Upon completion of the western segment of W. Pt Loma this fall, biking options will look like this. Explore the W. Pt Loma + Sports Arena Blvd corridor in this google map.

Completion of the West Point Loma Blvd Cycletrack (eastern segment)

Looking west down W. Point Loma Blvd towards Adrian St.
Photo looking west down W. Point Loma Blvd towards Adrian St. showing some of the new 2019 bike lane striping.

Returning from scientific meetings and a holiday in July, I found the eastern span of the W. Pt Loma Blvd cycletrack completed (Adrian Street to Sports Arena Blvd). This is reason to celebrate. I’m personally happy because my partner’s daily commute to work is safer, and she already sees more bicycle and scooter riders on the track. As a community, Point Loma is one major step closer to having a fully connected bike way between Ocean Beach and Old Town Station. The San Diego River Bikeway currently connects these nodes, but for those that want to access the restaurants, breweries, businesses or neighborhoods between Old Town and OB, this new cycletrack on W. Pt Loma is a potential game changer.

Upon completion of the western segment of W. Pt Loma this fall, biking options will look like this.
Upon completion of the western segment of W. Pt Loma this fall, biking options will look like this. Explore the W. Pt Loma + Sports Arena Blvd corridor in this google map.

The new cycletrack offers slow and fast riders space to safely maneuver, and generally increases the visibility of traffic at intersections. Turning left across W. Pt Loma is easier than before in the stretches where there is now one full speed (35 mph) travel lane, rather than two, to reach the center turn lane.

There is still room for improvement in the westbound direction as riders cross from Sports Arena Blvd onto W. Pt Loma Blvd. Across the interchange, westbound traffic changes from two travel lanes and a bicycle lane, to two travel lanes with bicycle sharrows, until the street widens back to separated bike lane after clearing the southbound left turn lane. I was taught in driver’s ed to never change lanes within an intersection, and regularly encounter confusion between cyclists and drivers over how to merge through this intersection.

Corner detail of West Point Loma Blvd and Sports Arena Blvd

All in all, I enjoy this new W Pt. Loma route more than ever. I look forward to completion of the western segment so that I too can enjoy a safer daily commute. I often pass people or dogs walking in the new cycletrack, and with ample space to pass, it feels like the street is more accessible to all. The western segment will also improve Rue de Orleans and W. Pt Loma Blvd - one of the more dangerous intersections identified as one of the ‘Fatal 15’ locations where repeat fatalities occur. These ‘Fatal 15’ inform the city’s Vision Zero approach for targeted pedestrian safety improvements.


Help BikeSD bring safer streets for all San Diegans
Yes! I want to support BikeSD and their their advocacy work!
Streetview image of Morena crossing under I-8

Marcas de bicicleta que llegan a Morena Blvd en el cruce de la Interestatal 8

Morena Blvd striping plans 2019

New bike striping plans and signage for bike riders will be implemented on Morena Boulevard where it crosses Interstate 8 in the next few months. This is an exciting moment in time when Caltrans takes the opportunity to implement safe street markings on state-controlled interchanges that can provide additional guidance, safety, and comfort for people riding bikes.

Streetview image of Morena crossing under I-8These Morena Blvd stripings were triggered when BikeSD Board President Nicole Burgess rode through the area and sent a tweet to Caltrans more than one year ago. She requested @CaltransSD provide safer connections through this corridor which would connect to the City’s efforts that implemented bike lanes and facility improvements on the north end of the corridor. Her request has been granted.

Caltrans Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee has discussed this project at the last two meetings and attached are the new striping plans and signage that will be implemented. BikeSD is glad to see that Caltrans is taking the initiative to provide better facilities throughout their jurisdiction. We appreciate collaborative efforts by Caltrans as they engaged and worked with the bike community to get the best improvements that can be made with paint. Obviously, there are better ways to improve the corridor but not without lots of money to tie up the interchanges (which is not happening anytime soon).

