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    The city’s efforts to build dedicated bike lanes through Bankers Hill didn’t please everyone at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Uptown Planners.

    The meeting made two competing truths quite clear: The city is on track to boost its bike infrastructure; and plenty of people aren’t happy about it.

    The Uptown Planners considered two bike related items, and though neither received a vote that changed much of anything, the meeting became an occasionally heated stand-off between the packed room of cycling advocates and those who see bike investment as an encroachment on their lifestyle.

    The anti-cycling voices in the crowd and on the board and the general resistance to the proposed projects was a reminder of the extent to which many residents aren’t on board with elected leaders and city officials increasingly looking to embrace San Diego’s bike culture as part of its identity.


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    The City Council earlier this summer unanimously approved a 10-year agreement with a private company to provide beginning in January self-service access to 1,800 bikes spread across 220 stations citywide—though the program will begin in the tourist-heavy beaches, downtown, uptown and mid-city areas.

    To ensure a successful program, the company put up the $7.2 million capital expenditure, and the city is expecting up to a $2.6 million slice of the revenue it generates — the city’s transportation and engineering division is trying to make the city a more bike-friendly place.

    Before the end of the year, city engineers would like to remove a lane of traffic on both Fourth and Fifth avenues between downtown and Balboa Park, through Bankers Hill, to install dedicated bike lanes heading in each direction.

    The hope is the clearly delineated bike lane will make novice cyclists or tourists more comfortable on a high-traffic road.

    The city brought the plan to the Uptown Planners, the city’s planning group for the Uptown neighborhoods, Tuesday night, though the group opted not to vote on the project when it was told the city could move forward regardless of the group’s reaction.

    Linda Marabian, the city’s deputy director for transportation engineering, said the city intends to repaint the street with the bike lanes by December, so it’s in place before the bike-share program launches in January.

    “We’re going to have a lot of bikes on these roads, and it’s going to be concentrated in this area. And we need to be fast, because the bike sharing is coming fast,” Marabian said.

    She said the project wouldn’t meaningfully affect traffic on the stretch of Fourth and Fifth avenues from I-5 to Laurel Street because recent traffic counts showed the three-lane avenues are already built over capacity. They can lose a lane without creating traffic jams.

    The item was the second of two bike-related issues before the planning group Tuesday night, and the first revealed the extent to which biking advocates still face substantial opposition in making the traditionally car-centric city and region more bike-friendly.

    The other was a presentation by the regional planning agency SANDAG on its plan to make changes to traffic flows and parking allotments in the area for its Uptown Regional Bike Corridor project.

    That project, paid for by TransNet, the county’s voter-approved half-cent-sales tax for transportation projects, will improve bike  infrastructure with protected lanes and bikeways that connect to a similar network in North Park-Mid-City and the rest of the region.

    The Uptown Planners, after more than an hour of public comment, opted not to give its stamp of approval to the project yet. Instead, they voted to further consider how the plan would affect the community, and to fold its eventual approval into the ongoing process of updating its community plan, its blueprint for future growth and development in the area.

    Board members reiterated that they support the project in concept, but want it to fit within the existing plan update process.

    “This is nothing new; lots of cities have implemented bicycle plans,” said board member Tony Winney. “Anything we can do to make roads more safe, we should do.”

    But over the course of both public comment and responses by board members from the Uptown Planners, cyclists and those in favor of bike-related investments took a healthy share of pushback.

    It was claimed, at various points, that the loss of parking would hurt local business, that residents who wanted to use bikes as a means of transportation should move to New York, that the benefits of the project were limited to social engineering and that the beneficiaries of similar projects are disproportionately white.

    But all the tension didn’t amount to much: The city is installing bike lanes on Fourth and Fifth Avenues, and SANDAG is still planning for its Uptown project.

