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!


When You Give, The Impact is Tangible

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The attraction to try and speak broadly of 'safe streets' and 'strong communities' is strong. It's easy to be pulled in that direction because our desire for them leads the rhetoric to flow a little easier. But it's just as important to describe the nuts and bolts of how we'll get there. I want to share a few of the tangible ways your contributions will make an impact.

Donate Today!

Bike Placement Program

The average cost of car ownership in California is nearly $9,000. For many, it's a major financial burden. Along with housing prices, personal transportation is a major contributor to SoCal's high cost of living. So this year BikeSD intends to launch a bicycle placement program. We'll partner with a women's advocacy organization to identify those who need—and can safely switch to—an alternative to car ownership and provide them with a completely refurbished bicycle that they can be proud of. We think we can get it done for about $100 a bike—and our goal is to give 100 bikes this year.

hand of the master with a wrench, repair a bicycle wheel.Bike Clinics

Last year's Bike Clinic at the Central Library in Downtown was a huge success. We provided bicycle maintenance to over 100 people of all ages and circumstances, while creating an atmosphere of community inclusion. People rode away with patched tires, new chains, aligned wheels and working brakes. In short, their bikes were made safe to ride. Each bike clinic costs about $600—and we'd like to expand to host two a month, reaching different neighborhoods each time.

Gender and economic equity are two issues the organization feels so strongly about that we included them in our Guiding Principles. We've heard your calls to make progress toward transportation justice, and these two programs are just two of the ways we intend to do just that.

Advocacy

In addition to programs we'd like to launch or expand, our advocacy continues. Because of our advocacy, this is the year we're going to finish off Level of Service - the archaic traffic-flow metric used to kill the "Transform Hillcrest" plan for University Avenue. And we're going to make sure candidates for the next City Council, as well as County staff, revisit that plan once LoS is retired. We're also going to push for a reform to the "85th Percentile" rule of traffic speeds, so roads connecting neighborhoods can be made slower as the community desires. The Executive Director position is a full-time job—one that Samantha Ollinger has succeeded in with an incredible desire and personal sacrifice. To be clear, the job is not just attending meetings and making public comment. It is no exaggeration to say that she has transformed the conversation surrounding bicycles in the City of San Diego—and she has done so by becoming a researcher, an analyst, a community organizer and a dogged-pursuer of decision makers. BikeSD is a nonprofit, but it's not a hobby club. The work is serious. Staff is necessary and a real cost. And we need to have Sam's back.

Donate Today!

So it's simple—the level of donor support we receive through the rest of this month will determine whether the organization thrives in advancing our shared goals, merely exists as an online agitator, or draws to a close.

Thousands of you will see this title. Not only will you see it, you've 'opted in'—by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or signing up for advocacy update emails. Are you ready to make your impact?

Join us. Give today.

Sincerely,
Andy Kopp, Board President
Bici san diego


Joe LaCava Announces Withdrawal from City Council race

Ijoelacavat was announced today that civil engineer, three-term Chair of the San Diego Community Planners Committee, and friend of BikeSD - Joe LaCava - has ended his bid for the San Diego City Council District 1 seat. We cannot mask our disappointment for Joe.

When BikeSD made Joe LaCava our first endorsement of the 2016 election cycle, it was the easiest decision the organization has ever made. Joe is an absolute champion of safe streets. And among the many causes he has selflessly dedicated himself to over many years in San Diego, helping BikeSD work toward the goal of making San Diego a world-class city for bicycling was near the top of the list. As a founding supporter of BikeSD, Joe's commitment was unmatched.

Few people in San Diego are as committed to the betterment of the city in the way Joe is - and even fewer match their enthusiasm with an expert's policy knowledge and a will to implement it. Thanks, Joe - for all you've done for BikeSD and for the City of San Diego. You would have been a hell of a councilmember, and we know you'll find a terrific way to keep this city moving forward for the better.


City Heights' First Road Diet: Fairmount Avenue

About a month ago, City Heights got its first road diet. We've had a drought of road diets in this city since the 4th and 5th Avenue buffered bike lanes were installed in 2014 so this has been a welcome change. The status quo as you can see below, was just awful and dangerous, and in a school zone to boot!

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Fairmount Avenue, the before shot. Scary, dangerous and overall unpleasant. Photo via Randy Van Vleck

This road diet came after a unnecessarily controversial vote at the City Heights Planners Committee (the advisory board to City Council on all land use matters) back in August this year. Fairmount Avenue was scheduled to be repaved and city staff presented a plan to put Fairmount Avenue on a diet between Redwood Avenue south all the way to Home Avenue, by installing a buffered bike lane. Georgette Gomez (currently running to replace Councilmember Marti Emerald in 2016) made the motion to approve the restriping project along with additional lighting, traffic signals and signage to make the new striping safer for all users.

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Previously: On Fairmount Avenue. Photo via Anastasia Brewster

The vote was close and passed 8 to 6. Committee member, David Nelson, broke the previous tie breaker by voting to support the project. He doesn't care for pop-outs, and only wanted to support the buffered bike lanes. Nelson initially thought that the vote to support bike lanes also included a vote to support pop-outs. His vote was critical to ensuring the implementation of City Heights' first buffered bike lane. The City Heights Committee members who voted against the buffered bike lanes and against public safety were: Jessie Sargent, Mark Kassab, Mazda Mehraz, Samuel Supranovich, Abdullahi Yusuf and Bob Lief. If this close vote doesn't speak to the importance and power of getting involved in your local community, nothing will. Thanks to city staff in overseeing the project and implementing it, and much thanks to Councilmember Marti Emerald who showed up in person to speak in support of the road diet on Fairmount Avenue as it was (and is) a public safety issue.

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Fairmount Avenue after resurfacing and before striping (before bike lanes were painted in)

 

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(A part of) Fairmount Avenue today has buffered bike lanes. Yay! Photo: Kyle Carscaden

Back in 2010, the City Heights CDC prepared a Walk to School Report identifying the dangerous corridors in City Heights that prevented safe walking and biking to schools. They then worked to ensure that projects like the Fairmount Avenue bike lane would get passed.

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Left: Fairmount Avenue had no bike lane, but a lane for parking vehicles, and two lanes for moving vehicles quickly. Image via google Right: Fairmount Avenue today

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

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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.

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Photo via Ahmad Erikat.. Thanks Ahmad!