The San Diego Association of Governments unveiled eight of 18 traffic circles as part of the Georgia-Meade and Landis Bikeway projects on Wednesday morning.
Once done, it will be a lot easier to get around the mid-city areas of North Park, Normal Heights, City Heights, Kensington and Talmadge, which is all the more important since Covid-19 hit in March and more people are staying closer to home as a result.
According to a recent SANDAG InfoBits report, during stay-at-home orders, bike ridership on Landis Street increased by 12%. Across the regional bike network, ridership increased 42% compared to the same time last year.
Another key factor in creating the bikeway project is safety.
SANDAG said speeding cars are a major issue in the areas, and traffic circles are proven ways to slow them down.
This is especially important in neighborhoods with elementary schools, where walkability and bikeability are the main reasons people move to the mid-city area to begin with.
“I mean it’s one of the most important things. There are a lot of small families that live in this area their kids are riding bikes, too," said Andrea Linan, North Park resident. "So I think it’s important to have some type of speed control on these big streets here."
Once completed, the whole project will add 6 miles of bikeways. It’s expected to be done in spring 2022.
The project didn't come without controversy, however.
Last December when the project broke ground, some community members expressed their discontent with the project because they felt the added bike space would take away parking.
“Terrible idea," Landis Street homeowner, Mark Atwood, said at the time. "Getting rid of parking in favor of bikes? No, you need more parking. And the bikes will fit in, easily."
The 6.5-mile stretch of bike lanes will eliminate 200 parking spots, SANDAG’s Bikeway Corridor Director Linda Culp told NBC 7 in December.