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      This article relates to: Bike Plans, Bike Policy, Community, Community Plans, Infrastructure, Land Use, Mayoral Election Issues 2014, Neighborhoods, News, Public Transportation, Share, Uptown

      Written by Andrew Keatts

      I'm Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0529.

      105 comments
      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson subscriber

      It just keeps getting more racist around here. I don't see a lot of black people riding bikes but I do see some. Are black people the only minority group? I see lots of Hispanics and a fair number of Asians riding. Are they white now? Even if the ridiculously false assertion that only white people ride were true, so what? What point are you trying to make? Jim Jones doesn't know bikes. He pretended to. I was a little surprised that he'd heard of Davidson bikes but if he actually knew bikes then he'd know that they were from Seattle, not San Diego. Maybe he knew someone who had one or maybe he remembers back in the 80's when a bike shop in Clairemont actually carried Davidson's during the period when they attempted to do more than just custom frames. There are a lot of people out there riding cheap bikes. I see them every day. These types of arguments are just an attempt to marginalize bicyclists. They are excuses made up by hateful bigots.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      It just keeps getting more racist around here. I don't see a lot of black people riding bikes but I do see some. Are black people the only minority group? I see lots of Hispanics and a fair number of Asians riding. Are they white now? Even if the ridiculously false assertion that only white people ride were true, so what? What point are you trying to make? Jim Jones doesn't know bikes. He pretended to. I was a little surprised that he'd heard of Davidson bikes but if he actually knew bikes then he'd know that they were from Seattle, not San Diego. Maybe he knew someone who had one or maybe he remembers back in the 80's when a bike shop in Clairemont actually carried Davidson's during the period when they attempted to do more than just custom frames. There are a lot of people out there riding cheap bikes. I see them every day. These types of arguments are just an attempt to marginalize bicyclists. They are excuses made up by hateful bigots.

      Sharon Gehl
      Sharon Gehl

      I want to see SANDAG’s Bike Corridor project work; but to do that it needs to be part of a balanced transportation plan that recognizes the reality that even with improved bike accessibility, the majority of people will still use cars, not bikes. Therefore, removing half the public parking in Five Points would have a negative impact on businesses and nearby residential neighborhoods. To be a balanced transportation plan, SANDAG needs to seriously work on ways to replace most of the parking that they propose removing.

      Sharon Gehl
      Sharon Gehl subscribermember

      I want to see SANDAG’s Bike Corridor project work; but to do that it needs to be part of a balanced transportation plan that recognizes the reality that even with improved bike accessibility, the majority of people will still use cars, not bikes. Therefore, removing half the public parking in Five Points would have a negative impact on businesses and nearby residential neighborhoods. To be a balanced transportation plan, SANDAG needs to seriously work on ways to replace most of the parking that they propose removing.

      Stephen Heverly
      Stephen Heverly

      Although this study is from NYC, it shows that additional biking infrastructure, including protected lanes, helped boost business there. Are there businesses that would go elsewhere if San Diego didn't improve cycling infrastructure? Many other studies can show that cities' businesses and economies are improving when additional transportation options are available. (not to mention public health and air quality improvements)NYC Study Finds Protected Bicycle Lanes Boost Local Businesshttp://www.americabikes.org/nyc_study_finds_protected_bicycle_lanes_boost_local_businessThe road to recovery is in sight, and it has a bike lane. The typical city street is a busy place. People riding bikes, walking, driving cars, and operating buses all have somewhere to to go and want to get there safely - and quickly.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      Jim, how do bicyclists get out of paying the TransNet sales tax for the roads?

