Metro San Diego CDC supports separated bicycle lanes

Posted: October 23rd, 2015 | Bankers Hill, Five Points-Middletown, Top Story | 7 Comments

By Leo Wilson

At its Sept. 14 meeting, the Metro San Diego Community Development Corp. (MSDCDC) unanimously passed the following three motions regarding the SANDAG Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Project proposed for Bankers Hill/Park West and Five Points/Middletown:

Dedicated, two-way bike lane in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo courtesy of Leo Wilson)

Dedicated, two-way bike lane in Barcelona, Spain.
(Photo courtesy of Leo Wilson)

Fourth and Fifth avenues: Bankers Hill/Park West:

  1. No space separators (Photos courtesy of Leo Wilson)

    No space separators (Photos courtesy
    of Leo Wilson)

    The MSDCDC unanimously voted to support the installation of a two-way, separated bicycle track on Fourth Avenue, between Elm and Upas streets in Bankers Hill. It would occupy the west side of Fourth Avenue, and be bordered on the west by the curb; and on the east by parallel parking. The remaining two traffic lanes of Fourth Avenue would be on the east side of the parallel parking.

The Fourth Avenue two-way bicycle track would be similar to two-way bicycle tracks installed throughout Seattle as part of the “Green Lane” project, which placed two-way bicycle tracks on many Seattle streets, including Second Avenue, Broadway and Northeast 66th. It should be noted the Seattle two-way bicycle tracks were installed on terrain that is as hilly, if not more so, than Bankers Hill.

Two-way bike lanes along Dunsmuir in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Two-way bike lanes along Dunsmuir in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Two-way bicycle tracks are also commonly used throughout Europe, and have been installed in U.S. cities including Austin, Texas; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; New York City, Indianapolis and Washington D.C., as well as Vancouver, Canada.

  1. The bike lane on Northeast 66th Street in Seattle

    The bike lane on Northeast 66th Street in Seattle

    The MSDCDC further unanimously supported the placement of angled parking on the west side of Fifth Avenue between Elm and Upas streets, where the former third traffic lane, and current painted bicycle lane, are located.

Washington Street: Five Points/Middletown:

  1. The MSDCDC unanimously voted to support the placement of a two-way, separated bicycle lane on Washington Street between San Diego Avenue in Five Points, up the Washington Street hill to Ibis Street bordering Mission Hills. The determination of whether the two-way bicycle track would be located on the south or north side of the Washington Street will be determined by further study.
Bike lanes in Seattle, Washington

Bike lanes in Seattle, Washington

—Leo Wilson is administrator of the Metro San Diego CDC.


  1. rog says:

    2 way track on 1 way downhill street? dangerous… and leo wilson doesnt want people on bikes visiting businesses on 5th ave? leo wilson time to leave.

  2. Jeff K says:

    It would be nice if Uptown news added some context to this PR piece. The author, Leo Wilson, is suing the city over the buffered bike lanes on 4th and 5th.

    His proposed solution of 2 way cycletrack on 4th would be incredibly difficult to implement considering the # of intersections on 4th. These facilities in other cities are located on streets with minimal crossings.

    This should not be treated as a serious proposal.

  3. Paul Jamason says:

    Leo Wilson is currently suing the city on environmental grounds, saying the conversion of an auto lane to a bike lane on 5th Ave creates congestion (it hasn’t). Now that he wants to remove the bike lane and replace it with angled parking, he is somehow unconcerned with these imagined traffic impacts. Clearly parking is more important than the safety of residents and commuters.

    People on bikes deserve continued safe access to businesses on 5th Ave, where the city’s existing buffered bike lane is set to become a SANDAG protected bike lane. Wilson’s 4th Ave suggestion has been repeatedly rejected, because it requires installing costly lights at every intersection for bikes travelling against one-way traffic.

  4. W. D. Snell says:

    I have fond memories of my bicycle when a young boy and would wish everyone to enjoy their bicycle safely. Bike lanes are surely part of the overall solution.
    Recently I met not one but two riders (separate incidents) going the wrong way on one way streets – one was in the dark and I almost killed him. Fortunately he had a (very dim) light on his bicycle; I have encountered numerous bike riders after dark who do not have lights or even a reflector on the back. Failure to stop at signs, riding on the sidewalk (with their pet dog on a leash and through pedestrian traffic), and such seem to me dubious practices.
    Please allow me to suggest:
    1) Licensing bicycles (with an appropriate fee, using the money for bicycle related projects only), and requiring appropriate safety gear such as lights and reflectors in some form. (Back in the day, when I was a boy the Fire Department did the licensing of bicycles.)
    2) Requiring a bike helmet; the reduction in injuries and medical costs argue strongly in favor of this. When driving, I am required to wear a seat belt, …
    3) Putting in real bike paths even though it will require time and money (and cost parking spaces) to implement. Design this from the ground up and put real money behind it – do it right.
    4) Issuing citations to bicycle riders who fail to obey the law.
    I do not pretend that this would solve all the issues – I don’t know everything.
    However integrated planning with the major issues in mind does seem to me a good place to begin.

  5. J Cherrie says:

    Great comments W.D. Snell!

    I’ve commuted by bicycle to work daily for the past 8 years.

    I fully agree with all your 4 suggestions.

    I moved here from Washington and at first I was surprised at the number of cyclist flagrantly breaking laws. I’ve almost had 2 collisions with cyclists that failed to stop at 4-way stop signs. It’s time to start aggressively citing dangerous cyclists.

    Likewise, is a non-trival percentage of aggressive drivers that endanger cyclists — trying to ‘beat cyclists’ when making right turns – turning left in front of oncoming cyclists, bike lane violations – failure to provide 3 feet when passing — that I experience daily. I would add a 5th suggestion — issuing citations to drivers needlessly endangering cyclists.

  6. […] his ire on more worthier offences than stripes of paint on the road? Is he more focused on his contra-flow bike lane proposal? Has he realized that advocating for parking is not a good use of his time? I […]

  7. lester says:

    Planners have not proved that increased separated lanes will greatly increase bike traffic. It has been proved that less lanes means more traffic congestion. Less parking means more congenstion, less money for retail stores and higher costs for the high amount of shoppers that drive.

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