The east and west sides of the county may finally be connected for San Diego bikers thanks to a new project making its way through the city council.
A proposal aims to expand the State Route 56 Bike Trail.
The trail currently spans alongside SR-56’s ten mile stretch of road from Carmel Mountain Ranch to Carmel Valley. If the project is approved, the path could be expanded underneath Interstate 5, where it ends now.
Karen Matingou took up biking after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in January. She quickly appreciated what the SR-56 Bike Trail could offer.
“If I were ever to have to ride by myself that’s the only path I would choose, because it’s the only path in my area that’s protected from traffic,” Matingou told NBC 7. “And today, with distracted drivers, being on a protected bike path means everything.”
She said she took up biking to challenge herself both mentally and physically now that she has MS.
“It’s kept me focused on, mentally, on the positives, instead of worrying about my diagnosis,” Matingou said.
Matingou also began raising money with Bike MS, where she’s raised more than $8,000, according to the company’s website.
The new path is expected to increase trips by 14 percent by 2030, according to Hailey Bossert with the San Diego County Bike Coalition.
Bossert also claimed the project would address increased greenhouse gas emissions and childhood obesity.
The bike trail extension would be a collaborative effort between the city and Caltrans.
The new path will cost the city $2.25 million, according to the council’s staff report.
The San Diego City Council’s Infrastructure Committee approved the new project in October.
The proposal will now go to the full city council in early 2019.