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones subscriber

      Travis, bike infrastructure has close to zero ROI, as bikes generate very little tax revenue or business compared to the preferred method of transportation, the automobile. Bikers do not pay license fees, road taxes, fuel taxes. Bike trails don't deliver food, ambulances or public safety personnel. Attributing health care benefits to biking as a ROI is a false assumption, right off the bat even if you accept the basic premise (which is a dubious premise) it ignores any cheaper way to get exercise to the masses. I read the study you posted a link to far enough in to see the first major "mistake", the health cost benefit assumes, quite wrongly, that the bike riding is the sole exercise the person will do, so that any biker who already gets his 30 minutes of exercise outside of biking is included even though there is no benefit. It also ignores the complications of bike riding on health, and it assumes long life = less cost to society which is incorrect. In fact there are a dozen methodological tricks in the report designed to skew the outcome. Not surprising since the Swiss guy who wrote it is a "true believer" who works for Rails to Trails, and so the study is biased. It is no more believable than a study from Sunroad saying more development = a 6:1 ROI would be at face value.. That's the problem with these "studies", they all come from the pro bike side, they are all done from the perspective of someone with a mission to "prove" bikes save the world, instead of a mission for truth or real science. These sorts of studies exist for the faithful, they are propaganda, not science. It's the global warming scam on two wheels.

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte subscriber

      I believe it won't be, as they voted to send it to a subcommittee. The subcommittee will have meetings at some point in the coming months. There's always the option of raising the issue during the public comment time that is included in every agenda. I'm happy to show up again next time and bring it up again.

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte subscriber

      Much of the opposition on Tuesday night was from people worried that a loss of parking spaces (even just one) would hurt their businesses, and even drive them out of business. If a business is so dependent upon single-occupant vehicles that losing one parking space will put it out of business, it's not a question of if that business will go under, but when. And I don't want my tax dollars going towards its life support, when they could be much better spent on safety for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike, since bicycle infrastructure benefits everyone's safety.

      Randy Dotinga
      Randy Dotinga memberauthor

      That's mighty dismissive of people's livelihoods and questionable too. Plenty of people will shop elsewhere if they can't find parking. The best solutions treat no one (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists) as the enemy or discourage them form using the form of transportation they prefer. Instead, they try to help them all get what they want. (Yeah, I've complained in various forums about law-breaking cyclists. And it's clear that some cycling activists really dislike drivers, including those for whom cycling isn't feasible. But solutions that help cyclists and don't hurt drivers -- like getting rid of barely used lanes -- are good for everybody.)

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte subscriber

      Well, I prefer to travel by helicopter, so why is the government discouraging my choice by not providing me with helipads? People can't find parking because we refuse to charge a fair market rate for it, which would balance supply and demand. Free parking also encourages driving. Driving is the most heavily subsidized mode of transportation (economists estimate that the annual subsidy for parking alone tops $100 billion: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?_r=0 also see http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-roads-pay-themselves ). If we are to not discourage any transportation mode, then we should not encourage any either, and for the past 50+ years, we've encouraged single-occupancy vehicles. In the coming 50 years, we simply cannot afford to continue that. Let drivers pay the cost of driving--raise gas taxes until we can afford to maintain or roads, and raise parking prices to cover the opportunity costs of the valuable real estate that is devoted to car storage. Free and cheap parking on public roads is a government handout, and one that fails to advance any worthwhile policy goal I can imagine. Bike lanes are beneficial for the health, safety, and economic prosperity of everyone in the neighborhood. I'd rather be dismissive of people's livelihoods than their lives.Free Parking Comes at a Pricehttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?_r=0IN our society, cars receive considerable attention and study - whether the subject is buying and selling them, the traffic congestion they cause or the dangerous things we do in them, like texting and talking on cellphones while driving. But we have...Do Roads Pay For Themselves? | U.S. PIRGhttp://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-roads-pay-themselvesHighway advocates often claim that roads "pay for themselves," with gasoline taxes and other charges to motorists covering - or nearly covering - the full cost of highway construction and maintenance. They are wrong.

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte

      Much of the opposition on Tuesday night was from people worried that a loss of parking spaces (even just one) would hurt their businesses, and even drive them out of business. If a business is so dependent upon single-occupant vehicles that losing one parking space will put it out of business, it's not a question of if that business will go under, but when. And I don't want my tax dollars going towards its life support, when they could be much better spent on safety for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers alike, since bicycle infrastructure benefits everyone's safety.

