Car Rage – A More Fitting Term

Road rage is defined as “violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions”.  The term has some nice alliteration but a more fitting term would be “car rage”.  Perhaps we use road rage because we don’t want to acknowledge the damage and deaths that our passionate and loving embrace of the automobile causes.  Tens of thousands of deaths every year, yet rarely a headline in the paper.  The deaths are in the paper, just in the small print area inside with some short explanations that will impugn the non-auto parties at every turn.  Lots of mentions of crosswalks, lighting conditions, and visibility of clothing but few notes about Big Gulps, radio fiddling, use of phones, makeup application, driving history, or attention paid to road.

If you walk, or ride the bus, or ride a bicycle you don’t experience the same elevation of pulse, stress level, and anger as experienced when driving – especially at high speeds.  It seems mostly confined to the experience of driving in an automobile.  So perhaps we should retire “road rage” and start using “car rage”.  It won’t do much for the victims but it will at least change the conversation a bit and recognize that the most aggressive parties on our roads (which includes in front of our homes, schools, and businesses) are those using motor vehicles.

There is also a definition for “bike rage” and helpfully included in the examples section are all the different attack methods of cyclists.  For some reason, in the road rage entry (below) there not similarly prominent categories regarding attacks by car drivers.

bike rage

Here’s the road rage entry with some bland categories.  The mentions of violence included regard shootings: guns = dangerous, cars = Hello Kitty.  It’s almost like we don’t take the responsibility and risk of driving a massive vehicle at high speeds seriously.

 

 

road rage

Drive safe, drive slow, drive less.  Avoid car rage.

Neighbors Lying About Neighbors – The STR Debate Continues

Below is a Facebook post from an Airbnb host that was shared last night after the Community Planners Committee meeting on the issue of short-term rentals.  I plan to meet with the commenter to get additional details but see little reason to doubt the story below given the amount of details included and don’t see a reason for that person to lie.

I wanted to share this today because it seems that in the debate in San Diego there is much scorn being placed on those hosting via platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.  Few are questioning the validity of complaints about noise, trash, and parties – they are taken at word.  The few times I’ve had to call the police or a towing company they have arrived and addressed the issue promptly and completely.  I find it hard to believe that in the wealthier parts of town (where many of the complaints and anti-STR groups are centered) this would not be the case.

In the below instance you can see the power that this default trust gives to complainants.  I’ve removed specific names from the below post but everything else is verbatim from the host being accused of bad behavior.

I need to know who to write to in order to speak my voice. Three of the speakers lied. I have proof because I’m the big corporation with a water park in my back yard. I’m a mom of 3 whose son has brain cancer so make a wish gave him his wish to have a small waterslide added to the pool already there and I’m called a water park. I rented it out for the summer to pay bills and they knew that but adopted the “not in my neighborhood” signs, harassed me and my family (yes I was the one who broke down in tears talking about it at the PB mtg). All before a single guest arrived. C. harassed every renter and at 2pm in the afternoon when a family came out back and she saw they were not white she left voicemails which I kept with her displeasure. I could go on and on about her C. C. who said he is native and moved here from Texas a few years ago and doesn’t live on the street,etc. Their complaints that they put in writing was a baby cried and one renter dared to have food delivered. I have proof all my renters were families and not parties. I drove by day and night just to make sure. Sorry I had to get that out.

There remains much to be discussed in the STR debate in San Diego but hopefully we can step away from name calling and outright falsities to impugn those we disagree with.

Thoughts on Saving for Kids’ College Educations

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22: J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans enters the field before the game against the Denver Broncos at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rage on, eldest kids in classroom. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

If you live in a privileged enough strata of American life you’ll likely encounter questions about paying for your offspring’s college education starting around the age of 1. 1 day.  Even before the competition begins for the most coveted preschools and under-3 soccer leagues you can expect to start thinking about saving up for a diploma.  (In regard to the soccer leagues, remember to utilize birth control to plan your child’s birth date to ensure they are the oldest – and thus, biggest and strongest – in their class and can dominate like AJ Watt).

