Opinion: To Meet Climate Goals, San Diego Must Improve Bike Infrastructure

The city wants to drastically reduce carbon emissions, but bike advocates argue it has not done enough to make biking and walking in the city safer and more convenient.

1 minute read

January 3, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Diego Waterfront

f11photo / Shutterstock

Writing in San Diego Magazine, Andrew Bowen-Ataide calls out the city of San Diego’s lukewarm commitment to improving its bike infrastructure and making biking a safe and convenient mode of transit for its residents.

Despite a pledge to make biking, walking, and transit more convenient in its 2015 Climate Action Plan, Bowen-Ataide argues that “What followed, however, were several years of city leaders patting themselves on the back while carefully avoiding the hard conversations around what drivers may have to sacrifice in pursuit of a more sustainable transportation system.”

The article provides several examples of proposed improvements to bike and pedestrian infrastructure that fell victim to pushback from opposing groups and were watered down or nixed altogether.

Bowen-Ataide acknowledges the progress made by the city during the pandemic, which brought new opportunities to reclaim public right-of-way from cars. And the city’s August 2022 update to the Climate Action Plan calls for “net zero emissions” by 2035. “Half of all trips in all neighborhoods across the city—whether to work, school, a bar, or the grocery store—will have to be made without a car,” Bowen-Ataide writes. “But the city hasn't yet committed to a detailed timeline or funding strategy for its new climate goals. And building a more bike-friendly city will require San Diego leaders to spend both money and political capital.”

Thursday, December 29, 2022 in San Diego Magazine

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