Let's Build a Safe 30th Street for All Residents
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There’s a real opportunity for a transformative redesign of one of San Diego’s premiere urban streets if we all work together to convince the city to commit to its existing policies on 30th Street to create a safe and sustainable urban neighborhood where everyone is treated equally, whether they are 8 or 80, whether they are on foot, on a bike, or in a car.
Just last week, the city started community outreach to gauge support for adding bike lanes to 30th Street from Juniper Street in the south to Howard Street in the north following the pipeline replacement project. After a preliminary study, city engineers concluded that two design options were feasible. One option would add protected bike lanes for the entire segment to create high-class bike lanes designed for all users.
Unfortunately, although no design has been selected yet, city staff prepared a preliminary design only for a less-safe second option. As explained by staff, the preliminary striping plan for the section north of Upas was created to strike a compromise between the current roadway design with no bike lanes and the need to preserve as much street parking as possible by placing the bike lane between the parked cars and moving traffic without any barrier other than a stripe of paint.
This is the similar minimal design that just led to a cyclist’s death in San Francisco and prompted a quick fix to upgrade to a protected bike lane by removing parking. As San Francisco’s transit agency acknowledged, the death was preventable if the better design was originally implemented. South of Upas, the city’s preliminary design only puts bike lanes in some areas, requiring cyclists to share the lane in places with cars going between 25-35 miles per hour.
As specified in the city’s existing policies, any restriping plan should follow progressive design standards to add a protected bikeway “designed for everyone in mind, for people of all ages and abilities using multiple modes of transit in lieu of auto-oriented streets that are designed to primarily accommodate the automobile.” This progressive bikeway design will also make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street by shortening the width of the roads devoted to speeding cars. Even the safest bike lane option would leave in place more than 90 percent of the public parking within one block of 30th Street. Right now cars get 100 percent of the road; asking the city to keep the car lanes and give 10 percent of the parking space to cyclists is not unreasonable.
The city already identified such a design as being feasible on 30th Street, we just need to make sure it happens. It's time to rethink how we design our city, with a focus on the safety of all members of the community rather than focusing on free street parking. With a safety-first redesign, the city can transform North Park into the premiere walkable, bikeable, and friendly neighborhood for all in San Diego.
Sign the petition to ask Mayor Faulconer and his staff to select a street redesign for 30th Street that prioritizes the safety of everyone over street parking. And make sure to attend the community outreach meeting at the North Park Planning Committee on April 16th at 6:30pm at 2901 North Park Way (2nd Floor). Showing broad community support at this meeting will be critical!
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