Although I belong to the economic class for which college savings is a major priority I don’t agree.  Primarily it is because I paid for my college education in full, and knew that would be the case from the time I was in 5th grade.  I was fortunate to receive a number of scholarships, loans, and good jobs that allowed me to pay for college.  I expect my children to do the same, or attend a less expensive school if their academic record doesn’t warrant scholarships or entry to a school with a robust needs-based financial aid policy.  Secondarily it is because it is more important to take care of my own financial house before my children’s since I will not be able to do much for them if I’m in a poor position myself.

A major tool for saving for college today is the 529 Plan, introduced in 1996. “Qualified tuition program” is the legal name though many refer to it simply as a 529 College Savings Plan.  The plans are different in each state and can offer a prepaid tuition plan and/or a savings plan.  Some states offer a tax deduction for contributions and the earnings in the plan are federally tax free if used for secondary education expenses.

529 Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. State tax break (depends on state) – In our state of California there is not a tax break for contributions to 529 plans.  You can live in one state and invest in another state’s plan and funds can be used across state lines as well, they are not tied to a specific state.
  2. Federal and state tax benefit – no tax on earnings of 529 plan

Cons

  1. Federal Penalties – 10% penalty on earnings for funds not used for education. Taxes also applied to earnings of 529 plan.
  2. State penalties – In my state of California, an additional 2.5% penalty applies if the federal 10% one does
  3. Pressure – Implicit or explicit pressure on children to attend college may be amplified by financial pressures from establishing and funding plan
  4. Limited options – Plans vary, but narrower set of options than investing outside a plan
  5. Limited flexibility – This is a big one for us. If we run into an emergency (or a great opportunity) we feel our financial needs must come before our children’s college funding.  A 529 plan locks in the funds applied for quite a while and limits the options unless one wants to take the penalty hit.
  6. Plan fees – On top of the fund fees (which you would also pay investing directly) the 529 plan likely applies a separate fee.  CA ScholarShare charges an additional .10% fee, for example.
  7. Financial aid – 529 funds count as a negative in financial aid applications (as do many other assets) in assessing student need.

Instead of utilizing a 529 plan for our kids, we’ve set up a Betterment account for each (which is currently in our name).  We make a contribution each month to grow the value over time.  The accounts for them are basic taxable investment accounts to preserve flexibility and due to this, we value the tax-loss harvesting Betterment provides as worth the fees charged.  In time we may choose to use these funds to purchase investment property, gift to our children, add to our retirement funds, or take another course of action.  Whatever we do, it will be with an eye to providing for our children but not be locked into a specific program and set of options.  In our case we’ll lose out on the tax break on earnings but will keep flexibility in the many years until our children are considering college.

[Disclaimer: This post is not and should be be considered to be investment or tax advice.  The post was typed by a goat while dictated by the author.  Please consult your religious authority, accountant, political official, or post-person for additional inquiries.]

 

 

Bike Sexy Debut – Tees Now Available

Excited to announce that I’m working with Ryan Woldt of Socalsessions.com on a project we’ve dubbed “Bike Sexy”.  Basically we think that riding a bike is sexy and we want to encourage people to be loud and proud about it.  Being healthy, having fun, helping the planet, saving some money, connecting with your community – how much better does it get? #bikesexy

Our first Bike Sexy product is a sweet black t-shirt with silver reflective ink.  The material is light combed cotton that is super soft.  You can order online here or hit one of us up personally.

bikesexy t
Awesome shirt for awesome you

Props also to Ryan for last week’s debut of Night Rider, a film produced with Cool Guys Productions giving a view of the joy of biking in San Diego at night.  I’m looking forward to many more video projects highlighting the cultural importance (and fun!) of biking here.  Check out the short film below with great music from local band Dead Feather Moon.

