Fifth Avenue bike lane to be extended in Bankers Hill

Posted: October 24th, 2014 | Bankers Hill, Featured, News | 6 Comments

Hutton Marshall | Editor

The Bankers Hill bike lane installed earlier this year on Fifth Avenue will soon extend eight blocks further north to Upas Street.

A continuation of the city’s “road diet” plan on Fourth and Fifth avenues through Uptown, the project will piggyback onto a current underground piping project on Fifth Avenue. One lane of traffic will be removed for the protected bikeway.

This project is part of the city’s Bike Master Plan, which is separate from the SANDAG Uptown Bike Corridor, a citywide plan that will encompass the same stretch of Fourth and Fifth avenues. Because of the relatively short lifespan of this road diet extension, Brian Genovese, an engineer in the transportation arm of the city’s Planning Department, called this plan an “interim bike lane.”

This is largely due to the type of bike lane the city will install on the street. The protected bikeway that the city is installing on Fourth and Fifth avenues creates a space barrier between bikes and cars. The SANDAG bike corridor, on the other hand, plans to create a physical barrier between cyclists and traffic. Genovese said this will require considerably more construction than the city’s bike lanes.

Regardless of the smaller scope of the project, Uptown Planners chair Leo Wilson said that because the city’s project proposes removing one lane of traffic, it should be subjected to CEQA review, a lengthy state-mandated environmental review required for many civic projects in California, because it may impact traffic flow by removing an automobile lane.

When asked if a CEQA review would be necessary here, Genovese pointed to language in the Bike Master Plan that states the project need only a LOS (level of service) analysis, which quantifies the delay vehicles experience due to a proposed project. Genovese said that the LOS analysis showed the bike lane extension wouldn’t cause a significant traffic impact.

The bike lane on Fifth Avenue, a northbound street, will be extended independently from the southbound Fourth Avenue bike lane because of the opportunity presented by upcoming pipeline projects on Fifth Avenue.

Genovese said that judging by these pipeline projects, the Fifth Avenue bike lane could eventually be extended as far north as Washington Street in Hillcrest. According to an informational flyer distributed by the city, pipeline projects on Fifth Avenue between Upas and Washington streets are scheduled to occur before fall 2017.

—Contact Hutton Marshall at or follow @huttonmarshall on Twitter.


  1. JT Frost says:

    It’s great to read factual reporting on a controversial subject. A good job well done Mr. Marshall.

  2. […] big no-show at the Bankers Hill meeting was Uptown Planners chair Leo Wilson, who has vowed to stop the bike lanes from being built because they take away an (unnecessary) lane of auto traffic.  He’ll attempt to use an […]

  3. christine says:

    I am a HUGE fan of bikes and bike lanes and ride my bike everywhere in that area BUT there is something really wrong here.

    This bike lane from hell takes away 90 much needed parking spaces. We already see that Mo’s has decided as a result to tear down an adjoin craftsman home to build a parking lot. This will happen all over Hillcrest and Bankers Hill if we do not stop this.

    There is NO reason a bike lane needs to take away 90 parking spots. This project needs to be redesigned.

  4. christine says:

    NTM the organizations behind this are very shady. “Move San Diego” and “Walk San Diego” are both funded by the San Diego Foundation…this small local non profit has $612 MILLION dollars to throw around their influence. Look at their financials. Millions and millions invested in offshore real estate development. ALL of the advocacy pushed by this group paves the way for high density development w/o regard for history or common sense.

  5. christine says:

    Leo is right. I am glad he is demanding this.

    and anyone consider this city which cant scrape together any money at all to fix a pothole suddenly has MILLIONS to build the bike lane from hell? Where is the money coming from?

    Follow the money! All roads lead to the San Diego Foundation. Did you know there are some REALLY generous San Diegans out there who want nothing in return for all of this money? Ha! Of course they want something. This Foundation is a GIANT money laundering scheme and SD better start studying it. Look thru all of their donations. Its hilarious. 1000s of dollars a year to the SD Yachting Foundation!! Yeah that will help w/ climate change!

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