The plans shown above (see PDF for high-resolution drawings) are quite detailed. Overall BikeSD is supportive of these improvements. One concern that BikeSD and other bike advocates suggested was to add "Green Dashed Paint Markings through the Intersection” per NACTO guidelines. This was a consistent request by many people who ride bikes, but unfortunately the Operations Team at Caltrans is not willing to do so. We've inquired to understand what prevents Caltrans from implementing these types of paint markings and will keep our members posted on Caltrans response.

Regardless, we're looking forward to better striping through this area and thank Caltrans for their efforts. As the improvements are made in the next few months, we hope that you appreciate the new facility markings. Feel free to send a tweet or email to @CaltransSD thanking them for the new improvements and any concerns you may observe as a bike rider.

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Wanted: safe space on 30th St for all users

30th Street Bikeway Update - We Have a Real Opportunity

Wanted: safe space on 30th St for all users


There’s a real opportunity for a transformative redesign of one of San Diego’s premiere urban streets — if we remind the city of its Complete Streets, Vision Zero and Climate Action Plan policies.

Just last week, the city started community outreach to gauge support for adding bike lanes to 30th Street from Juniper Street north to Howard Street following the pipeline replacement project. Councilmember Chris Ward’s office held the first of three meetings to solicit community input. After a preliminary study, city engineers concluded that two design options were feasible. The first option would add “Class II” bike lanes either against the curb south of Upas or between parked cars and the automobile traffic north of Upas. The second option would add protected bike lanes for the entire segment — called a “cycletrack,” the safest kind of on-street bike path.

[ UPDATE: April 4, 2019 - KPBS covers the story: https://www.kpbs.org/news/2019/apr/04/activists-rallying-protected-bike-lanes-north-park/ ]

Preserving parking spaces?

Unfortunately, city staff prepared a preliminary design based only on the first of these two options (drawings for northern section and for southern section). As explained by city staff, the preliminary striping plan was created to strike a compromise between the current bikeway-lacking roadway design and the need to preserve as much street parking as possible. Rather than a protected bikeway, the city’s design removes a small number of parking spaces but still makes bicyclists and scooter users ride between the automobile traffic and parked cars, exposing riders to the dangers of being “doored” (i.e., colliding with a car door) and getting thrown into traffic.

door zone area on 30th St
Red area shows a "door zone" on the bike lane.

This is the similar minimal design that led to a cyclist’s death last week in San Francisco and prompted a quick fix to upgrade to a protected bike lane by removing parking. As San Francisco’s transit agency acknowledged, the death was preventable if the better design had been  originally implemented.


In the City’s proposed design for 30th Street, the section south of Upas is even less safe: bike lanes are placed only in some areas, and the city proposes using ‘sharrows’ — which require cyclists to share the lane with cars going between 25-35 miles per hour:

Red area shows a 'sharrow'
Red area shows a proposed 30th St 'sharrow.'

There are two main problems with the preliminary striping design. First, it contradicts the city’s own policies in North Park to design “complete streets” for all users. As defined in the community plan, a complete street is “designed for everyone in mind, for people of all ages and abilities using multiple modes of transit in lieu of car-oriented streets that are designed to primarily accommodate the automobile.” At the first community meeting, city staff admitted that the preliminary design was not an “8-80” facility, meaning one designed for users from the ages of 8 to 80.

CAP goals missed

Second, the preliminary design doesn’t go far enough to honor the city’s commitments to reach the binding targets of its Climate Action Plan (CAP): to reduce the number of car trips and increase the share of walking, biking, and non-car trips in the city.

The CAP goals shaped the debate about the North Park Community Plan, one of the first community plan updates passed after the CAP. When the update was being crafted in 2016, an analysis by the city showed that the proposed street design in the adopted plan was not enough, standing alone, for the city to achieve its CAP goals.

The City reassured the city council and community that it could meet the CAP goals because the community plan “does not account for other programs and policies that would be implemented throughout the life of the community plans, such as additional bicycle and pedestrian improvements whenever street resurfacing occurs, as feasible.” To make sure these “additional” policies weren’t empty promises, the city expressly included a commitment in the community plan to planning additional bike lanes in coordination with street resurfacing.

To achieve these goals, the city council later directed staff to “leverage coordination of street resurfacing to take advantage of opportunities for progressive design standards to facilitate safer mobility, including... protected bikeways.”

