The latest in a network of bikeways that aims to connect several cities around San Diego Bay — making commuting by bicycle safer and easier — was opened Saturday by city officials.
San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, National City Mayor Ron Morrison, and officials with the Navy and the San Diego Bicycle Coalition were on hand to cut the ribbon officially opening the newest 1-mile stretch of the Bayshore Bikeway in National City to several bicyclists raring to go.
Once completed, the Bayshore Bikeway will link the cities of Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, Coronado and San Diego with a 24-mile route around San Diego Bay. So far, 16 miles of the bikeway has been completed, SANDAG said.
The goal is to make biking safer and commuting easier for San Diegans by creating a continuous path dedicated to bicycle use all the way around the bay, according to SANDAG.
"If you’re on the freeway in the morning on Interstate 5 in South County and going to work at 32nd Street Naval Base or Barrio Logan to NASSCO, or any of the other shipyards there, you actually will get there a lot quicker on a bicycle than you will fighting all the traffic on the freeway,” Supervisor Cox said.
Bicyclists gathered to be the first to use the stretch of pathway in National City, touting that it would bring San Diego communities closer together and give people another chance at enjoying the open air.
"I love to explore San Diego; with the weather that we have [the pathway] is a great way to take advantage and just be intimate with our surroundings here in San Diego," said Mia Gonzales, who lives in the community.
Mayor Morrison said that part of the bikeway's purpose is to get drivers off the road.
"Is it going to replace the freeways? No, but is it going to be a choice, yes, and give an alternative, yes, and that’s all we want," Mayor Morrison said at the launch event Saturday morning.
The Bayshore Bikeway has been in the works since 1976 when the first feasibility study was conducted by Caltrans at the request of National City, according to SANDAG. A plan was adopted by SANDAG in 2006.
Supervisor Cox told NBC 7 that he estimates the entire 24-miles of bikeway will be completed in the next three years.
Funding for the project comes from a half-cent sales tax TransNet that was approved by voters and funds transportation projects in San Diego County. The cost for the entire project once completed is estimated to be more than $21.5 million, according to
Take a virtual tour of the current Bayshore Bikeway with SANDAG’s interactive map.