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Thousands Expected To Hit San Diego Streets For ‘Bike To Work Day’

If you are driving to work on Thursday you may want to be on the lookout for more cyclist as they participate in Bike to Work Day.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 If you're driving to work tomorrow, you may want to be on the lookout for more cyclists as they participate in bike to work day. It is Sandag 29th annual event, raising awareness about the change, commuting to work by bike can make to the environment your mood, health and wallet. Joining me is imperial beach may or surge to Dina who serves on the board of Sandag and Mayor de Dina, I understand you'll be trading your surf board at least for a few hours tomorrow morning for a bike. Is that right?

Speaker 2: 00:26 Yeah, and sometimes I actually put my surfboard on my bike when I ride to the beach and uh, and I surfed this morning, but I'll be riding my bike to the city council meeting tonight at six o'clock. So, uh, yeah, we're full bicycle and surf city in imperial beach.

Speaker 1: 00:40 And now bike to work day has been happening in the region for 29 years. As I mentioned, what's new this year?

Speaker 2: 00:46 This year we have a hundred pitstop locations throughout the San Diego region. We have actually have a pitstop in Tijuana. Last year, 10,000 cyclists joined the day. So we're looking forward to a really great morning from six to 9:00 PM and you can sign up at, I commute to San diego.com and get a tee shirt. But yeah, it's going to be a big, big deal. And really celebrating all the investments we've made in bicycle infrastructure and bike trails throughout San Diego more than a 1600 miles of bikeways.

Speaker 1: 01:13 Wow. And what is the goal behind by two workday is is it's about the celebration of the investments that are made, but is it about turning casual bike riders into bike commuters?

Speaker 2: 01:22 Yeah, really it's about getting people who may have thought about cycling to work, really giving them the opportunity and little push to really get out and enjoy it and celebrate it and then reward those who are making that trek every day. And you know, we, we find is that the people who get on their bikes and get to work really have a better start to the day. They're exercising, they're getting outside, they're really enjoying the best of San Diego and seeing the best of San Diego. What should novice writers do to prepare themselves to commute to work tomorrow? Well, you know what, we mainly to make sure your tires are inflated, obviously sign up@likecommutesandiego.com get a helmet and you really map out the best path to get to work. Make sure you have your bike lock and really just get a positive attitude and get out there and start pedaling. It's rain or shine. We're going to be out there and it should be a lot of fun.

Speaker 1: 02:06 In the city of San Diego, it's climate action plan. Expect 6% of commute trips and so called transit priority areas to be made by bicycle next year. What kind of role does bike commuting play when it comes to the region's overall transportation system?

Speaker 2: 02:21 Yeah, so it's really important to give people alternatives in our mobility plan and the more people we get out of cars onto bikes really reduces congestion. And so it's a really important way of just reducing air pollution. Right now, San Diego has a six worst air pollution in the country, so we need to do everything we can to make it easier for people not to get in their cars and enjoy walking, writing, um, and biking and just doing everything we can to really get outside and enjoy the best of San Diego.

Speaker 1: 02:48 And what other type of improvements do you think need to be made to encourage more people to commute by bike and to make it safer for them?

Speaker 2: 02:55 Well, you know, we need to make sure we have those dedicated bike lanes. And that's something that San Diego's doing, especially from the border on northward and throughout city of San Diego as well. We're in San Diego state right now. I can see those green bike lanes right near state. And so that's important. Making sure that businesses are set up to accommodate people that ride their bikes. So it Sandag for example, they have bike showers, people can shower when they get to work. I think all those kinds of things are really important. Businesses can do really a lot to encourage that. And government agencies as well as changed a lot since I started commuting downtown back in 1989 after I graduated from UC SD. So it's a lot easier to do that, but we still need to do a lot more to make it easier. You know, mayor did.

Speaker 2: 03:34 Dina, can you expand a little bit more on where Sandag is in terms of building the bike network? Yeah, so right now, uh, for example, we're in the final phase of the border to Bayshore bikeway a 6.5 mile bike route that will make, provide safe biking connections between IB, San Ysidro and the San Ysidro port of entry. That's really, really important. We're getting a lot of people who are crossing the border and riding their bikes and connecting that Bayshore bikeway. In fact, we have hundreds of people that are crossing through imperial beach from Santa seizure to do that. We don't make it easier that Bayshore bikeway is an absolute magnet for cyclists throughout the region who are writing a guys in the navy or writing from IB up to corn auto or vice versa. Um, people who are writing from IB and Chula Vista National City downtown. So the more that we can do that and invest in that, I'm the better in the city of San Diego is really doing a great job of making these investments and connections throughout the city and making it safer to do that.

Speaker 2: 04:27 And when you find where they do that, um, just people naturally use those bike lanes, it really makes a difference to have dedicated bike lanes. You see that on the Bayshore bikeway that again is just packed and packed with writers and, and explain what exactly it is. You mean by the dedicated bike lanes? Yeah, these are protected lanes that have sort of a little barrier so that cyclists feel safer or it's just a completely off the roadway. So the Bayshore bikeway that you see from imperial beach up to Cornetto and then through Chula Vista is set aside away from roads are cyclists are safe. And then now even with the, uh, bay short of border bikeway, you'll have dedicated lanes that again, separate cyclists from traffic so they feel safer. So those are a little harder to do. But, um, those are really the sort of like benchmark for getting people on bikes and imperial beach, we're doing a lot of bike lanes that aren't protected only because of the funding issue.

Speaker 2: 05:18 But um, definitely the trend is to invest in these dedicated bike lanes. And you see that recently in Encinitas in North county where they built a dedicated bicycle lane just last week they opened that up. And so that's really the trend and you're going to see that more and more. And when you see those types of lines, uh, you see just people using them, what have been some of the barriers to really making and the creation of these safe bike lanes a priority? Um, well it's some of the little of the costs and it's just really planning working with neighborhood neighborhoods, um, making sure that we can get people to understand that the more we create these bike lanes, actually more investments that we have in businesses, businesses find that or do a lot better where you have dedicated bike lanes. So it's just really getting people used to that concept and get the planning infrastructure really set up to do that.

Speaker 2: 06:04 And do you think bike to work day makes an impact? Yeah, we know with 10,000 cyclists and all this promotion, I think it's really just getting the word out there that this is a fun and easy and healthy thing to do and that we need to encourage and reward all those people who are doing it. And the businesses and agencies that are participating. I've been speaking with imperial beach. Mayor surge did Dina, mayor Divina, thanks for joining us. Oh, thank you so much. In the surf was firing this morning, so it's a great day. And I'll be riding my bike after this.

Speaker 3: 06:32 [inaudible].

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.