      Randy Dotinga
      Randy Dotinga

      That's mighty dismissive of people's livelihoods and questionable too. Plenty of people will shop elsewhere if they can't find parking. The best solutions treat no one (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists) as the enemy or discourage them form using the form of transportation they prefer. Instead, they try to help them all get what they want. (Yeah, I've complained in various forums about law-breaking cyclists. And it's clear that some cycling activists really dislike drivers, including those for whom cycling isn't feasible. But solutions that help cyclists and don't hurt drivers -- like getting rid of barely used lanes -- are good for everybody.)

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte

      Well, I prefer to travel by helicopter, so why is the government discouraging my choice by not providing me with helipads? People can't find parking because we refuse to charge a fair market rate for it, which would balance supply and demand. Free parking also encourages driving. Driving is the most heavily subsidized mode of transportation (economists estimate that the annual subsidy for parking alone tops $100 billion: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?_r=0 also see http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-roads-pay-themselves ). If we are to not discourage any transportation mode, then we should not encourage any either, and for the past 50+ years, we've encouraged single-occupancy vehicles. In the coming 50 years, we simply cannot afford to continue that. Let drivers pay the cost of driving--raise gas taxes until we can afford to maintain or roads, and raise parking prices to cover the opportunity costs of the valuable real estate that is devoted to car storage. Free and cheap parking on public roads is a government handout, and one that fails to advance any worthwhile policy goal I can imagine. Bike lanes are beneficial for the health, safety, and economic prosperity of everyone in the neighborhood. I'd rather be dismissive of people's livelihoods than their lives.Free Parking Comes at a Pricehttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?_r=0IN our society, cars receive considerable attention and study - whether the subject is buying and selling them, the traffic congestion they cause or the dangerous things we do in them, like texting and talking on cellphones while driving. But we have...Do Roads Pay For Themselves? | U.S. PIRGhttp://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-roads-pay-themselvesHighway advocates often claim that roads "pay for themselves," with gasoline taxes and other charges to motorists covering - or nearly covering - the full cost of highway construction and maintenance. They are wrong.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones subscriber

      Derek, it doesn't enable them to get rid of a car, unless the only place they go is Balboa Park and they live within a very small radius of it. Bike promoters are like religious zealots, they don't reason, they are guided by their faith, or by greed. Bike path spending has a very bad ROI.

      David Cohen
      David Cohen subscriber

      Jim Jones demonstrates repeatedly the maxim that "what you see depends on where you stand." Evaluate accordingly--there is a lengthy record to guide you.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      "What need is there for lower middle class people to bike to Balboa Park?" It helps them get rid of a car and save an average of $9,122 per year. Ending the poverty trap is a good thing, right?Cost of Owning and Operating Vehicle in U.S. Increases Nearly Two Percent According to AAA's 2013 'Your Driving Costs' Studyhttp://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/cost-of-owning-and-operating-vehicle-in-u-s-increases-nearly-two-percent-according-to-aaas-2013-your-driving-costs-study/Increase in maintenance, insurance and fuel drive up average cost for sedans to $9,122 yearly, 60.8 cents per mile ORLANDO, Fla., (April 16, 2013) - AAA released the results of its annual 'Your Driving Costs' study today, revealing a 1.96 percent inc...

      Donna Shanske
      Donna Shanske

      I live in the Banker's Hill neighborhood, and find it increasingly difficult for visitors and service vehicles to find any available parking on the street. We also have approximately 500 hi-rise units approved for development over the next 2-3 years....that means at least 1200 more cars on the streets within a 4-block area around 4th and 5th between Nutmeg and Thorn - on the streets every day going back and forth to the freeways for work.....trust me, no one in this neighborhood takes the bus....bicycles are for recreation on weekends. My understanding is that developers only provide 1.25 or 1.5 parking spaces within their buildings for occupants so that means that just with residents, we will have 250 - 375 more cars searching for non-existent parking spaces EVERY day when the 500 units are completed. Not sure who decided to take away street parking for bike lanes---Yikes!

