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San Diego Citywide Bike Path Plan Goes Before City Council

Aired 12/9/13 on KPBS News.

The San Diego City Council will consider a plan to add 595 miles of bicycle paths to double the size of the citywide bike network.

The San Diego City Council on Monday will consider adopting a Bicycle Master Plan that envisions the creation of an expanded citywide bike network in San Diego over the next 20 years.

The plan would more than double the existing bikeways network, adding 595 miles to it. It would define high priority projects, encourage bicycling as a transportation mode, and recommend new systems of on-street bike storage such as bike corrals.

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf backs the plan, as do the two mayoral runoff candidates, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer.

Alvarez plans to ride a bike to work -- which he does frequently -- with Andy Hanshaw, the executive director of San Diego Bicycle Coalition, and Samantha Ollinger of BikeSD. Faulconer held a news conference with Hanshaw last week to express his support.

According to city documents, the goals are to make cycling a viable travel choice, particularly for trips of less than five miles.

But the master plan contains no funding, and the city has a long way to go. Only 0.8 percent of San Diegans commute to work by bike. The master plan points out that bike collisions are more than twice as likely to be fatal in San Diego than in the nation as a whole.

Bike advocates hope a proposed bike advisory board will keep the city accountable when it comes to paying for improvements.

Currently, the city has approximately 72 miles of off-street paved bike paths, 309 miles of bike lanes and 113 miles of bike routes. Another 16 miles of freeway shoulders are open to bicycling. The city has also been redesigning bike lanes over the past year in order to enhance safety.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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