Bike advocates are thrilled by the current increase in biking and a drop in bicycle owner accidents. However they are saying new public coverage is required to make sure that development continues as soon as the pandemic is over.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Through the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a Renaissance of motorbike driving in San Diego County. There’s additionally been a lower in bike crashes and accidents, maybe resulting from decrease site visitors volumes, KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen says advocates. See this second as vital as to if that optimistic development continues.
Speaker 2: 00:22 I am biking with Oscar to Vera via terracotta park. One of many stopping factors on the self guided black indigenous and other people of coloration historical past journey to Vera is a board member of motorbike SD and helped manage a small group bike journey alongside the tour to Rolta park was included due to its significance to the historical past of metropolis Heights. The positioning itself is a superb visible illustration of what might be achieved. Uh, the neighborhood organizers had been capable of advocate for this park. After the state, route 15 was constructed. It bisected the 2 communities, however this park was capable of sort of be a part of them collectively. It is making street-level connections like these that Tavarus sees as central to bike SDS mission. And one of many few positives of the pandemic is that folks have turn into extra apt to get on a motorbike and discover their metropolis. He and others are hopeful that the brand new habits stick after the pandemic is over getting the folks extra snug with understanding the logistics of the highway and feeling simply even being snug, driving subsequent to automobiles. I feel getting these households and getting these each day commuters out of their automobiles and understanding that biking is not a potential different, not day-after-day, however more often than not may very well be a very good answer. Longterm, the regional transportation planning company SANDAG measured a 42% enhance in bike journeys, countywide for mid March to mid August this yr, in comparison with final yr. In the meantime, bicycle owner accidents from collisions had been down 19% within the metropolis of San Diego throughout that interval. So extra persons are biking and fewer are getting injured and
Speaker 1: 01:58 You get extra folks there. There’s a vital mass and drivers turn into extra conscious. And I feel we’ve got to do all of that
Speaker 2: 02:02 County supervisor. Nathan Fletcher additionally sees a window of alternative to make lasting change, to cut back site visitors congestion and greenhouse fuel emissions. His workplace not too long ago launched a program to provide away as much as 400 electrical bikes to County residents. He says e-bikes are particularly promising in San Diego, which is unfold out and has a lot of Hills. And I feel this program is an ideal praise to come back on the proper time to inject electrical bikes in there, that are
Speaker 1: 02:29 A lot simpler to make use of as a neighborhood than a conventional bicycle. And so I feel we actually want to consider as we come out of this, how can we keep and broaden that the progress we have seen in India?
Speaker 2: 02:38 Sorry, one life misplaced is simply too many. One, one particular person injured. This too many Hassan at chrono is govt director of Sandeck, which gathered the biking information. SANDAG not too long ago accomplished eight new site visitors circles within the metropolis of San Diego meant to decelerate automobiles and enhance visibility of cyclists. It Grotta says they’re an enchancment, however there’s nonetheless not sufficient. Finally we’ve got to get to a spot the place we found out how we separate bikes from site visitors. And I feel our longterm imaginative and prescient for San Diego area will envision a motorbike community that may present San Diego the power to journey with out having a worry of hit by a automotive prefer to Vera and Fletcher. It karata hopes the elevated curiosity in biking introduced on by the pandemic will change mindsets round constructing new protected bike lanes. Some tasks have been delayed by a number of years, usually beneath strain from residents who do not wish to sacrifice any highway house at the moment devoted to automobiles.
Speaker 2: 03:38 We want our communities to be prepared to, to, to surrender one thing that received used to only just because we imagine a multimodal strategy to any neighborhood is a good way to maintain that neighborhood advocates say the good promise of the bike increase through the pandemic is increasing their constituency. Issues like e-bikes and protected, protected bike lanes could make biking extra accessible to extra folks like older adults or households with younger kids. Once more, Oscar to Vera. This may very well be a easy factor that you would be able to begin doing on the weekend, and it isn’t a 20 mile commute, however perhaps simply beginning round your block within the neighborhood. I feel that may sort of make the system last more. Andrew Bowen KPBS information. Becoming a member of me is Andy Hanshaw. He is govt director of the bike coalition of San Diego County. Andy, welcome to this system. Thanks. It is nice to be right here. Now. We simply heard in regards to the important enhance in bike ridership over the last six months, which in fact corresponds with the shutdowns brought on by the pandemic. However why do you suppose folks appear to be driving their bicycles extra throughout this time? I imply, they might simply as simply drive across the metropolis.