The time has now come for the city to honor its commitments to fighting climate change and following through on its Climate Action Plan goals and Vision Zero policy by designing a street that serves all users and does not primarily cater to motorists. As specified in the City’s own policies, any restriping plan should follow progressive design standards to add a protected bikeway “designed for everyone in mind, for people of all ages and abilities using multiple modes of transit in lieu of auto-oriented streets that are designed to primarily accommodate the automobile.” A progressive bikeway design will also make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street by shortening the width of the roads devoted to speeding cars.

Safer lanes can reduce parking needs

Designing a safe 30th Street for pedestrians and cyclists doesn’t have to unreasonably impair parking. For the commercial district north of Upas, there are nearly 1,400 public parking spaces either on the street or in the parking garage within one block of 30th Street. The city could maintain over 90 percent of that parking and add protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. If cycling increases on 30th Street in the same way it has in other cities that added protected bike lanes, the number of new daily cyclists would likely exceed the number of lost parking spaces.

The City has adopted one set of progressive design standards, set forth in the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide that directly address how to design a bike facility for all age and abilities. Given the speed of cars, the level of traffic, and the presence of a city bus line, the only option that fulfills the City’s policies is a protected cycletrack design. The city already identified such a design as being feasible on 30th Street. The City needs to present this second option for its next community review and not be limited to only the “less safe” first option shown at the first meeting.

It will take a collective effort to make sure the City of San Diego honors its climate and Vision Zero safety commitments. We need to make sure the City doesn’t commit to a less safe street design because of speculative fear that a loss of parking will lead to failing businesses. It turns out the bike lanes help business: Study after study after study after study after study shows that cyclists spend more in shops than drivers. These studies show that removing street parking to add bike lanes often results in substantial increases in sales in nearby shops or, at worst, no significant negative effects.

We need your help

Yes! I support bike lanes on 30th St. I'll sign the petition.

There are three easy steps everyone can take to help us achieve something transformative in North Park:

  1. Sign the petition asking Mayor Faulconer to honor the city’s promises by directing staff to design a high-class protected bikeway on 30th Street.
  2. Let the City see the community that wants safer streets for everyone by posting a photo of you, friends and family using the hashtag #SafeLanesOn30th and be sure to tag @BikeSD.
  3. Last but perhaps most importantly, attend the community outreach meeting at the North Park Planning Committee on April 16th at 6:30pm at 2901 North Park Way (2nd Floor).  Showing broad community support at this meeting will be critical!

San Diego is now NACTO's Newest Member

As of this morning, San Diego is now a NACTO member.


San Diego has finally joined the likes of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. to determine how to work on finding solutions to our transportation woes and figure out how best to carve out space for all road users including the historically neglected ones like bicycle riders.

What is NACTO?

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association that represents large cities on transportation issues of local, regional and national significance. NACTO views the transportation departments of major cities as effective and necessary partners in regional and national transportation efforts, promoting their interests in federal decision-making. We facilitate the exchange of transportation ideas, insights and best practices among large cities, while fostering a cooperative approach to key issues facing cities and metropolitan areas.

Encouraging the city of San Diego to join NACTO was one of our goals for our first year.

NACTO caused a buzz two years ago when they launched their urban bikeway guide, a long overdue antidote to our very auto-centric design guidelines that our city transportation officials have had to rely on decades. This has resulted in, predictably, San Diego being a very auto-dominated city.

Los Angeles was one of the early member cities of NACTO and we've had nothing but admiration for the leaps y strides that L.A. has made toward making their streets more friendly to their bicycle riding residents. We believe that a lot of L.A.'s success had to do with signing on to be a NACTO member city and then learning from and sharing with other NACTO member cities ideas and strategies on how best to accommodate all road users.

Last year we asked Michelle Mowery, Senior Bicycle Coordinator at the City of Los Angeles, the significance of having a city join NACTO:

BikeSD: How does a city benefit when it signs on to become a NACTO member. What are some of the downsides? What are some of the upsides?