Bonus thank you to Ryan for putting together the first Undie Bike Ride in San Diego which took place in Pacific Back on September 17th.  Thanks to everyone that came out and hope you had a great time!

Pershing Drive Bicycle Corridor – It’s Go Time

SANDAG is preparing to implement bicycle improvements to Pershing Drive in the near future, creating a safe and functional route from North Park and surrounding communities to Downtown.  This is part of the $200M SANDAG bicycle corridors program which has yet to stripe a single foot of bike lane in the nearly 3 years since being announced.  The first project, running through Hillcrest, gutted the most important segment – an east-west connection to North Park – at the last moment as detailed in this film by Dennis Stein.

Pershing Drive is very different from University Avenue; it lies in a park rather than popular communities.  Pershing Drive is currently a fantastic bicycle connection in many ways.  It runs through the middle of Balboa Park’s open space area.  Heading into town it offers gorgeous views of Los Coronados islands, Coronado Bridge, and Downtown.  It connects the densely populated neighborhoods of Uptown and Mid-City to Downtown.  However, it is also very intimidating to bike on.  The painted lanes are adjacent to high-speed roadways with speed limits of 45-50 MPH (and we all know that 5-10 above that is the likely reality).  Heading into Downtown, cyclists need to cross two separate onramps to Interstate 5, while drivers are ramping up to Interstate speeds. Both onramps lie behind curving corners with limited visibility.

I’ve been writing about the dangers of biking on Pershing Drive since early 2014 and serious injuries continue to accrue.

So how do we best create a functional, safe and protected bicycle corridor on Pershing Drive? Following are a number of specific ideas for what this project should look like.  We should start with context and a general guideline.  This project lies in the heart of Balboa Park – it should connect with and enhance the park, not take away from it.  A guideline that should lead any transport project is to put people first – and that means pedestrians first, bicycles second, public transit third, and private automobile fourth.  This is the hierarchy of preference used by the City of Chicago Department of Transportation and one that San Diego should adopt.

The Pershing Drive bicycle corridor should establish a two-way bike lane and two-way walking / running path adjacent to the Balboa Park golf course on the south / east side of Pershing Drive.  The entry point would be located at Redwood & 28th.  By siting the path on this side of Pershing the major friction points of the I-5 onramps are avoided (which fall under CalTrans purview and would be very difficult to address).  It also presents the opportunity to put those biking or jogging in a shaded and enjoyable place along the roadway.

  • Connect the two halves of Bird Park at the north terminus of Pershing Drive (at 28th Street) and direct traffic either east on Redwood or north on Arnold.  This will add parkland and avoid much of the backup that results from the awkward and overly large intersection now present at that location.
  • Reduce speeds for the entirety of Pershing Drive from the current 45-50 MPH to 35 MPH maximum and 25 MPH within 1,000 feet of the terminus at either end.
  • Add a path for those biking, walking, or jogging along the south side of the Naval Hospital to add a connection from Golden Hill and South Park to Balboa Park, as well as a connection for those traversing the improved Pershing Drive bicycle corridor.
  • Create dedicated and protected space for running / walking / jogging as well as for bicycling.  Pershing Drive runs through the heart of Balboa Park and the context of this project matters.  We should seek to improve the park as a whole with any project lying inside it.  The space for biking and jogging should be protected by a concrete barrier or other substantial method.
  • Reduce Pershing Drive to one travel lane in each direction.  There is one through street that intersects Pershing Drive currently – Florida Drive / 26th Street (the road changes names at the intersection).  Other than this street there are only entry points for service yards and parking lots at the Velodrome and the Morley Field frisbee golf course.  This matters because a prominent reason for back-up on a street can be waiting for an opportunity to turn.  That option is very limited on Pershing Drive, greatly reducing the need for additional traffic lanes.
  • Establish trees on both sides of Pershing Drive as protective barriers for the bicycle lanes (on the south / east side) and for the running paths on the opposite side of the roadway.
  • Establish vines on the high fences adjacent the Balboa Park golf course and a tree line inside the fence on the golf course to provide shade for the bicycle path, better utilize the irrigation on the course, provide privacy for golf course users, and improve the aesthetics of the road for drivers.
  • Utilize a maximum lane width of 10 feet for all travel lanes on Pershing Drive.  Any additional space should be reverted to parkland and narrower traffic lanes will decrease the incentive to speed on the roadway.
  • To connect the Pershing Drive bicycle corridor to adjacent neighbors add additional bicycle infrastructure on adjoining streets.  These include: close Florida Drive to vehicle traffic to restore Florida Canyon while incorporating a biking and walking path.  Add a painted bike line going up 26th Street into Golden Hill – the current road width does not appear to have sufficient space for a lane on both sides and the high speed differential going uphill warrants a lane before one descending onto Pershing or Florida.

