Cyclists Optimistic on Changes in Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Plan

The San Diego Bike Coalition led a “ride and rally” event Friday to represent cyclists at SANDAG's transportation meeting downtown. Later Friday, cyclists said they were encouraged by SANDAG's vote to include fully protected bike lanes from 10th Avenue to Normal Street.

SANDAG was discussing the Uptown Bikeway Project which allocates $40 million to create a connected bike corridor through the communities of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Old Town, Mission Valley and Downtown.

Fifty route options were analyzed in 2013 before officials came up with the proposed project. They selected routes based on connectivity, directness, grade, and existing traffic stress level of the street.

Bicyclists had argued the plan includes zero bike-safety improvements that are necessary to keep people cycling and to invite new riders.

“It’s not a good recommendation,” said Andy Hanshaw. “It doesn’t fit within the goals of that bike plan nor the goals of the climate action to get more people riding.”

Organizers admit the goal is not to please everyone but to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

Friday afternoon, the coalition issued a statement that it was encouraged by Friday's approval of protected bike lanes.

“We hoped to see the protected bike lane fully extend from First Avenue to Normal Street along University Avenue,” Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego Bike Coalition, said in a news release. “But we’re looking forward to using University Avenue’s fully protected bike lane from 10th Avenue to Normal Street to showcase to the entire county what such an improvement can do for a community.”

Benjamin Nicholls with Hillcrest Business Association says the current recommendation improves safety with shared lines while also preserving parking for businesses along the route.

“It’s a good balance between options for people who want to drive and options for people who want to ride,” Nicholls said. “We think it’s a win-win.” 

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