On Wednesday, January 30th, SANDAG kicked off their North Park-Mid City Regional Bike Corridor community advisory group and there was lots of excitement about making the area more bike-friendly. There more than two dozen community members in attendance. SDCBC is one of many community organizations represented on the committee, along with community planning groups, business improvement associations, and town councils. The purpose of the group is to advise SANDAG on the design of bikeways identified in the Regional Bike Plan including Meade Ave, Orange/Howard Ave, and Landis/ Wightman.
District 9 Councilmember Marti Emerald kicked of the meeting by urging out of the box thinking in terms of project design. She said that now was the time to reshape our streets to the serve all people, and pledge her support to make that happen. She encouraged the community to hold SANDAG to the three year schedule to get something built as many in the room have experience with plans that are gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.
There were lots of great “out of the box” ideas, but the biggest request was to make sure that cyclists had access to the business districts along University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard. SDCBC has been working with these business districts to become more bike-friendly, and the community recognized the need for safe and convenient access as well as a place to park.
Long Beach provides a great example of bike facilities that have improve cyclist safety, maintained traffic flow and help businesses thrive as reported in a recent article. I was happy to hear the SANDAG planners reference the Long Beach case.
While SANDAG's planning efforts are focused on the corridors that were identified in the regional bike plan,
they pledged to make sure the proposed improvements compliment projects in the City of San Diego Bicycle Master plan as well, including much needed improvements on Fairmount Ave and Texas Street.
SDCBC will continue to be engaged to make sure that this project is the best it can be and can be an example of innovative bike design for the entire region.
-Kevin Wood, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition Board Chair