Speaker 3: 04:48 Yeah. I imply, I, it has been actually fascinating in a, in a very good silver lining to all of this, however the place folks had been beginning to, you recognize, firstly of the pandemic, uh, on the lookout for retailers and avenues to truly simply be exterior, be energetic and, um, stay socially distant for well being considerations and being in your loved ones unit. And, uh, it is good to see that it is truly, you recognize, has occurred throughout this time interval. And we actually wish to journey this wave, uh, to proceed to, to encourage extra folks to journey extra usually. How has this
Speaker 2: 05:22 Enhance in ridership effected bike retailers round city?
Speaker 3: 05:26 Effectively, uh, you’ll be able to virtually discuss to any certainly one of them in there. They’re struggling to maintain stock. It has been an incredible increase for bike retailers and repair, and you recognize, there there is a good, a foul drawback the place, you recognize, it could take a while to your bikes to get serviced simply from the backup. Folks needed to get their previous bikes mounted up. When this got here out, folks needed to seek out new bikes. I imply, it is onerous to seek out, and that is, you recognize, not simply native, this is a matter nationally with the bike, increase that is been occurring. It isn’t only a San Diego subject, however, however in a great way, extra folks driving, however there may be a number of demand on bike retailers they usually’ve, they’re actually having, you recognize, a time making an attempt to maintain up with the demand.
Speaker 1: 06:09 It is also now apparently safer to journey a motorbike than it was within the pre pandemic days. And I do know bike security is a giant a part of your group’s mission. Inform us about that.
Speaker 3: 06:21 That is our prime precedence is to, to make it protected and pleasing, uh, for anybody who desires to decide on to journey. And a few extra folks selecting to journey creates one, a, a security in numbers, uh, concept the place extra persons are driving. There is a larger consciousness, but additionally we have been selling the sluggish streets, motion and creating safer areas throughout this time for folks to stroll and bike and be exterior. And, uh, you recognize, that was, uh, has been a rising success that town of San Diego and different cities throughout the County, we’re at an actual tipping level within the County. Um, you could have the SANDAG regional bike plan early asking program tasks, which is an funding of $200 million in new bike infrastructure. Uh, the sort that make it protected and protected for folks to take these journeys, in addition to, you recognize, extra issues like, uh, the downtown mobility plan and all of it, uh, helps, uh, cities attain their local weather motion plan targets, uh, decreasing GHG emissions, getting extra folks, taking much less automotive journeys, uh, it is translated into cleaner air and good outcomes for, uh, mode share targets for the local weather motion plan. So we have got a number of work to do, however I feel that has been an actual profit to all of this.
Speaker 1: 07:35 Now increasing bike lanes and infrastructure has often resulted in a battle in San Diego neighborhoods. So afraid of dropping parking and auto entry. Do you see that altering?
Speaker 3: 07:49 I do. I feel as soon as, particularly, um, when tasks and these bike lanes truly come on-line, folks will see that it isn’t, it isn’t doing these issues. It isn’t, you recognize, it isn’t limiting anybody’s capability to drive. It isn’t creating a serious inconvenience for individuals who select to drive in. That is tremendous if it is their mode of transportation and that is all they wish to do, that is tremendous, however there’s so many individuals that wish to journey and to actually recognize these, these new tasks and this new infrastructure and protected areas. And it, and it actually simply creates a balanced transportation community, which is what, um, you recognize, town has been striving for all alongside and, and SANDAG as properly. So we want a extra balanced community for transportation modes. Bicycling is one a part of that pedestrian entry is one other one, an expanded transit community. All of it’s, um, creating house and alternative for folks of all modes. And I do not suppose it is creating these perceived inconveniences or, you recognize, lack of entry if you wish to drive.
Speaker 1: 08:58 Now, if folks and households wish to get on the market and begin discovering San Diego on bikes, the place can they get recommendation to assist them get began?
Speaker 3: 09:08 Yeah, properly, um, I imply, I, I, you recognize, I am at all times a fan of checking together with your native bike store. They’re at all times good. Do examine with us on the bike coalition. Our web firstname.lastname@example.org has a number of assets has, um, routes has courses we have been providing free, uh, study to journey site visitors expertise sort of courses for the final couple of years, because of some good grant funding. And it is actually, it is actually been efficient and we’re doing it nearly usually today the place we will, you’ll be able to take a fast, you recognize, one hour class and, and study, you recognize, commuting ideas by bike. After which, you recognize, once we all returned to getting again collectively, we’ll, we’ll lead extra of our neighborhood rides, however what’s actually been nice to see is, uh, simply so many households driving and households getting collectively. And so, you recognize, to seek out these protected routes, um, the place your loved ones can take pleasure in a bunch, household bike journey, um, we will help.
Speaker 1: 10:08 Okay. Then I have been talking with Andy Hanshaw govt director of the bike coalition of San Diego County. And Andy, thanks to your time.
Speaker 3: 10:16 Thanks, Maureen.