Additional details will follow this post, including street sketches and other visuals.  The important thing is to gather community support for real improvements now, and to do so in a constructive way.  This is not about bikes vs. cars – it’s about taking real action about public health, climate change, quality of life, park space.  In general, it’s about making the project area better for all San Diegans.  We cannot afford to let basic, functional bicycle infrastructure get axed in a program specifically designed to create bicycle infrastructure, as happened in Hillcrest.

I would love feedback and criticisms or additional suggestions regarding Pershing Drive.  Please drop them in the comments, social media, or email.  Thank you.

Climate Action Event in San Diego – Notes

On Tuesday evening, September 8, a large group of San Diegans concerned with climate change gathered at the South Park Whistle Stop bar to wet their whistle and enjoying the air conditioning.  It was a very hot day in San Diego breaking records in the region – darkly fitting for a discussion of climate change.

Speakers at the event included City Planning expert Dr. Bruce Appleyard from SDSU and Nicole Capretz, Executive Director of Climate Action Campaign.  The event was organized and emceed by Howard Blackson – a man born to play the role of gregarious host.

Following are selected notes from the meeting – any mistakes are mine, I did my best to takes notes during the event.

Bruce spoke first and stressed the importance of supporting local planners.  There are good plans and talented planners in San Diego but too often they are not supported politcally, undermining the planning work done and resulting in little action on the ground.  Examples include the University Avenue bike corridor project, the Barrio Logan Community Plan, and the Clairemont Trolley station plans.  In each of these cases, and many others, years of planning and community input were scrapped at the eleventh hour.

On the topic of greenhouse gases Bruce noted that each mile of driving a car adds one pound of CO2 to the atmosphere, of which 80% will remain for approx. 200 years.  The remaining 20% will remain for millenia.  Utilizing our natural topography of “mesas, canyons, coastal plains” is critical to reduce our contribution to climate change – specifically our coastal plains.  Our coastal plans are centrally located and connected to transit, which avoids further sprawl and vehicle miles, and also can utilize the natural cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean.  The 30 foot height limit needs to be considered for adjustments if we are to take meaningful steps to leverage our coastal plains.

Nicole started talking by showing the mix of energy used in San Diego – 54% of our total energy usage goes to transportation.  The average driver in San Diego goes about 35 miles a day and 80% of those driving to work do so driving solo.  Climate scientists no longer discuss how to reduce the greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, it’s now about trying to slow the growth of emissions.  We’ve already passed the point of being able to stop severe impacts and many of the projections are downright scary.  With world leading climate research going on at Scripps it’s a shame that San Diego isn’t leading on how to adjust our lifestyles and cities to be more responsible and sustainable.  The city’s Climate Action Plan (which Nicole developed during Todd Gloria’s term as Interim Mayor) gives some hope, but needs to have teeth.  Nicole pointed out some of the areas she views as weak and needing to be adjusted.

Joe LaCava, candidate for Council District 1, gave a few remarks and implored those gathered to join local planning groups.  He noted that planning groups are important and would benefit from the backgrounds and skills of those in attendance.

