This article highlights the treatment cyclists get in "Americas' Finest City" as San Diego touts itself. Now bear in mind that this city received the award last year for best cycling city for population over a million.
Yet this is typical of the facilities we have at our disposal:
By Ruth McKinnie Braun
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
January 9, 2008
THE PROBLEM: The San Diego bike path along state Route 56 from Carmel Valley to Rancho Peñasquitos is straight and smooth, but getting to it from El Camino Real is a jarring experience.
Mitch Lynn sets out from his home in Mission Hills twice a month for a ride that loops north to Carmel Valley across to Interstate 15 and then back home.
THE SITE: State Route 56 bike path in Carmel Valley.
Lynn said the 10-mile path beside Route 56 is one of the region's best rides. He just wishes it was easier to get to.
When Caltrans built the path, it included a paved entrance from southbound El Camino Real, but not from the northbound side.
Cyclists have forged a 200-foot dirt trail to the asphalt bike path, but there are no signs and no curb cuts leading there. Some cyclists, Lynn said, ride down the somewhat steep trail filled with ruts, but many walk.
“If you are not a strong rider, you will fall down,” Lynn said.
Northbound riders can use the southbound entrance, but that requires riding against traffic on El Camino Real, cutting across six lanes of 50 mph traffic and a center median or riding to a traffic light more than a block away and circling back. Lynn and other riders who have contacted Just Fix It want Caltrans or the city of San Diego to pave the trail and put in a curb cut.
Lynn also said part of the paved path between El Camino Real and Carmel Creek Road is chronically flooded.
STATUS: Just Fix It called Caltrans, which said San Diego is responsible for maintaining the path.
Brad Jacobsen, a city associate traffic engineer, said paving the trail would cost about $245,000 and is not as simple as it appears. Because of sensitive habitat near the trail, the city would have to provide environmental mitigation.
The city has unsuccessfully applied for money for the project from the half-cent sales tax that pays for transportation projects in the region. Jacobsen said the city will apply again and is looking at other options.
The flooding is caused by an overgrowth of native plants in Carmel Creek. Jacobsen said the city is looking for money to install a flood-control channel.
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE: Brad Jacobsen, who can be reached at (619) 533-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The city has a bicycle hotline at (619) 533-3110. NEED A PROBLEM SOLVED: Is there a problem government hasn't taken care of despite your complaints? Whether it's a missing bus bench or an unkempt park anywhere in San Diego County, Just Fix It might be able to help.
Complaint forms are at justfixit.uniontrib.com, or call (800) 820-8714 to describe your problem.
The sad thing is that this dirt path leads to perhaps one of the best bike paths in the area... a nice wide path with below grade crossings and bridges and entrances and exits similar to a freeway. But getting there is another thing.
But this is only the tip of the iceburg... other paths are cracked and broken, one path has stairs leading to it, and most paths do NOT have curb cuts, thus cyclists are forced to carry bikes over curbs to access paths... if they can find them, few paths are signed, so if you don't know it is there, you might miss it completely.
What do the facilities where you live look like?
Noisebeam posted this the other day: "Safer streets" implies some streets less safe than others?
And Cyclaholic shared this: "Safer streets" implies some streets less safe than others?