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte

      "bicycles are for recreation on weekends" I bicycle for transportation every day.

      Travis Pritchard
      Travis Pritchard

      The 4th and 5th street projects do not remove any parking spaces.

      sddialedin
      sddialedin

      It should be noted that SANDAG is looking at actual parking gains and losses in all of their corridor alignments and take the losses very seriously. The restriping by the City on 4th and 5th between Elm and Laurel is a "road diet", reducing traffic lanes from 3 to 2, but with no loss of street parking. The bike striping will be on the left lane of the street with a buffer so nobody gets whacked by passenger doors flying open from parallel street parking. The guy who really got me was the owner of Aero Club. Haven't been there in years because there is already no parking, and who is crazy enough to ride a bike on India to get there? I think businesses on India, from Laurel to Five Points would benefit greatly from the SANDAG projects on India and Kettner if people felt safe to get there from Downtown, Little Italy, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill and Five Points. Give them a parklet, some bike corrals, and the bike lanes with traffic calming measures, and maybe they'll see the light.

      David Cohen
      David Cohen

      New high- and mid-rise buildings should not only provide a realistic number of garaged parking spaces for owners, tenants, and customers--for the retail space--but also paid transient parking spaces.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann

      Parking in Banker's Hill is priced below market equilibrium, and that's why it's hard to find parking there. That's also part of the reason why we have budget problems.

      Donna Shanske
      Donna Shanske subscribermember

      I live in the Banker's Hill neighborhood, and find it increasingly difficult for visitors and service vehicles to find any available parking on the street. We also have approximately 500 hi-rise units approved for development over the next 2-3 years....that means at least 1200 more cars on the streets within a 4-block area around 4th and 5th between Nutmeg and Thorn - on the streets every day going back and forth to the freeways for work.....trust me, no one in this neighborhood takes the bus....bicycles are for recreation on weekends. My understanding is that developers only provide 1.25 or 1.5 parking spaces within their buildings for occupants so that means that just with residents, we will have 250 - 375 more cars searching for non-existent parking spaces EVERY day when the 500 units are completed. Not sure who decided to take away street parking for bike lanes---Yikes!

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte subscriber

      "bicycles are for recreation on weekends" I bicycle for transportation every day.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann subscribermember

      Parking in Banker's Hill is priced below market equilibrium, and that's why it's hard to find parking there. That's also part of the reason why we have budget problems.

      David Cohen
      David Cohen subscriber

      New high- and mid-rise buildings should not only provide a realistic number of garaged parking spaces for owners, tenants, and customers--for the retail space--but also paid transient parking spaces.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones subscriber

      Sorry, but downtown I also see nothing but rich yuppy bikers on their $1000+ bikes, the only exception are some bums with old beater bikes. What need is there for lower middle class people to bike to Balboa Park? Not that they can't already, but lets be honest about who these bike paths and all this money being spent is for. It's not for this imaginary poor biker that serves as an false emotional pull, it's for the recreational rider, even if they commute on a bike as a recreation.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      I used to live by the south bay bike path, the city spent millions on it and the only time there are people on it in any measure is the weekend, when you have a dozen or so rich yuppies on thousand dollar bikes wearing hundred dollar bike outfits. Biking is largely a rich kids hobby, and it is ridiculous to cater to this small segment of the population's hobby with millions of wasted dollarswhen are streets need a billion dollars or more in repairs that we can't afford to do.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      One more thing about safety: I rode India St on my way home from downtown every day for 4.5 years. I challenge you to ride a bicycle on India St between Laurel and Old Town (it becomes San Diego Ave past Washington) and tell me that you felt safe riding there. It takes safety training to know how to ride there safely and I'm guessing that you don't have that. It is dangerous for untrained bicyclists. I rode it because it was the most expedient route available for where I was going. The next best alternative was Pacific Highway which has a speed limit of 55mph and a scary pinch point in the area across from the entrance to the MCRD.

