City officials announced the first of three plans to improve lanes for cyclists and scooter riders downtown Friday, during a time when people have been critical of electric scooter companies for injuries and clutter.
Entitled the Downtown Mobility Plan, it called for 9.3 miles of two-way tracks on major roadways for bike and scooter riders.
“Today we launch a new era of mobility in San Diego,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “As we encourage people to get out of their cars more, we need to build transportation networks that provide safe paths of travel for everyone.”
The project is divided into three phases to be completed over the next three years, according to the city.
The first phase will create tracks on:
- Beech Street from Pacific Highway to Sixth Avenue
- Sixth Avenue from Beech Street to Harbor Drive
- J Street from 1st Avenue to Park Boulevard
These tracks are described by the city as special bike lanes that provide a right-of-way for cyclists and scooter riders within the roadway.
“The incredible growth of bike and scooter use in our city over the last year has really created a sense of urgency to improve the infrastructure,” the mayor said.
Parked cars, flex posts, and or grade variations will separate the tracks from vehicular traffic, according to the city.
“This investment will improve the quality of life for those living and working downtown while moving San Diego closer to achieving our Climate Action Plan benchmarks,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward.
Once completed, the plan will have created tracks on the following roads:
- Pacific Highway
- State Street
- Third Avenue
- Fourth Avenue
- Fifth Avenue
- Park Boulevard
- Hawthorn Street
- Grape Street
- B Street
- C Street
In total, the tracks will account for 16.5 percent of the total downtown street network, the city said.
The mobility plan hopes to create safer passage from Balboa Park to the San Diego Convention Center, as well as other popular destinations, according to the city.
“We hope that other neighborhoods will join the course too, to truly interconnect all the communities across San Diego,” Ward said.
The tracks will be painted green.
Construction began this week. Faulconer estimated the first phase will be completed in a few months.