Mayor Filner Invites San Diegans to Experience CicloSDias

Mayor Filner Announces CicloSDias with the Living Streets Coalition.Photo: Move San Diego and updated by Howard Blackson

This morning, Mayor Bob Filner and Council President Todd Gloria held a press conference to announce the opening of the city’s fourth bike corral and to invite the city to participate in CicloSDias, San Diego’s first open streets event to be held on August 18 11, 2013. This date also happens to be the birthday of our City’s bike coordinator, Tom Landre.

Our mayor, unlike L.A.’s mayor, didn’t have to experience a bike related injury in order to garner empathy for our current riders dealing with a car-entrenched culture. The Mayor understands precisely why San Diego needs to step up its game in transforming the entire city to a bikeable and truly livable city. His comments from this morning’s press conference demonstrated that he understood not just the issues that the existing riders face but the transformative nature that will come from inviting our city’s residents to experience our streets free of cars (emphasis by the mayor):

This is just the beginning of our efforts to make our city livable, walkable, bikeable.This whole city…we got leadership in District Three with Todd Gloria but we got to make this whole city bikeable. Again this is the first step. The corrals are needed and necessary and beautiful. The bike share program which will elevate this even more is starting in a few months so we’re happy to do that.

[….]

One of my first hires was…I call him the bike czar, he calls himself the bike guy. Ed Clancy is working as part of the city’s bike program. And I will tell you, this is just a step. Building a whole infrastructure of biking for this city. You know other cities have had success like Portland. The lady who did that, Mia Birk, wrote a book called Joyride which I’ve read. We’re going to bring her down here to figure out the bike infrastructure for San Diego and we’re going to really have quantum leaps in that area.

[…]

To [get the] bike infrastructure for [the whole city] we gotta take the enthusiasm and the excitement and the commitment that, you, the bike enthusiasts have had. And you’ve had enormous difficulty just in getting around. I’ve ridden with some of you and seen how the doors open on you and the bike lanes disappear without any warning, freeways to cross…it’s incredibly difficult. So we got to get the whole community excited about not only the positive quality of life issues, the exercise issues, [but] the beauty of San Diego as experienced on foot and on bike. So we’re going to have some events which try to bring out that excitement.

[…]

We’re starting the CicloSDias program in San Diego. We’re going to take routes or sections of the city for a few hours during the [weekend], shut them off to cars and have people walking and biking and skateboarding and just talking.

[…]

We’re going to have a bike route starting from Barrio Logan along 30th Street and into Cherokee Park. […] Except for those residents who have to park, we’re going to clear out the cars. We’re going to show the beauty of this city experienced on foot and on bike is incredible. And we’re going to try to build up the community support for the whole bike infrastructure that we need so you can go from any point A to any point B in this city by bicycle. It’s going to be an incredibly different kind of city when we have done this.

[…]

People say well you’re somehow subversive if you ride a bicycle that you’re trying to bring the whole United States down. No, this is a way to build us up. This is how to build up our communities: to have community-wide biking and walking programs. So we’re going to have the bike share, we have the bike guy, we’re going to have CicloSDia and we’re going to have a whole infrastructure that ties together this city from South to North, from East to West with adequate biking. Its great for our psyche, its great for our bodies, its great for our souls, its great for our city.

As the Mayor mentioned, this is the first step – but an excellent first step and we’re thrilled to be partners in this effort. For more details, visit the CicloSDias website and read another excellent writeup at San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.

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