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann

      Jim, how do bicyclists get out of paying the TransNet sales tax for the roads?

      David Cohen
      David Cohen

      Jim Jones demonstrates repeatedly the maxim that "what you see depends on where you stand." Evaluate accordingly--there is a lengthy record to guide you.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      Derek, it doesn't enable them to get rid of a car, unless the only place they go is Balboa Park and they live within a very small radius of it. Bike promoters are like religious zealots, they don't reason, they are guided by their faith, or by greed. Bike path spending has a very bad ROI.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      @Jim Jones: I forgot to mention: you have no idea what people's bikes cost. When I worked downtown, I rode a bike that I paid $250 for in 2008. A lot of people who don't really know bikes mistook it for an expensive bike. It wasn't. I know bikes and most of the people I see riding downtown are on bikes worth less than $1000. Most of the expensive bikes are I are on the old 101 or around Fiesta Island. Most of the bicyclists I see on the road appear to be commuting. Maybe you're not good at telling the difference. Maybe you're suffering from a severe case of confirmation bias. I don't know why you come up with these silly ideas but I do know that you are wrong.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      While I make a decent living, I'm certainly not rich. I wore spandex when I was in college making less than $10,000 per year working part time. I mostly ate spaghetti and generic macaroni and cheese in those days; had a lot of room mates etc. By all normal measures I was poor. However, I managed to cobble together a decent racing bike from used parts over time. You really have no idea what you are talking about. You aren't paying attention to the riders on the road. I see people riding cheap bikes pretty much every day. Some people are also riding bikes that appear to be above their means. Some of the local racing clubs have deals with bike manufacturers to get bikes at far less than dealer cost. I've seen multiple surveys of bicyclists about income and it spreads pretty evenly across all income groups. A person's tendency to ride has little if anything to do with their income. How are these facilities "forcing" people to ride? That makes no sense. Your so called "fact" about bicyclists is not reality. I see tons of older riders. I'm not exactly young myself. I see lots of people who are obviously not well off. Bicyclists aren't freeloaders. We pay taxes too. Motorists are the freeloaders. They cause most of the costs of the roads while only paying about half of the overall costs. They pay considerably less than half for roads that are not state or federal highways. They pay more than half for state and federal highways but bicyclists either can't or won't ride on most of those.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      I see a ton of old bikes chained to the same spot where they have sat for months without moving, but as far as commuters I see a lot of very expensive bikes. I rode through downtown twice today and every bike (4) I saw getting ridden was an expensive bike ridden by a spandex wearer, I didn't even see the one of two bums I sometimes see on some old bike. I understand why rich bikers want to give the impression that biking is a poor mans desperate transportation, it moves the issue from the greed of well to do bikers who want other people to pay for their expensive hobby to pity, where we are more likely to not raise a voice against this wasteful and unnecessary spending, but the fact is that three quarters of bikers are young, white, male, and fairly well off or a soon to be well off student, looking to freeload. But really that is all beside the point, the real point is that anyone who wants to can choose to ride a bike, it's fairly safe and fairly easy. We don't need to try to force people to bike, it's expensive, counterproductive, and won't make an appreciable difference.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      You aren't paying attention. I worked downtown for 4.5 years until about a year ago. I saw lots of cheap bikes. I saw lots of old bikes. I used to live in Golden Hill and I rode 28th to the coast a lot and saw lots of cheap bikes being ridden. You're just making excuses trying to rationalize your irrational hatred.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      I know pretty well what bikes cost, I own a $300 Dawes, works great for me, my wife's bike is a $2000 bike, a giant TCR composite, it's amazing, I can lift it with one finger. Sticker was $2500 iirc and I got them down to $2000 cash. I can look at a bike, whether it's a Trek (which seems like half the bikes out there), a Cannondale, a custom titanium or a target/walmart bike and have a pretty good idea what they cost based on the hardware. Most of the guys I see doing serious commutes every day have $1000+ bikes. I know guys who have $5000 bikes.There are a lot of cheap bikes out there, but they don't get ridden much. Of course I am talking new prices, you can buy an old or stolen bike off CL at a substantial discount over new, but someone paid that new price for it once.

