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San Diego Bike Loop To Guide Bicyclists Through Safer Streets

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

Aired 5/28/14 on KPBS News.

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.

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.

Comments

Avatar for user 'domke'

domke | May 28, 2014 at 12:16 p.m. ― 6 months ago

Bike friendly is a wonderful thing. But changing the habits of drivers is more important. The fact is they think they own the road - and display more than enough nerve to run stop signs and blow their yellow lights like there's no one else on the highways. Oh yeah....bikers do it too - but at least we're not responsible for a 4500 lb piece of machinery in the middle of the intersection.

Building these special bike lanes only encourages the many witless drivers of more indiscriminate use of "their" old highways. I will use these special lanes and put double the emphasis to monitor my safety around the crazy automobile commuters who have made a miserable life for themselves. Some of us are determined to live closer to our work despite the corporate overlords and their suburban mall and office fantasies. Driving faster and faster to work is not helping or productive.

"Separate but equal" is not going to work in the long run.....I pay for the roads with my tax money too! Just because I'm not in a Prius doesn't make me invisible or inconsequential. I want equal access to all the roads - including the so called freeway.

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Avatar for user 'Right2Safety'

Right2Safety | May 28, 2014 at 1:10 p.m. ― 6 months ago

Along these and other bike routes (Jackson at Lake Murray; Golfcrest at Navajo) I have noticed small things that look like miniature old-style car-phone or wifi router antennas. They are each about 4 inches high and may be single or in a pattern of 4 or 5. These may be some sort of sensor but I'm not sure that this could be a version of the induction loop technology but for bicycle detection. How does one detect the metal in a light-weight bicycle? These are not easily seen from a distance. Has any bicyclist run over these things? Are they destabilizing enough to lead to a spill? What is their purpose? What is the sensor technology? Are they detecting human bodies?

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Avatar for user 'buggyr333'

buggyr333 | May 28, 2014 at 10:10 p.m. ― 6 months ago

Great! now we need a Bike lane on Park Blvd through balboa park... The most treacherous part of my commute. 2 lanes in both directions with parking on both sides and a generous median in the center? and the best the city could do are some lousy sharrows that drivers don't see or care about?

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Avatar for user 'TheHealthyCornerStore'

TheHealthyCornerStore | June 4, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. ― 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I've been seeing these green symbols in Little Italy and I'm happy to see that San Diego is becoming more bike friendly! Now I need to ride my Vanmoof bike a little more...

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | June 4, 2014 at 10:38 a.m. ― 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The needs of many vs the needs of the few.

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