Chris Taylor, former board member of Bike San Diego, questioned the speakers about how to support our planners and get vetted, community-supported plans to be implemented.  Specifically he asked about the University Avenue bike project and what supporters could have done differently to secure a better outcome.  This was a bit of a general theme of questions and comments – how do we get our on-ground reality to meet our expectations and plans, many of which are quite good.

Suggestions included having better communication to sell planning ideas and to avoid misunderstandings that can cause anger and resentment.  There were a few other suggestions but the ending tone of the meeting seemed to be one of slight dejectedness.  Those assembled are prominent community members in urbanism, sustainability, architecture, etc.  The shared experience of seeing good projects upended at the last moment due to lack of political support or a vocal minority was clearly on the minds of many.  How to create better outcomes going forward remains a challenge to be confronted.  Sustained efforts on education and communication may work, but the best argument doesn’t always win the day.  Hearts and minds need to be won if we are to see broader support for taking on climate change.  The dilution of an ambitious climate-focused law in California this week, SB350, is not a good omen of the current status of hearts and political clout in California.

Renee Yarmy from the San Diego Port Authority noted an upcoming presentation by Gil Penalosa – Creating Great Cities – which will take place on on October 8 at 6:30 PM at the Central Library.  Mr. Penalosa is renowned figure internationally and “over the past 8 years, Gil has worked in over 180 different cities across six continents”.  It should be a fantastic panel and details and registration can be found on here.

climate change event photo - 9-8-2015
Many thanks to Howard Blackson for organizing, and to all those that attended.

Pizza Crust Recipe – Quick and Tasty

We often make our own bread, using this great recipe.  A bonus to making our own bread is we have the basic ingredients needed for making a variety of baked foods.  We often make pizza at home and use the following scratch dough recipe.  It’s not the best I’ve ever had – that would go to high temperature Naples-style pizza – but it’s better than buying pre-made dough and only takes 10 minutes.  I had a couple of requests for the recipe so am sharing it here – enjoy!

2015-05-14 18.43.32
Chorizo, onion, cilantro, kale, with jack cheese and no sauce. Yum.

Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a ceramic bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Mix by hand thoroughly. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer crust to a pizza pan or baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
2015-05-15 18.55.29
Jack and feta cheese with kale and onions. Very tasty, except for the feet.

This recipe is from Allrecipes.com with some tweaks to the instructions. Have another tweak or a topping suggestion? Drop it in the comments or email me and I’ll add.

Happy cooking!

Bicycles Are Most Energy-Efficient Transport

The following is from Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s website, www.drmirkin.com.  It was forwarded to me by a friend and I couldn’t locate it online so am posting here to share the information.


Really enjoyed this somewhat quirky study of energy efficiency in transport and comparing human transport efficiency to a handful of animals.  Enjoy and ride on!

Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Fitness and Health e-Zine
September 13, 2015
Bicycles Are Most Energy-Efficient

If you ride a bicycle, be proud. Humans riding on bicycles are more energy-efficient than any other animal and any other form of transportation. Vance Tucker of Duke University compared bicyclists to humans and animals running, birds flying and fish swimming, as well as to people in motor-powered cars, boats, trains and planes (J. Exp. Bio, 1973;68(9):689-709). The less energy per weight you use to travel over a distance, the more energy-efficient you are. Vance found that the most efficient creature without mechanical help is a condor. With mechanical help, the cyclist comes out on top. Here is a partial list, ranked from most to least energy-efficient:

human on a bicycle
condor
salmon
horse
human in a jet plane
human walking
human running
human in an automobile
cow
sheep
dog
hummingbird
rabbit
bee
mouse

Mice, bees and hummingbirds use the most energy per weight and therefore are very inefficient and tire the earliest. This concept explains why pre-historic human hunters could catch faster-running animals. The human would tire later, so it didn’t matter how fast the animal could run; if the human ran long enough he would eventually catch the exhausted animal.

