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Plan To Implement San Diego Bike Network Put On Hold

A traffic sign at 54th Street and University Avenue in City Heights reads

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: A traffic sign at 54th Street and University Avenue in City Heights reads "Bike Route End," Nov. 9, 2017.

A scheduled San Diego City Council vote on a plan to speed up the creation of a citywide network of bike lanes was put on hold this week, after cycling advocates voiced concerns that the plan was not strong enough.

San Diego's Bicycle Master Plan, passed by the City Council in 2013, envisions a complete network of bike lanes that would make cycling faster, safer and more convenient. The bike plan's implementation is a key component of the city's Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, most of which come from cars and trucks.

But bike advocates have been frustrated with the pace of the bike plan's implementation, and for nearly two years have been working on a set of policies aimed to focus more city attention on building out the city's bike network. Those policies were removed from Tuesday's City Council agenda this week because of last-minute disagreements over their final wording.

RELATED: San Diego Regional Bike Counters Up For Adoption

Randy Van Vleck, active transportation manager for the City Heights Community Development Corporation and a bike committee member, said the committee wanted stronger language to ensure more focus on the city's bike program needs.

"We're looking forward to working with staff to include a bit more specific metrics in the strategic implementation plan, specifically ... in regards to counting how many people are biking," he said.

The Climate Action Plan expects 6 percent of San Diegans living near major public transit stops — in so-called "transit priority areas" — to bike to work by 2020. The city has not yet figured out how it will measure that shift in commute habits, and previous efforts to measure the share of bike commuters in the city have failed.

In 2014, the city purchased several dozen cameras that were meant to count the number of cyclists riding through certain intersections. Officials did not install the cameras until last year, however, and the cameras are still failing to collect accurate data.

Van Vleck said the Bicycle Advisory Committee wants bike counters installed throughout the city's transit priority areas by next year.

"We want to make sure that we're on track to achieve the 6 percent bike mode share by 2020," he said. "Our goal really is to chart that course and spell out the clear actions to get us there."

A city spokesman said transportation officials are working on the bike committee's recommended changes to the plan, and that the City Council vote has not yet been rescheduled.

A San Diego City Council vote meant to speed up the creation of the city's bike network was postponed this week. Bike advocates want to give the city deadlines for measuring progress.

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