The Union-Tribune reports on a proposed "Bikeway Village" along the Bayshore Bikeway. Sounds like a good idea to us!

The owner of two Imperial Beach warehouses hopes to convert his bayfront property into a rest stop and haven for bicyclists along the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway.

Rex Butler, who has owned the two 15,000-square-foot warehouses for nearly a year, hopes his “Bikeway Village” concept will capitalize on the halfway point of the nearby bike trail and views of San Diego Bay with proposed amenities such as a cafe, bike shop, day spa, ice cream shop, bookstore or perhaps a youth hostel.

Check out the story for more information and an artist's rendering of the proposed site.


Missing the point on parking in Hillcrest

El Union-Tribune reports today that the Uptown Partnership, a "community group" that manages the Uptown Community Parking District for the City of San Diego is considering two options for increasing the amount of available parking in Hillcrest, including investing in a parking garage structure under the Mission Hills-Hillcrest public library branch; or purchasing or leasing part of the AT&T lot on Robinson Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.

There are significant problems with both locations, but neither the Union-Tribune, nor the Uptown Partnership seems especially concerned with the main issue of sustainability. Each project would add only about 90 parking spaces in the neighborhood, certainly not enough to significantly alleviate the parking situation, but enough to bring in more cars hunting for spaces.

As an entity that subsists on parking revenues, the Uptown Partnership is concerned primarily with increasing parking spaces, not decreasing the need for those spaces by promoting walkable, bikeable, or transit-friendly neighborhoods. If the Uptown Partnership or the City of San Diego cared to notice, they would see that Hillcrest is already a pedestrian- and bicycle-heavy neighborhood, but certainly not a friendly one. Adding more parking spaces, and thus more cars, will only make Hillcrest less friendly to everyone who doesn't travel by automobile. It's a step in the wrong direction if we want San Diego to be a more bikeable, and a more sustainable city.