Foto Friday: Enhanced Bike Lanes on (a part of) Montezuma Road

Montezuma Road stands as something of a poster child for failure: it is a city road linking the thick populations and work centers of College Area, Rolando, parts of City Heights, La Mesa and beyond with Mission Valley and points west and north. Yet, it has wide lanes, high speeds, and a general layout that seems to forget that fleshy humans inhabit the city and that pedestrians and bicycle riders might also use this important route.

The road has taken lives.

This morning, on Bike to Work Day, we learned that the eastbound (from Fairmount Avenue to Collwood Boulevard) side got the Genovese Treatment.

Brian Genovese, Head of the City’s New Multi-Modal Section, leads a novel effort: to use state-approved design guidelines and the city’s resurfacing & slurry seal program to create buffered, visible, and much safer and more facilitative Class II bicycle lanes with little more than paint, political will, know-how, and changing the way traffic engineers think.

These projects are “low hanging fruit” because they are already approved at a state level and resurfacing projects already require new paint. But instead of relegating bicycle riders to an afterthought, the city has begun to understand that many of our roads create hazardous conditions for riders – and for people who would like to ride.

People in San Diego who want a city designed at a human scale should congratulate and encourage Genovese and his leadership. You may email him at You should also thank the mayor who is making sure stuff is happening and moving quickly:

New Green Bike Lanes in City Heights

The Active Transportation Manager at the City Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC), Randy Van Vleck, sent out an email yesterday stating that the bike lanes on 54th Street had been upgraded with green paint.

The standard bike lane was upgraded with green treatments to alert bicyclists and motorists of the conflict point on the north-west corner of the 54th St & Uni Ave intersection. The treatment also includes bike lane dashes in the conflict point and a “Yield To Bikes” sign with an image of a green bike lane; the first of its kind in San Diego.

The green bike lane was installed by the City last week in response to City Heights CDC’s request on behalf of the City Heights Built Environment Team (BET); a group of residents advocating for a health-supportive built environment. Residents and BET members have been raising the profile on the need for improved safety at this intersection for 2 ½ years. We’d like to thank the following folks for the great work they’ve done to make this intersection a priority:

-City Heights Built Environment Team
-Residents of the 54th St & Uni Ave area
-Mayor Filner and Bike Program Initiatives Manager Ed Clancy
-Councilmember Emerald and staff
-Traffic engineers Brian Genovese, Tom Landre, Linda Marabian, and Esmerelda White
-Bike SD Executive Director Samantha Ollinger
-Vien Dong market
-Environmental Health Coalition, International Rescue Committee, Academia de Comunitario Liderazgo, Star Pal, Colina Park Neighborhood’s First Initiative
-City Heights Area Planning Committee
-University Avenue Mobility Plan (54th St to 68th St) Working Group
-Media coverage: Megan Burks (Speak City Heights), Brian Myers (Media Arts Center), Adrian Florido (then with Voice of San Diego, now with KPBS), NBC

There’s still a lot more work to do at this intersection to make it safe for all people, especially pedestrians, and for it to reflect the principles of the California Complete Streets Act and new California Highway Design Manual. We see the green bike lane as a symbol of a commitment to not only improve safety for active transportation at this intersection but to encourage it.

Come see the green bike lane for yourself this Friday, May 17 at the City Heights CDC Bike To Work Day Pit Stop! We’ll be on the north-west corner island of 54th St & Uni Ave from 6am to 10am with shade, free refreshments, snacks, and giveaways for bike commuters. Hope to see you then!

Photo: Randolph Van Vleck
Photo: Randy Van Vleck
Photo: Randy Van Vleck
Green bike lane with new signage to yield. Photo: Randy Van Vleck