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San Diego City Council Committee Approves Bike Implementation Plan

A group of cyclists rides through an intersection in downtown San Diego in th...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: A group of cyclists rides through an intersection in downtown San Diego in this undated photo.

The San Diego City Council's Environment Committee Thursday unanimously approved a strategic implementation plan for the city's current Bicycle Master Plan, adopted in 2013.

The master plan identifies pressing bike-related needs and includes bikeways, programs and other projects intended to improve and maintain the local bicycling environment over a 20-year span.

The new plan, developed by the Bicycle Advisory Committee, identifies ways to activate provisions of the earlier document. It also proposes methods to measure success.

"San Diego has what it takes to become a city where bicycles are used for everyday transportation, recreation and general mobility," City Councilman David Alvarez said.

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Overall, building out the master plan's proposed bike network is estimated to cost $312 million.

The first objective calls for increasing the mode share of bicycle transport in transit-priority areas to 6 percent by 2020 and 18 percent by 2035.

A foremost priority will be initiating the master plan's "high priority bike projects," of which there are 40, estimated to cost $35 million.

In particular, the implementation plan proposes completing high priority projects, including bike lanes and bike paths, in historically underserved communities.

The plan also suggests staffing a "mobility champion" in the mayor's office, continuing bike share programs and coordinating with street resurfacing crews to implement bike-friendly designs on a rolling basis.

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The implementation plan's second objective is to increase rider safety by bolstering enforcement and improving infrastructure in high-fatality areas. That fits into Vision Zero, a goal to eliminate local traffic deaths by 2025.

Objective three is to increase bike program funding and grant dollars, specifically for new bikeways and bike-oriented city staff.

Other objectives call for increased education and institutional collaboration on bicycle issues within the city and outside agencies.

City policies can also be reviewed and changed to better accommodate bicycling, Community Plan Updates can be written with bikes in mind and city staff can be trained on Vision Zero goals, the plan said.

Editor's Note: The headline of this story has been updated to reflect that a city council committee approved the implementation of the plan and not the entire city council.

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