A person on a bicycle is more energy-efficient than one using an automobile, motorcycle, train or plane, even though he is much slower. If you compare the amount of calories burned in bicycling to other forms of locomotion, you will find that 100 calories supplies an average cyclist for three miles, a walker for one mile and a car for only 280 feet. A walking human uses 0.75 calorie of energy per gram of body weight for each kilometer traveled, while a cyclist uses only a fifth as much, 0.15 calorie per gram per kilometer. The WorldWatch Institute reports that when you ride a bicycle you use only 35 calories per mile, while walking requires 100 calories per mile, buses and trains use about 900 calories per mile per person, and a car uses 1860 calories per mile (Ergonomics, 2008 Oct;51(10):1565-75).

Slow Riders Use Less Energy Than Fast Riders
Cycling is so energy-efficient that a good rider can go just about any distance. In 2014, Christopher Strasser won the Race Across America by cycling 3,098 miles in seven days, 15 hours and 56 minutes. He averaged 16.42 miles per hour. The record for a woman was set in 1995 at an average speed of 13.23 MPH. Interestingly, slow riders use less energy per mile than fast riders. During a one-hour ride, a person riding a touring bike for nine miles burns 135 calories with an average power of 50 watts. In an hour an experienced bicycle racer can go 30 miles but will burn 2150 calories and produce approximately 500 watts or 0.67 horsepower. You burn more calories per mile because the faster you ride, the greater the wind and air resistance. Resistance varies with the square of your speed. A recumbent bicycle is more energy-efficient because being lower to the ground reduces the size of the bike and body that is being blocked by wind and air resistance (Proc Biol Sci, 2001 Jul 7;268(1474):1351-60).

More Cars Than Bikes in North America
The world’s 6.1 billion people own 1.2 billion bicycles and only 600 million motorized passenger vehicles. That’s one bike per five people and one automobile per 10 people. However, the highly-developed countries are dominated by automobiles. The United States has:
* Twice as many automobiles as bicycles
* More than 90 percent of transportation trips done in automobiles
* Less than one percent of trips done by bike

Benefits of Riding a Bicycle
More people should ride bicycles because:
* Bicycles require the least energy to go places. Cars use 30 percent of world’s petroleum.
* Bicycles are far more energy efficient than running or walking.
* Bicycles produce less air pollution than motor-driven transportation.
* Bicycles are manufactured with far less material and labor than engine-driven forms of transportation.
* Bicycles help to prevent disease and prolong life by giving you the health benefits of exercise.

2015-07-07 13.15.25
Biking through the Wachau Valley along the Danube River in Austria – fantastic fun!

North Park – San Diego’s Weak Excuse for a Bike Friendly Place

North Park is an urban neighborhood in San Diego.  It is often cited as the “hipster” area of town and is generally known for being one of the more walkable areas in San Diego.  North Park is home to the only 2 parklets in San Diego, the majority of the bike corrals in the city, and it is not uncommon to see people biking on the streets.

If there is anywhere in San Diego you would expect to find good bicycle infrastructure North Park would be high on the list, perhaps along with East Village, Downtown, Little Italy, or a beach community like Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach.  The reality on the ground is far from good.  The reality is a near absolute lack of any bicycle infrastructure.

Here’s a complete map of all the bike lanes in North Park, highlighted in red.  The gray, white, orange, and red lines indicate all roadways.  There are a total of 2 streets in North Park that have painted bike lanes.  One of them is a portion of El Cajon Boulevard, with cars regularly exceeding 40 and 50 MPH. There are no protective measures for biking anywhere in North Park.  There is no system or grid to bicycle – if you ride on a roadway with a lane you will be forced to connect to another roadway without any dedicated space for biking whatsoever.

north park bike lane mapSan Diego, and particularly North Park, has very wide streets.  There is plenty of room on many of the streets to add bike lanes with the minimal cost and effort of applying paint.  Paint is not protection, but it is much better than no dedicated space at all.  When conflict occurs due to lack of separated space, as on Adams Avenue recently, drivers can literally run over those biking without likelihood of prosecution.

