SANDAG held an open house for the Georgia-Meade Bikeway yesterday at the Lafayette Hotel, and overall the route looks good, with construction planned for 2017. Meade is probably the route I bike the most, so I’m encouraged by the project’s buffered lanes and traffic calming treatments. The treatments include mini-roundabouts, raised crosswalks and sidewalk bulb-outs. One pleasant surprise was the incorporation of my (and others) suggestion to add a missing westbound bike lane on Meade behind the YMCA between 43rd and Fairmont. This was done by removing the eastern part of the concrete median there:
Also, I had forgotten just how wide the proposed painted buffer is on the Meade bridge over I-805 – hopefully this will slow some drivers on what can be a fast stretch of road:
Another SANDAG open house is coming up on the 24th: the Uptown Bikeway Open House in Balboa Park. This bikeway goes before the SANDAG Board of Directors on June 24th for a CEQA exemption. Construction would begin in 2017 on the 4th and 5th Avenue segments first.
Here’s a terrible photo of SANDAG’s rendering of the bikeway on east University Grabbed a screen shot of east University from SANDAG website (the protected bike lanes will end west of 10th):
More on the Uptown Bikeway below, but first a quick rundown of all the bike-related events coming up:
- The Downtown Mobility Plan goes to the City Planning Commission tomorrow (Thursday 5/12) after unanimously passing the City Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. Next step is City Council – check out this great letter of support from Little Italy resident Jordan Kohl. This follows a Downtown Community Planning Group meeting where Little Italy Association and DCPC board member Luke Vinci brought out the neighborhood to fight over only gaining 85 on-street parking spaces instead of 135. One business owner said adding just 85 spaces would “ruin the community”, and a resident said people on bikes would ride over wedding gown trains as brides exited Our Lady of the Rosary on State Street. The DCPC meeting also included a bizarre appearance by Ben Nichols of the Hillcrest Business Association, who used SANDAG’s presentation of the Bankers Hill 4th and 5th Ave bikeways to attack the agency over parking impacts. Prior to the meeting, HBA President Johnathan Hale’s SDGLN printed Nichols’ lie that SANDAG would remove “hundreds” of parking spaces in Bankers Hill. In reality, the project adds dozens of spaces there.
- The Amgen Tour of California starts in San Diego this Saturday and runs right through Balboa Park. Plaza de Panama seems like a great spot to watch them roll by.
- Bike to Work Day is Friday May 20th, with 100+ pit stops around San Diego
- Mission Hills has a Bike to Business Ride on Sunday May 22nd
- Bike SD’s Bike Month Bash is June 4th, also at the Lafayette Hotel
- Bike SD hosts the sixth annual (vegan) Dinner and Bikes event at 3rd Space in University Heights on June 18th.
Construction of the Rose Creek Bikeway could begin in August. The bike path will extend from Santa Fe Drive east of I-5, along Rose Creek, under I-5, and connect to the existing bikeway along the creek as it travels under Garnet.
The Uptown Bikeway saga continues as the Hillcrest Business Association still attempts to kill it, block by block. Recently, Urban Mo’s owner Chris Shaw introduced a motion for the Uptown Parking District to request removal of the Uptown Bikeway north of Robinson on 4th and 5th Avenues. Recall that Shaw supported the Uptown Bikeway after he tore down a 100-year old house for a parking lot. He’s apparently changed his mind again, since the HBA removing the Bikeway from most of University Ave wasn’t enough. 4th and 5th have to go too, over a mere 15 parking spaces (there are over 700 off-street spaces on these same blocks).
Here a playlist of videos from that contentious Parking District meeting, including HBA Executive Director Ben Nichols interrupting and yelling at board members and the public. Yes, that’s the same Ben Nichols who has admonished others, “That’s not how we do things in Hillcrest“.
Fortunately, members of Uptown Parking District from Bankers Hill overcame the HBA’s efforts. And last week, Uptown Planners reiterated support for a continuous east-west bikeway on University, with a suggested two-way cycletrack on the north side of the street from 5th to 10th, to fill the “HBA Hole” (h/t to Jeff Kucharski):
With the city repaving/striping University later this year due to underground pipe work, there’s an opportunity to fill the above gap, potentially removing just 8 parking spaces (5 new spaces are being added nearby on Robinson at 163). I’m impressed at how Uptown Planners has come around on this issue, and I’m grateful that Tom Mullaney, whom I’ve disagreed with on other issues, even attended the Parking District meeting in support of the bike lanes. I’m guessing the efforts of Kyle Heiskala (who’s now running for City Council) and Michael Brennan have helped people consider both sides of the issue.
Nichols has complained about bicyclists who ride on sidewalks (“It reminded me of those cyclists that give all riders a bad name by riding up on sidewalks… with complete disregard for any rule or procedure at all“), and sure enough, on my way to the Parking District meeting, I saw a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk on a dangerous stretch of University in the HBA Hole:
When I asked the rider, “It’s too dangerous to ride in the street, isn’t it?”, she said yes.
I’m hopeful someday Hillcrest can overcome Ben Nichols, Crest Cafe owner Cecelia Moreno, Bread and Cie owner Charlie Kaufman, Chris Shaw and Ace Hardware owner Bruce Reeves, who have all put their claim to public street space over the safety of residents and visitors. Meanwhile a new SANDAG report shows University Ave has the highest number of pedestrian and bike collisions in Uptown:
“The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes Won“? Not in Hillcrest, unfortunately.
– Finishing up: traffic calming is coming to the Sixth Ave south of Laurel courtesy of the City, with buffered bike lanes, a road diet, new crosswalks and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (UPDATE: here’s the City presentation [h/t Adrian] and screen shots from it below:
And here are the results of the I-8 corridor study: lots of interesting proposals, but making this part of Mission Valley safer for non-drivers is going to be a big (unfunded) infrastructure challenge after decades of auto-centric planning. Also, some useful Mission Valley planning maps (h/t Tyler) as this area readies for transit-oriented development.