News and Links from San Diego and Beyond

  • Randy Dotinga read the news of the San Francisco rider who contributed to the death of a pedestrian and decided to bash bicycle riders for “their frequent inability to follow the rules” in today’s VOSD Morning Report . Meanwhile, drivers in California kill upwards of 3,000 people every year and the unofficial “California Stop” reveals an almost gleeful disregard for existing laws. Dotinga’s statement was the perfect example of “modal bias” – a term coined by Tom Vanderbilt and exemplified perfectly by Goofy in Motor Mania.
  • With the City’s blessings, Freeride Famosa is well on its way to finally getting a bike park built in the Peninsula Community.
  • SANDAG, our regional planning agency, received a top award from the American Planning Association for its Regional Bike Plan. Next, I’d like to see an award for implementing the plan and going above and beyond the plan to make San Diego a true joy to bike and live in.
  • If you didn’t think biking was a “green” activity, Bikes Belong and the Federal Department of Transportation is going to drive that point home visually in their latest effort to bring the American masses to the next generation of bike lanes. These green painted bike lanes will be “carefully separated from vehicle lanes by a buffer of curbs, thin posts, attractive planters, or even parked cars.”
  • San Diegans aren’t the only ones who aren’t thrilled with the increasing presence of sharrows on roads that could be enhanced by well-designed protected bike lanes. Miami’s Craig Chester drove home the point I only hinted at on why sharrows are a copout. I’ve met some brilliant traffic engineers in San Diego and all they need is the flexibility and the freedom to re-design our roads to be accommodating to all users – will they be allowed that freedom?
  • When Mayor Sanders first announced his plans for a car-free Balboa Park, we were thrilled. Then came a plan to build a goofy looking bypass bridge. Now the local historical preservation group who hate the bypass bridge have a plan that will build a bridge on the north end (instead of the south end) with a travel lane that has no room for bicycle riders or anyone who walks. Maybe Balboa Park is really a parking lot masquerading a park.
  • The United States Postal Service has come out with stamps to promote bicycling as a “healthy lifestyle”. Perhaps in another century they will acknowledge that the bicycle is also an inexpensive method to get around an urban environment that also happens to make a city a true pleasure to live, work and play in.