If a place like North Park that is promoted as being a good place to bike or walk has so little accommodation for bikes what does that mean for other areas that are more explicitly car-first?  If our Climate Action Plan rightly targets transportation as a focus area to create a better future, how do we increase biking by a factor of 18 as the plan seeks without facilities to support that growth?  We will not get there without meaningful change on the ground.

A couple of bike lanes in a neighborhood of 50,000 people in the core of our city is not good enough.  It’s barely even laughable as an attempt at being bike and environmentally friendly.  It underlies how unserious we are about moving away from the private automobile as the overwhelming primary transport option.  It is no surprise that so few people bike in San Diego when the reality on the ground is unless you are confident and strong enough to bike with zero accommodation on wide, high speed streets you are out of luck.

Parents, myself included, fret about biking with their children or letting their kids bike to school.  Would you put your child on a bike on University Avenue (where SANDAG just scrapped a plan to add a bike plan) or El Cajon Boulevard?  Or even smaller streets like 32nd Street or Arnold Avenue?  On a recent speed survey on Arnold “City Engineers determined 85% of the traffic was indeed exceeding our 25 mph speed limit by at least 10 mph – one vehicle was going 71 mph – and that test wasn’t even on a Friday or a weekend!”  Quoted portion from North Park Nextdoor website.

Perhaps the good news is we can only improve from our current status.  That is little comfort for those working and fighting to create a safer, healthier future for our neighborhoods and city.  Real support for real improvement is needed from our elected officials and transportation authorities.  Foremost we need leadership from SANDAG to pursue a responsible future path on both transportation and land use – not plans that ignore climate change, encourage sprawl, and commit billions and billions to more highways and scraps for biking, walking, and transport.  Even the scraps committed to healthier transport are back-loaded and likely to be walked back when push comes to shove.

North Park – I dig you.  But bicycle friendly you are not.

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Granada Avenue – 54 feet wide but not an inch for bicycles or crosswalks. Good luck to those that don’t want to drive.

America’s Finest Bicycle Tour – October Debut for New Bike San Diego Event

Multi-day bicycle camping tour highlights natural beauty of San Diego

AmericasFinest_Logo-01
Thanks to A7D of North Park for design work!

Bike San Diego has had a busy year to date, adding many new events like the Beach Side Bike Ride from Old Town to La Jolla in July, the Bike Month Bash along El Cajon Boulevard in May, and the upcoming Bike to the Border ride from Barrio Logan to the Mexico border later this month on September 19.  In October another new event, the biggest for the organization to date, will debut. America’s Finest Bicycle Tour (AFBT), will showcase the natural beauty of San Diego and present an opportunity to connect with fellow participants.

AFBT is a three night bicycle tour of San Diego County with vehicle support for participants.  Vehicle support means that participants won’t have to lug their camping gear or clothes while they ride – their belongings will await them at each day’s destination.  Campsites are provided for each night, as is dinner and breakfast each day.  Food and beverages for the event feature San Diego establishments like Modern Times Beer, City Tacos, Golden Cost Mead, and other great local companies.

The three campsites are Sweetwater Summit, Dos Picos near Ramona, and Carlsbad State Beach – a variety of camping locations that give a broad view of the diversity of topography and climate present in San Diego.  Below is a map of the route, click through for a dynamic map you can manipulate for additional detail.

afbt map
2015 Inaugural AFBT Route

Cost for the event is $205 through September 26, increasing to $255 thereafter.  There is limited capacity for the event so interested parties are encouraged to register early to ensure a spot.  All proceeds benefit Bike San Diego, an organization working to “establish San Diego as a world-class bicycling city and create a more livable urban community by promoting everyday riding and advocating for bicycling infrastructure.”

For more details and to register see the official website – bikesandiegocounty.org.  For inquiries or questions please contact event organizer Tim Stempel at tim@bikesandbeers.org.

AmericasFinest_Poster