SAN DIEGO– Today, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) approved scenario 1 for the regional bike plan early action program, which allows a $200 million investment in high priority bike projects over the next 10 years. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition(SDCBC), an organization protecting the rights of all people who ride bicycles, says this is a momentous step toward creating a regional bicycle network of interconnected corridors, support facilities and programs to make bicycling a convenient form of transportation.
“The momentum for bicycling as an active form of transportation in San Diego County is in high gear,” said Andy Handshaw, executive director of SDCBC. “By approving scenario 1 for the regional bike plan, SANDAG has put into motion essential improvements that will enable folks to ride bicycles more safely on more direct and convenient routes that connect more cities throughout the county.”
In 2011, SANDAG’s board of directors made a commitment to active transportation with the adoption of the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and its Sustainable Communities Strategy, which included integration of Riding to 2050: San Diego Regional Bicycle Plan previously approved in 2010. The board developed the bike plan early action program, and in April 2012, SANDAG’s transportation committee accepted its goals and began initial cost estimates. Following a recommendation by the transportation committee, today’s final action by the board approved scenario 1 for the early action program prioritizing projects included within the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.
Some high profile projects in the list of early action priorities include the North Park – Mid-City bike corridor, the Uptown bicycle corridor, several Coastal Rail Trail San Diego bikeways, San Diego River Trail bikeways, additional Bayshore Bikeway connections and some downtown to southeast San Diego connections.
According the Hanshaw, these much-needed bicycling improvements in San Diego County complement the greater bicycle momentum occurring throughout all parts of the region. Earlier this week, Governor Brown announced that he signed a bill that will require cars to give three feet of space when passing a bicycle rider on the road. The City of San Diego and its bike share partner, DECOBIKE, are currently searching for input on locations for the new bike share system slated to open in 2014. Also, San Diego’s business improvement districts run the nation’s largest bicycle friendly program of its kind.
“SANDAG’s approval for early action on these high-priority bicycle road and pathway improvements nicely wraps together bicycle-related projects and improvements occurring simultaneously in all parts of the county,” Hanshaw said.