Support Downtown Mobility, Protected Bike Lanes

Today, Circulate San Diego sent the below letter to Civic San Diego to support the proposed Downtown Mobility Plan which will bring the first protected bike lanes to downtown and provide a network of greenways and bikeways to complement the existing transit services.

A PDF version of the letter is available here.

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Mr. Richter,

On behalf of Circulate San Diego, it is my pleasure to write a letter in support of the Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan. The proposed layered network is excellent and will bring safer, improved mobility to downtown for people walking, bicycling, taking, transit and driving.

In order to ensure a well- balanced Downtown Mobility Plan, Circulate San Diego supports:

  • A balanced transportation network in downtown for bikes, cars, pedestrians and transit users
  • Prioritizing biking, walking and transit use in downtown and helping the city reach its Climate Action Plan mode share goals
  • A connected, safe network of bike lanes and protected bike lanes throughout downtown
  • Safe connections to area destinations including restaurants, shops, sports and cultural venues and the waterfront.
  • Project implementation as proposed to realize these goals

We would like to make the following recommendations to the proposed policies and actions in the Plan, which we believe will strengthen the Plan’s goals and outcomes.

Pedestrians

  1. Figure 4-1 of the Downtown Mobility Plan outlines pedestrian needs, including areas with a high concentration of collisions and high demand. Yet there is no clear indication how solutions for areas with high collisions will be implemented. Please consider including language that prioritizes safety improvements in the high collision areas.
  2. Chapter 4, Pedestrian Movement, discusses the barriers and safety concerns related to interstate freeway on/off-ramps and underpasses associated with the freeways. Yet there are no clear policies or projects proposing solutions to these barriers. Please consider adding a new policy that addresses these concerns, specifically, to “Work with Caltrans to enhance safety and aesthetics of interstate crossings.”
  3. Chapter 13 and Appendix E both refer to pedestrian improvements on corridors not identified as greenways. Yet it is not clear what types of specific improvements will be made. Please consider including a figure to illustrate where these additional improvements will be implemented.

Bicycling

The plan proposes a series of Class IV bicycle tracks on several roadways. In contrast to standard Class II bike lanes not only will the bikes have their own right of way, but they will be physically separated from traffic by barriers. The bikeways will not only make cyclists’ commutes easier and downtown bike rides more fun, but will also help solve the first/last mile problem and facilitate access to transit.

  1. While the proposal does mention DecoBike, it does not elaborate on how to best integrate the bikeshare system with the cycle track network. Stations should be situated to allow cyclists to access bikeways without interacting with auto traffic.
  2. In addition, MTS and DecoBike should work together to develop transit-bikeshare combination passes, attracting customers to both networks, and the bikeshare system should accept Compass Cards (which will be feasible once a stored value feature is implemented) for payment. 

General

Vision Zero is a national campaign to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2025. The strategy combines engineering, education, and enforcement, and has proven to be successful in other U.S. and European cities. San Diego's City Council voted to adopt Vision Zero in October 2015 to achieve the goal of zero traffic deaths in San Diego by 2025.

  1. Please include language regarding Vision Zero, as well as the policy to end traffic deaths by 2025, in the Plan to be consistent with the City’s resolution.

Conclusion

If implemented as presented, Civic San Diego’s proposed Downtown Mobility Plan will be a huge step forward not just for the neighborhood, but for transportation in the San Diego area. Residents from all areas will be able to take advantage of the amenities, which include attractive green space, the region’s first cycle tracks, and efficient transit service.  Circulate San Diego strongly supports this plan.

Sincerely,

 

Kathleen Ferrier, Director of Advocacy


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