Streets to Be Closed to Cars in Grant Hill/Stockton, South Park, North Park and City Heights
On the beautiful sunny morning of February 25, bicycle enthusiasts, city residents, and local politicians gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at San Diego’s newest bike corral in Hillcrest. If you’re unfamiliar, a bike corral is an onstreet parking facility for bicycles, typically taking up the space of one or two automobile parking spots and providing parking for ten to twenty bicycles.
This new installation is San Diego’s fourth bike corral, all of which are located in District 3. For those of you scoring at home that leaves us only 87 bike corrals short of the 91 boasted by the bicycle mecca of Portland.
The new bike corral is located on the south-west corner of the intersection of Richmond Street and University Avenue in Hillcrest, next to Filter Coffee House at 1295 University Avenue. The Uptown Community Parking District paid for the corral and the Hillcrest Business Association will provide for upkeep and maintenance in the future.
City Council President Todd Gloria spoke about “more transportation options in the city of San Diego” including “bike paths, bike boulevards, bike lanes” and noted that although District 3, his district, currently has a monopoly on bike corrals in the city there is plenty of room for the other districts to join in. I’d look to the People’s Republic of Ocean Beach as a likely candidate to step up to this challenge. Gloria also noted that “we don’t do ugly in District 3″, a nod to the bright and colorful corral. However, the rainbow hues of the six racks in the corral do not include the least loved of the seven traditional colors of the rainbow: indigo is nowhere to be seen.
Mayor Filner also stepped to the mic to drop some rhymes and gave a preview of upcoming bicycle projects in the city. San Diego will have a “bike-share starting in a few months” to promote ridership and options for one-way trips and allow visitors to more easily traverse town on two wheels. Also announced was CicloSDias – San Diego’s take on the ciclovia concept that has been adopted by cities all over the world after being started in Colombia decades ago. A ciclovia is an event where city streets are closed for a period and bicyclists and pedestrians can use the entirety of the street.
The inaugural CicloSDias will be held Sunday, August 18th from 10 AM – 4 PM. The event will stretch from 30th Street and K Street in Grant Hill / Stockton, north along 30th Street through South Park and North Park, and east along Landis Street and Wightman Street into City Heights.
Per the official site CicloSDias is to be a “free open street event where there will be activities along the route, shops and restaurants open for business and neighbors and friends from all over coming together to make our streets come alive”. Mark your calendars now for what is sure to be a great, and historic, experience.
The event included many different facets of the efforts to make San Diego more bicycle-friendly. There was physical evidence of dollars and effort dedicated to bicycling in the shape of a bike corral. There were events to build awareness and reach out to the public via the upcoming CicloSDias and bike-share program. Above all, there was the ever-present reminder of the beautiful weather, active populace, and positive energy that are the primary reasons that the goal of “San Diego (as) America’s best biking city” is more than the pipe dream of a lotus eater.
As I rode away from the ribbon-cutting Eye of the Tiger by Survivor came up on my smarthphone / bike radio and an image of Mayor Filner running the steps of the Convention Center a la Rocky came into my mind. I pedaled a little harder, smiled a little wider, and took my daughter to a local park dreaming about possibilities for the future. If proposals like that of local architect Lew Dominy to add a hanging pedestrian and bicycle path to the Coronado bridge are any indication I’m not the only one that’s excited about San Diego’s future and dreaming big.
John P. Anderson
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