Want to get more involved in your local city to promote complete streets? Join one of the seven Bike Walk Committees active in our region. Circulate San Diego is proud to work with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition in supporting these committees.
These committees are excellent forums for people passionate about improving biking and walking conditions to gather, learn and successfully work together for change. Driven by volunteer residents in each city, they are learning about best practices elsewhere and speaking to local decision makers about bringing those changes to the San Diego region. They have also been successful in forming positive partnerships with City staff and providing education on how decisions around complete streets are made. Get involved today!
Bike Walk Spotlight - Bike Walk Escondido
Michael carries a bullhorn with him when he crosses the street. Fari worries about her son visiting her apartment for fear he might accidentally hit one of the residents with his car. Brian flew through the air when he was hit crossing the street a couple years ago. All of these folks share something in common: they are over the age of 55 and are residents of Villa Escondido Senior apartments in Escondido, just east of this city’s well-known downtown.
Traveling east along Grand Avenue, the walkable downtown vibe quickly changes to wider roads and faster moving traffic. This is where Palomar Medical Center and Villa Escondido are located, across the street from one another. Older adults can cross East Grand at one of two crosswalks located at the northwestern and northeastern corners of the complex. Problem is, residents don’t feel safe crossing the street due to high traffic volumes and speeds. As a result, they took their concerns to Escondido’s Transportation and Community Safety Commission (TCSC) in April and follow up in July. “The speed has got to slow down,” Fari told Commissioners, advocating that the City do more than place additional signage to alert drivers about crossing pedestrians.
One commissioner agreed with her and others saying, “The City needs to study the bigger picture and address the speeding, cut through traffic”. Another commissioner however, spoke the dreaded words, “If we can’t improve the safety of the crosswalks, should we consider removing the crosswalks altogether?” This is not a solution but comes up often if pedestrian safety projects are deemed too expensive. The thinking is that it's better to do nothing than to construct something that won't be effective.
The good news: after a lengthy discussion, the Commission voted to defer any decisions until the next TCSC meeting in October. More good news, the City now has three months to come up with a better plan to make Villa Escondido residents safer.
Circulate SD is pleased to work with Bike Walk Escondido and support these seniors. The next Bike Walk Escondido meeting will be held at Villa Escondido apartments to discuss the issue and advocate for Complete Streets on East Grand Avenue.
Bike Advisory Committee, City of San Diego, COMING SOON!
How It Started
Successful input from community members in the early 2000s on the San Luis Rey River Trail project stimulated the Oceanside City Council to later establish a local Bike Committee to provide a forum where these issues could be discussed at length, especially for the economic benefit of the City. The Bike Committee officially embraced walkers in 2011 to become a Bike Walk Committee. During the same time, residents in Solana Beach and Encinitas formed Bike Walk Committees and the City of Coronado created a Bicycle Advisory Committee to the City Council.
In 2013, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition received a grant from The San Diego Foundation to brand these groups as part of a larger Regional Bike Walk Alliance and create individual websites. During that same time Circulate San Diego started the ball rolling in Vista and Escondido to help reach the total SEVEN that are now active in our region.
For more information on each committee, check out the websites above.