Michelle Mowery: Since my expertise is bicycling I can only address the bike aspect but NACTO gives big cities the opportunity to share ideas and design concepts within circumstances that are not often shared by smaller, less urban cities.  We use the NACTO Guide as a reference as we seek to develop new and experimental projects in the city.  For example we are working on a cycletrack or protected bicycle lane in the Figueroa corridor and we've looked to the Guide for examples of how we might develop the design.  The downside is that the document and the designs have yet to be adopted by Caltrans (although for the first time Caltrans is in the process of developing an experimental process for the testing of new bikeways design that is a direct outgrowth of the NACTO Guide) and thus it does not protect us from liability as we move forward with testing some of these new concepts in Los Angeles.  That said are taking steps to protect the city from liability as we work on these projects by working with Caltrans and the FWHA on the experimental projects.

The efforts of NACTO have helped all of us who are implementing bike infrastructure to expand our tool boxes.

While the Feds and the State slowly inch their way into figuring out how to accommodate all roads users in a manner that more inviting and safer than it currently is, we're certainly thrilled that San Diego has joined the growing list of cities willing to forge a new path forward.

Notes from a new Portland resident, Timur Ender

This post was written by BikeSD member and supporter Timur Ender who moved to San Diego for law school in January 2012. A year later, he moved to Portland to live in a city that has prioritized its citizens' safety, health and financial needs by providing them with safe, comfortable and inviting routes to ride a bicycle in. In moving away from San Diego to Portland, Ender turned down a $30,000 annual scholarship from Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). At TJSL, Ender was in the top 5% of his class. He said turning down a scholarship from TJSL was not nearly as hard as leaving all of the bike advocates who asked him to stay. Very rarely has he felt so honored, humbled, and valued.


Cities are erected on spiritual columns.  Like giant mirrors, they reflect the hearts of their residents.  If those hearts darken and lose faith, cities will lose their glamour.
Tabrizi 1248

We live in an age when Americans can live in just about any city in the country that they want.  And, to a lot of people, what makes a city great is its walkability and bikeability, and a responsive local government that serves its residents and visitors.  The weather alone cannot make a city America’s finest.

As we have commented for years, San Diego’s bicycle infrastructure is woefully deficient and needs dramatic improvement.  That is why BikeSD exists:  to advocate for those changes.  With the election of mayor Bob Filner and with the support of the City Council, we are hopeful that things are going to start to change for the better.  The recent 40 – year transportation plan authored by SANDAG, however, exemplifies the glacial pace at which things get done in this city.  So, while we are hopeful that our elected officials will finally step up for bikes, we have our doubts.

There are basic, common sense steps that we can take today to get the change started.

First, go ride a bike!   And encourage your friends, family, local officials to take a ride.  As the adage goes, “you never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  So, get on your bikes.

Second, get involved.  If you are interested in making San Diego a world-class bicycling city - or if you are just interested in riding improving the infrastructure so you can ride your bike more - there are groups that already exist that are advocating for you.  Talk to your bike advocates from BikeSD, from the City, and from SANDAG.

Third, urge your representatives to allocate money for bicycling infrastructure projects.  Not all infrastructure projects are equal:  while $700,000.00 may be a rounding error for a [bridge or highway] project, it's a significant amount for active transportation programs.  Funding for bicycle projects should be aggressively pursued.  Likewise, help your representatives understand that you “vote transportation.”  In other words, make it crystal clear to your representative that you will base your vote, at least in part, on the steps that have been taken to improve bicycle infrastructure.

Fourth, urge the City to properly maintain the existing bicycle infrastructure.  The City should cite homeowners who routinely place garbage cans in the bicycle lanes.  Further, the bollards should be removed from the bicycle path parallel to Harbor Drive.   If the City is concerned about safety, a better solution is putting bicycle traffic lights and thereby legitimizing bicycling.  The bollards are an inconvenience and an eyesore.

Fifth, the City should pass an anti-harassment ordinance so motorists who harass vulnerable road users will be held accountable.

Sixth, the City should join NACTO.   This is the single best way for the City to show its commitment to a bicycle friendly future

The bicycling community has been pressing for these changes for years, from the bottom up.  It is time they are met with action from the top down.


We wish Timur Ender the very best for his new life in Portland and thank him for his incredible help and insight he provided us during his very short stay here in San Diego.