Sam's Farewell Message

This is the hardest email I've had to write since I founded BikeSD five years ago. I will be leaving BikeSD soon and John Anderson will be the interim ED while a search goes out for the next ED.

When I founded BikeSD five years ago with the help of many, many friends—all of whom I met on group rides, I had no idea what was ahead of me. I was planning on doing some minor amount of advocacy on the side, but BikeSD took off and soon I was running a proper little grassroots organization.

Leaving BikeSD has been an decision I knew was coming but it was, nevertheless, a hard decision to make. Ultimately, I had to do something that was best not just for myself, but also for the organization. I have been given an incredible opportunity that I am very grateful for. Good organizations thrive and grow when new leadership comes in at regular intervals to help sustain and grow the organization. BikeSD is at this new and exciting juncture of its lifecycle.

Running BikeSD has been full of hard climbs. And just like the views from atop Mount Soledad or B Street or even Pringle Street (my favorite), the climbs have resulted in the most rewarding experiences of my life. I've grown so much as a person and as a leader.

The primary reason BikeSD was founded was to create a strong voice for bicycling infrastructure. Bicycling alongside vehicles moving at 40, 50, or even 60 mph is not just unpleasant, stressful, and noisy, but it's also dangerous. In my time with BikeSD, the city has gone from haphazardly implementing sharrows to activity striping buffered bike lanes alongside the city's repaving efforts. And it is because of you, the BikeSD supporter. You are the backbone of this organization's success and you are the reason I worked as hard as I did for the past five years.

Below are a few highlights on what we've accomplished together:

  • Becoming a NACTO city—adopting progressive guidelines on implementing bike infrastructure in the city was the first step to being more bike friendly.
  • Becoming a Vision Zero city—a city can only be bike friendly if its streets are safe. And by becoming a Vision Zero city, San Diego has shown it is serious about eliminating traffic deaths.
  • A very slow changing SANDAG—this agency knows how to drag its feet when it comes to implementing everything including bike infrastructure. But now, with new incoming leadership, change is afoot.
  • Internal sustainability—behind the scenes, we’ve grown the budget, we’ve grown our membership and donor base—from 0 to over 3,000! We have expanded our reach and our professionalism. This was hard work but with the help of countless volunteers we've gone really far.
  • More rides— we did one ride in our first year, but slowly started to hold more community and fundraising rides over the years.
  • Meeting you—it has been an incredible privilege to do this work and learn from you. We all want to make San Diego a better city and I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to do this work.
  • BikeSD’s recognition as a leader—during my tenure, BikeSD has been recognized nationally and locally as a leader on a number of issues—community and civic engagement, particularly at the neighborhood level.

These are just a few of the things that have happened in a few short years (5!). The next chapter of BikeSD is going to be the best chapter yet. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

This experience has forever changed me and I want to thank each and every one of you who have supported me and pushed me to be better. For now, I’m still available if you want to reach out for a chat or have any questions.

Ride Happy.

P.S. Please consider renewing your membership with BikeSD—your membership is what makes our advocacy strong.

Stay tuned to the newsletter for updates on the ED search.

Temporary Realignment of Rose Canyon Bike Path

Rose CanyonHere is an update we just received about the temporary realignment of Rose Canyon Bike Path:.

The new temporary realignment of the Rose Canyon Bike Path is almost complete. Cyclists will be directed to use this new reroute beginning July 25 at approximately noon, but will still be able to access the existing path up to the point when the new path is opened for use. The new reroute will be in use through approximately November 2018. This path will reroute bicyclists from the existing Rose Canyon Bike Path west along the eastern shoulder of the northbound I-5 off-ramp. The protected, temporary two-lane bike path is constructed on the outside shoulder of the northbound I-5 off-ramp. Cyclists are required to use the temporary bike path until utility relocation near the Rose canyon Bike path is complete. Attached is a flyer with more information.

News, Links, and Other Views

I know it's been a while since we did a news roundup and I also know you've missed them. Please enjoy!

