February 6, 2019 – KUSI News – Dani Ruberti reporting – The Bicycle Advisory Board held a press conference Wednesday morning, celebrating the location where the first protective bike lane opened up in downtown San Diego last month. They also called for more action and more bike lanes in the near future, so cars and bikes can safely share the roads.
“We have to design streets, not just for cars, but for people,” said Nicole Capretz, Executive Director of the Climate Action Campaign.
It’s no secret. A drive in your car around downtown San Diego is enough to make your blood boil.
“It’s expensive to park,” said Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition. “There’s very little parking, so let’s start giving people choices, like riding your bike downtown.”
Nicole Capretz told KUSI Reporter Dani Ruberti she likes to ride her bike every day, to work, to the grocery store, to run errands, but sometimes it can be scary.
“To do that, I have to feel safe,” said Capretz. “Right now, unfortunately, because our streets are designed for cars, because we don’t have protective bike lanes in so many places, I don’t feel safe.”
The folks with the Bicycle Advisory Board want to the change the mindset, redesign some of the streets and make San Diego a place where people want to ride their bikes.
“It will change the quality of life in our city,” said Capretz. “It will make us more of a world class city where people have options with where they move around.”
Hanshaw said the city implemented the first protective bike lane in downtown San Diego along J Street between First Ave and Park Blvd last month. It’s like a sidewalk for a bike. There’s also separate bicycle signals along the path to make the busy intersection safer.
“You give them the places to ride to make it easy for them to choose to ride,” said Hanshaw. “If you live in downtown and you now have this access to this safe network, why wouldn’t you consider bike riding?”
The Bicycle Advisory Board celebrated accomplishments. They said they’re thankful the city redesigned J Street with a bike friendly route, but Capretz said promises have been made and more needs to be done.
“We are never going to give up and we are going to continue to pressure and advocate and hopefully persuade the mayor and the council to use our taxpayer dollars to create safe streets, so families have the opportunity to ride their bike if they choose to when they want to move around San Diego,” said Capretz.
Hanshaw said the goal is to have a 9-mile network of protected bike lanes connecting streets throughout downtown San Diego in the next year and a half.
Watch the full segment here.