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San Diego Bike Event ‘CicloSDias’ Returns After 2 Years

Photo caption: Bicycles that DecoBike has for rent are shown in downtown San Diego, June 27,...

Photo credit: Michael Schuerman

Bicycles that DecoBike has for rent are shown in downtown San Diego, June 27, 2015.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is bringing back CicloSDias, an event that closes streets to traffic to encourage biking and walking. Organizers say they hope the city of San Diego will become a stronger partner in making the event happen more often.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition recently announced the return of its CicloSDias event, which closes down streets to car traffic to encourage more biking and walking.

The event, set for Oct. 30 in North Park and City Heights, has not taken place in two years. The coalition's executive director, Andy Hanshaw, said it has taken longer than he had hoped to build support.

"The Bike Coalition was the lead organizer on all these events and still is," he said. "For us, with a very limited staff and very limited resources, it's been difficult for us to sustain it on a routine basis. But we're happy that we're now working with several groups to make it happen."

Hanshaw said the offices of San Diego City Council members Todd Gloria and Lorie Zapf have sponsored past events when they've occurred in their respective districts, but that the city of San Diego has not given the event money or a discount on the usual event fees.

"I don't want to say they haven't been supportive, because they have been in helping us figure out ways to do this," he said. "But as a partner moving forward, we'd love to have the mayor's office on down embrace this as more of a strategy, if you will, for their own climate goals."

The mayor's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The city's Climate Action Plan binds the city to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035, in large part by getting more San Diegans to commute to work via biking, walking and riding public transit.

The City Council's five Democrats all identified implementation of the Climate Action Plan as a top budget priority in memos to the mayor last February.

The mayor has identified $127 million in his current budget for implementing the climate plan. However, much of that funding is classified as supporting the plan "indirectly," because it helps the city adapt to the effects of climate change but does not directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The city's sustainability manager told KPBS in May that there is not an estimate now of how much the Climate Action Plan will cost the city going forward.

A San Diego County Grand Jury report issued in June found that the city may need to begin subsidizing its bike sharing program, DecoBike, in order to meet the mode-share goals of the Climate Action Plan. The City Council's proposed response to the report (Download Acrobat Reader) partially disagrees, saying the bike sharing program's success is not central to achieving the city's climate goals.

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