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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

San Diego Bike Loop To Guide Bicyclists Through Safer Streets

Photo by Claire Trageser

City Councilman Todd Gloria rides a bike to show off the San Diego Bike Loop, May 27, 2014.

San Diego Bike Loop is a new seven-mile loop that takes riders from downtown to Bankers Hill, Little Italy and San Diego Bay.

If you drive or ride your bike in San Diego, you may now see green symbols on the road. Those signs mark the new San Diego Bike Loop, a seven-mile loop that takes riders from downtown to Bankers Hill, Little Italy and San Diego Bay.

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San Diego Bike Loop

San Diego Bike Loop

San Diego Bike Loop, a seven-mile bike route opened on May 27, 2014.

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Photo by Claire Trageser

The green symbols that mark off the San Diego Bike Loop.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Council President Todd Gloria and Andy Hanshaw, the head of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, announced the loop at a press conference on Tuesday.

The idea is that riders can follow the green circles painted on the road to stay on the route.

"The San Diego Bike Loop is a big step forward in our push to create a more bike-friendly city," Faulconer said. "These are the types of low-cost projects that have a huge impact on our neighborhoods."

Bikers on the loop will be riding with cars, but on streets that are relatively quiet and sometimes, but not always, have bike lanes. The route also includes 4th and 5th avenues along Balboa Park, which recently had one of three traffic lanes converted into a bike lane. The idea is called a "road diet," Gloria said.

"Like many of us, our roads are now going on diets," he said. "We are removing car lanes and replacing them with protected bike lanes. This is a huge step in our great city. As someone who drives this corridor every day, from my home in Hillcrest to my office in downtown, I have seen how well used these lanes really are. People really are embracing them."

The new bike lanes also use "sharrows," signs painted on the road with bikes topped by two arrows, reminding drivers to share the road with bicyclists.

Sam Ollinger, the head of bike advocacy group BikeSD, was not at the announcement of the bike loop. But she said she's excited about projects like this one, especially with the addition of bike lanes on 4th and 5th avenues.

"With our wide streets, we have the room to implement road diets and build protected bicycle infrastructure on nearly every street in the city," she said. "I hope the leaders in the city aren't afraid of raising the bar as we approach the anniversary of the centennial to forge ahead on a new identity that is the envy of cities around the world."

San Diego's Bike to Work Day, which was postponed because of the wildfires two weeks ago, will be held this Friday.

This story has been updated to clarify the description of sharrows in bike lanes.

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