San Diego installs counters in new protected bike lanes
San Diego has installed bike counters on two streets with new protected bike lanes in an effort to track the impact on cycling habits.
Counters were installed in the new bike lanes on Pacific Highway in Little Italy last November, while others were installed in the bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park last Saturday.
As of Thursday afternoon, the devices on 30th Street had logged more than 1,700 bike and scooter trips.
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Stephan Vance, board chairman of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, said that data is already debunking the myth that bike lanes are wasteful because no one uses them.
"Obviously there's been some opposition to the (bike lanes), so it's really important that the city knows that what it did here is succeeding," Vance said.
The 30th Street bike lanes were installed last summer after more than two years of planning and community outreach. Some residents and businesses have praised them as a badly needed safety improvement while others have panned them, mostly because they required the removal of on-street parking.
A group called Save 30th Street Parking sued the city in an effort to block the bike lanes but lost the case last year.
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Bike and pedestrian counters have existed on several key routes throughout San Diego County for years, though several of them were left with dead batteries because no public agency had agreed to fund their maintenance. They are all now operational again and being maintained by SDSU and the regional transportation agency SANDAG.
City spokeswoman Anna Vacchi Hill said the city intends to install more bike counters on key bike routes but has not yet settled on specific locations.