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      @Jim Jones: This isn't as much about the people who already ride as it is about the people who don't ride because they don't feel safe. A lot of people want to ride but don't. I get questions from people all the time from people who want to ride but don't because they are afraid. These facilities are about them. Your comments show extreme prejudice. What is so difficult about sharing the road with bicyclists?

      Bill Davidson
      Bill Davidson

      I am not the Bill Davidson who makes bikes. He lives in Seattle. It's a common name. I think that there's a least 5-6 Bill Davidson's just in San Diego County. One's a home builder. I've received complaints about his homes but I'm not him. I don't make any money off of bicycles though bike commuting does save me a lot of money. I am the type of bicyclist who rides almost anywhere and I know how to do it safely. Most people don't have my training or experience and there are a lot of roads that are understandably very scary to people who don't know how to control the risks like I do. I try to get them to take classes but most people don't have the motivation for that. Even with my training and experience, I get harassed regularly and occasionally assaulted for riding defensively as taught by the top bicycle safety experts in the country because there are a lot of drivers who think that bicyclists don't have a right to ride on the road (we do on all roads other than freeways) or don't have a right to use the full lane (we usually do, and when we do, it's because of safety issues with riding to the far right). Your constant complaints about taxpayer benefit are laughable. The money spent on bike infrastructure is a drop in the bucket compared to what is spent on cars, and more cars just make the streets more hostile and more dangerous. These changes aren't just for casual bicyclists. They are also for pedestrians. The roads need to be slowed down. People drive way too fast in uptown. People get killed. People get hurt. More pedestrians get killed and hurt than bicyclists. You keep making up excuses because you don't really understand the subject but you do know that you hate bicyclists. That's your only motivation here.

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      Bill, it's about cost benefit for the taxpayer. Biking is not unsafe, in fact there are plenty of pro bike articles arguing it is safer than car driving, you can google it. Cars share the road with bikes just fine. Don't you make money building and selling bikes that cost thousands of dollars? Doesn't it seem like you are motivated by greed here? More bikers means you get richer, and if you have to throw away millions of other San Diegains tax dollars to increase your business, that's OK with you, right?

      John Stechschulte
      John Stechschulte

      Encouraging bicycling will make street maintenance much cheaper, since bicycles cause far less wear on the roads than cars (basically none, in fact). Bicycle infrastructure is the fiscally responsible choice.

      Travis Pritchard
      Travis Pritchard

      Jim Jones - What sources do you have that says bicycle infrastructure has bad ROI? The literature doesn't bear that out. This article suggests that in Portland (where it rains all the time) the infrastructure has a benefit-cost ratio of 3.8, and that is only accounting for health care and fuel savings. Are you making up facts, or have I missed something? I am a bike promoter not due to faith or greed (Greed? Seriously?), but because EVERY study has shown investments in bicycle infrastructure benefits business, health, property values and ridership. It's a sound investment and frankly I'm tired of subsidizing your outdated and inefficient transportation model with my safety. http://www.eco-compteur.com/files/ECO_44807_1314285945566_Health_Benefits_Cycling_PORTLAND_1299202.pdf

      Travis Pritchard
      Travis Pritchard

      The bike paths will allow for better transportation in the city when the bikeshare program comes online early next year. I believe the bikeshare program is specifically for people who don't have $1000 bikes and tourists. What is the need for unsafe streets? Why are recreational riders or bicycle renters unworthy of road safety? The 4th and 5th street project is a good plan that will increase safety and ridership for the cost of some paint.

