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San Diego Gears Up For Bike To Work Day

May 15, 2018 1:40 p.m.

San Diego Gears Up For Bike To Work Day

GUEST:

Cody Hooven, chief sustainability officer, City of San Diego

Related Story: San Diego Gears Up For Bike To Work Day

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> Thousands of San Diego's are gearing up for biking to workday. There will be more than 100 pitstops throughout the county with snacks and tuneups. City officials say that getting people to bicycle. To work as part of their plan to reduce car use. Can --
>> What can bicyclists expect?
>> As you mentioned there would be pitstops all around the county and a lot of excitement about biking to work. People will be out,, being on the bikes and offering a different fun event and you can see on the website but they are offering, music, fun snacks, I will be out one of the pitstops on Pacific Highway in front of waterfront Park and we will be offering breakfast burritos and cold brew coffee. We will have a lot of fun.
>> I would imagine that a lot of people and taking part do not normally bike to work, do you have any safety tips?
>>. One of the tips that they shared with me was to just behave as if you were a car. This in a good way, behave as if you were following the rules of the road and this is generally the first rule of thumb to help you navigate biking. Do what you are comfortable with and of course wear a helmet, take it slow and what worked for me was getting with a friend who would normally bike to work to go with me. She shadowed me and she said here are the best rates, maybe don't take this route, this is all I needed to get myself going.
>> Is there any particular neighborhoods that the city is targeting that are right on the cusp of having healthy bike riding?
>> Anything in the urban core, the broader urban core, so all the way up to North Park, Kensington, city Heights, all the way around into downtown, those are great neighborhoods. If you feel comfortable, there are a lot of bike lanes that are offered throughout the region. You can figured out based on where you live and work to find the best route for yourself. They're all sorts of neighborhoods.
>> I've noticed in Hillcrest there has been a lot new painted bike lanes, what kind of infrastructures are occurring now to improve biking?
>> We are working on the downtown mobility plan. There are a lot of people that work downtown and live within the general area that can get there by bicycle. We are working on this massive infrastructure project. One of the reasons we are promoting like to workday and transit Tuesday, those infrastructure projects are expensive and they take some time to build. In the meantime we feel like people can still exercise some options. We are trying to do both, promote behavior change and promote those bigger projects to make it safer and more accessible for people to do something other than drive alone to work.
>> Her that downtown mobility plan is protected by bike lanes. These are lanes physically separated from traffic, the initial plan was that they would be completed by next year, that plane got -- plan got changed and now it won't be completed until 2021, how do you think that delay will affect people to bike?
>> I bike regularly downtown already, I do not think it will affect those who already want to try and are doing it, I think the change was to make the barriers between bikes and cars more permanent, to make nicer upgrades to the system, we felt it was a worthwhile change to this project. We are moving ahead as quickly as we can and hopefully we will see it done sooner.
>> Have you noticed an influx in San Diego of bikes after these documents bikes came to the city?
>> Yes, I see them all over the place and it is a wonderful sight to see. It is funny to see people who do not normally bike or use the electric scooters for example. It is great to see people who normally have not biked before, or do not think to use that option because it is convenient to try it out.
>> Innocent businesses and business associations have had some tepid reactions, does the city have any position on them? Is the city in favor? Are they hand off?
>> We do not necessarily have a position, we support mobility options for San Diego's people. We have a partner of this corporate partnership with the ductless bikes. We provide business and tax certificate for others coming up in the city. We do not have a position other than be safe and follow the rules. Again, from a bigger picture, we are very supportive of mobility options and people getting on getting exercise. We want them to enjoy the beautiful city that we have.
>> You talked about seeing a lot of people who are new to biking and getting into it because of this explosion of ductless bikes. This is speak to you about the increased need of safety measures?
>> Yes, I think it is a little bit of both. They need to take personal responsibility to educate themselves on what are safe options, generally not writing on the sidewalk, if you feel comfortable in the street, always wear a helmet again. We see a lot of folks who are not following those rules and that is up to them. That is on the city and other regions agencies in the region to put -- continue to provide that infrastructure.
>> They expect that six percent of commute trips in transit priority areas will be by bicycle by 2020. What is the strategy from the city to get to that point and are we on track to meet it?
>> We are taking the approach that I mentioned earlier. We are two parts, telling infrastructure which is bike lanes and safety infrastructure to allow people to increase the use of the roads for that reason. They are also trying to advertise what is already in existence. There are many bike lanes now and the other piece is behavior change. We think a lot of folks come out of habit jump in your car and drive somewhere because it is easier and it is a little bit of a hurdle to think about how to take a bike rider how to get on transit and people just do not take the time to do it. We feel that if we encourage people to do it, what a pleasant ride it is to not have to drive yourself around, you can read your email, get some exercise, it is so nice I cannot emphasize that enough.
>> How when you're looking at these trips, how far that six percent goal are we?
>> I do not have those numbers off the top my head. We have seen a bit of an increase and we are working in different ways to measure this. We've issued a survey citywide and it is very tricky. We have talked a lot of different cities on how to track this and it is difficult to measure. We are working on this now by doing surveys and working with our new technologies that we are installing around streetlights doing that.
>> This is the city of San Diego's chief sustainability officer. Bike to work day is this Thursday, May 17.