A New Bike Corridor Motto

| October 29, 2013 | 1 Comment


Gerrie Trussell, (left), executive director of the Mission Hills BID, and Beth Robrahn, project manager from SANDAG, spoke about the bike corridor project.

Gerrie Trussell, (left), executive director of the Mission Hills BID, and Beth Robrahn, project manager from SANDAG, spoke about the bike corridor project.

Build It and They Will Ride?

Over the last several months, I have attended numerous meetings and spoke to local residents and business owners about the proposed bike corridor project that is meant to encourage more people to bicycle. This past week, I attended another meeting hosted by the Mission Hills Business Improvement District (MHBID). It was an early morning meeting held at Cinema Under The Stars, 4040 Goldfinch Street in Mission Hills. Beth Robrahn, project manager from SANDAG, gave an overview of the proposed bicycle lanes and route options, presented timelines and stages of the projects under consideration that includes Mission Hills, Hillcrest and Old Town.

After the presentation, the meeting was open for comments and questions from business owners. Several from International Restaurants Row on India Street expressed serious concern with the reduction of parking and the impact on their businesses. And, they addressed the proposed change to additional angled parking spaces, which often creates an added danger for drivers and bicyclists.

Several of the businesses proposed spending money to accomplish the bike corridor that would include parking and the bike lane. During the meeting, Robrahn said it wasn’t included in the budget for both parking and a bike lane on Washington Street. However, during a phone interview with Robrahn, she said “anything is possible with partnerships from various entities, including the City.”

Also a fundamental concern for businesses and residents that was expressed during the meeting is the need to educate bicyclists to be responsible and follow the safe rules of the road. Several individuals commented on how bicyclists appear to lack any comprehension of bicycle rules that are common with driving a vehicle, including stopping at lights and cross walks. I also shared this with Robrahn during our phone conversation. I stated that lots of PR won’t go far if the people on the bikes are perceived as disrespectful and careless. She agreed and said it would make sense to include education into this process.

At a recent meeting of the Uptown Planners, the bike corridor project was also the subject of discussion and a vote. It was moved that the Uptown Planners support the Uptown Bike Corridor Project in concept but the project should be a part of the Community Plan Update; and therefore, the project should be reviewed by a committee-of-the-whole to look at mobility, parking, bike lanes, and other transportation elements to ensure they are all harmonious and consistent within the Community Plan Update. The motion passed.

During my phone conversation with Robrahn, I reminded her that I used to be an avid bicyclist, logging one-to-two hundred miles a week. I knew the rules of the road and did my part to be responsible. Respect is a big part of this effort. And, just because we build a bike corridor, that doesn’t mean people will ride bikes. It’s about lifestyle. You choose to be a bicyclist.

We will continue to cover this important topic because it does have significant consequences on our surrounding businesses and residential communities. Again, thanks to all of you of have gotten involved and are sharing your thoughts and opinions (patty@presidiosentinel.com).

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