      Travis Pritchard
      Travis Pritchard

      South Bay bike path is a largely recreational path that brings out the hobbyist bikers. The uptown bike corridor is aimed primarily at intra-neighborhood utilitarian travel that has a far wider demographic than " a dozen or so rich yuppies on thousand dollar bikes wearing hundred dollar bike outfits". The 4th and 5th street project is to allow easier access to Balboa Park and uptown businesses from downtown when the bikeshare program comes around. This is also not catering to the "rich kids".

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      Travis, bike infrastructure has close to zero ROI, as bikes generate very little tax revenue or business compared to the preferred method of transportation, the automobile. Bikers do not pay license fees, road taxes, fuel taxes. Bike trails don't deliver food, ambulances or public safety personnel. Attributing health care benefits to biking as a ROI is a false assumption, right off the bat even if you accept the basic premise (which is a dubious premise) it ignores any cheaper way to get exercise to the masses. I read the study you posted a link to far enough in to see the first major "mistake", the health cost benefit assumes, quite wrongly, that the bike riding is the sole exercise the person will do, so that any biker who already gets his 30 minutes of exercise outside of biking is included even though there is no benefit. It also ignores the complications of bike riding on health, and it assumes long life = less cost to society which is incorrect. In fact there are a dozen methodological tricks in the report designed to skew the outcome. Not surprising since the Swiss guy who wrote it is a "true believer" who works for Rails to Trails, and so the study is biased. It is no more believable than a study from Sunroad saying more development = a 6:1 ROI would be at face value.. That's the problem with these "studies", they all come from the pro bike side, they are all done from the perspective of someone with a mission to "prove" bikes save the world, instead of a mission for truth or real science. These sorts of studies exist for the faithful, they are propaganda, not science. It's the global warming scam on two wheels.

      Travis Pritchard
      Travis Pritchard

      Jim Jones - What sources do you have that says bicycle infrastructure has bad ROI? The literature doesn't bear that out. This article suggests that in Portland (where it rains all the time) the infrastructure has a benefit-cost ratio of 3.8, and that is only accounting for health care and fuel savings. Are you making up facts, or have I missed something? I am a bike promoter not due to faith or greed (Greed? Seriously?), but because EVERY study has shown investments in bicycle infrastructure benefits business, health, property values and ridership. It's a sound investment and frankly I'm tired of subsidizing your outdated and inefficient transportation model with my safety. http://www.eco-compteur.com/files/ECO_44807_1314285945566_Health_Benefits_Cycling_PORTLAND_1299202.pdf

      Derek Hofmann
      Derek Hofmann

      "What need is there for lower middle class people to bike to Balboa Park?" It helps them get rid of a car and save an average of $9,122 per year. Ending the poverty trap is a good thing, right?Cost of Owning and Operating Vehicle in U.S. Increases Nearly Two Percent According to AAA's 2013 'Your Driving Costs' Studyhttp://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/cost-of-owning-and-operating-vehicle-in-u-s-increases-nearly-two-percent-according-to-aaas-2013-your-driving-costs-study/Increase in maintenance, insurance and fuel drive up average cost for sedans to $9,122 yearly, 60.8 cents per mile ORLANDO, Fla., (April 16, 2013) - AAA released the results of its annual 'Your Driving Costs' study today, revealing a 1.96 percent inc...

      Jim Jones
      Jim Jones

      Sorry, but downtown I also see nothing but rich yuppy bikers on their $1000+ bikes, the only exception are some bums with old beater bikes. What need is there for lower middle class people to bike to Balboa Park? Not that they can't already, but lets be honest about who these bike paths and all this money being spent is for. It's not for this imaginary poor biker that serves as an false emotional pull, it's for the recreational rider, even if they commute on a bike as a recreation.