San Diego

  • The College Area Community Council has two immediate vacancies on their board. In order to be eligible to sit on the board, "you must be at least 18 years of age, have attended (documented) at least two board meetings in the past year, and be a resident of the CACC area, an owner of a business in the area, or an owner of property in the area." If you are ineligible now, you should still attend the community meetings to learn what is going on and to be eligible to run next time a vacancy opens up.
  • From SANDAG: "Construction on the SR 15 Commuter Bikeway is progressing toward completion, as crews finish paving and intersection connection improvements at the north and south ends of the path." The project is expected to be completed by "mid-summer 2017."
  • Why aren't we spending more to expand bus, train, trolley systems in San Diego?
  • While the headline is misleading, a bike thief was caught by federal agent and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Lesson: quit stealing bicycles.
  • The Coronado Eagle & Journal covers what's at stake in accommodating people outside vehicles on the Coronado bridge.
  • The Union-Tribune has apparently decided to stake its reputation on the message of an unequivocal "no" when it comes to anything bicycle related. Examples: An eight year old is injured, and the reporting language shows bias in favor of the driver; And a 20-year old bicycle rider was injured and without the investigation being completed, the reporter implicitly blames the rider. The Editorial board is even worse, calling the normal activity of commuting by bicycle a "fantasy." They also give space to the bizarre rants of a paranoid reader who wonders if he will be arrested for not riding a bicycle, and another reader who could benefit from a good civics lesson on how local government works and how policies get implemented. Plus there is coverage about the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee's reasonable request to implement the city's Bicycle Master Plan with the over the top incredulousness that only the Union-Tribune is capable of.
  • KPBS covers the frustration that comes with the lack of progress in implementing bicycling facilities in San Diego.
  • VOSD covers how city officials went from claiming that the city's goals in increasing bike mode share are not "based on anything" to the exact opposite.

San Diego County

  • Encinitas begins an "eco-friendly" employee ‘Try Transit’ program. Hope the city continues the program.
  • The Encinitas City Council is considering whether to spend "$250,000 for a study on ways to improve pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle conditions along the El Camino Real corridor." The city's officials would really like Encinitas to be bicycle-friendly.
  • El Cajon PD are looking for a bike shop thief.
  • Coronado is maybe (?) trying to repair its anti-bike reputation and has installed bike stations along the Bayshore Bikeway.
  • Oceanside bicycle rider died in a crash caused by teen driver suspected of DUI
  • 59-year-old bicycle rider that was fatally struck near Fallbrook has been identified as Paul Joseph Burke.


  • Orange County Bicycle Coalition opposes the widening of Santiago Canyon.
  • Bikeshare is coming to Pasadena.


  • A Beginner’s Guide to Biking to Work (via BikeSD supporter Judd Curran)
  • Also from Mr. Curran: Commuting by bicycle makes you happier and there is science to back it up.
  • What the White House budget means for biking.
  • The Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition's executive director, Tamika Butler, gave a fantastic talk at the recent Vision Zero symposium in New York City about what Vision Zero implementation could mean to communities of color.
  • Roanoke, VA now has bikeshare.
  • Is the best bicycle infrastructure in the country... in Florida?
  • Downtown Hartford Marries Parking Meter Reform With Car-Free Streets
  • This headline could apply to San Diego: "Miami’s Future Should Be Transit and Walking, But the Mayor’s Focused on Robot Cars."
  • In Atlanta, a portion of I-85 collapsed. As the Atlanta Bike Coalition has stated, "Atlanta has put all its eggs in one basket—we have depended on single occupancy vehicles (cars) to get us from point A to point B. It's not a car problem, it's a priority problem. Atlanta must diversify its transportation options, lest we hold our breath for the next system upset."
  • "Rail stations, it turns out, are delivering much more than passengers to surrounding neighborhoods," which makes transit hubs attractive to developers.

San Diego finally has parking protected bike lanes (on Wabaska Drive)!










The city's first parking protected bike lane is now live and ready for action in Ocean Beach. You can ride this little stretch to your heart's content on Wabaska Drive. See?! We can have parking and safe bike lanes on a single street. There is no need to waste everyone's time and energy by carping on and on (and on) about parking* at the cost of safe riding. If you want to send thanks and love and hugs - all credit for this new facility goes to the very tireless Nicole Burgess!

And while the new facility may have caught at least one local driver off guard:

That driver seems to have figured out how to not park in a bike lane. Yay!

Hooray for new (safe) bikes lanes!
* Yes, parking (especially free parking) on the public right of way is a poor use of land management and not an effective way to address our goals in meeting the Climate Action Plan (among other plans and laws). But, hopefully this facility can demonstrate to our impatient friends at the Hillcrest Business Association that they should probably divert their lobbying funds to some other goals besides preventing the implementation of new bicycle facilities.

SANDAG's Executive Director Gary Gallegos Must Step Down

This past Monday, Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts, revealed the story of the stunning public deception carried out by our regional planning agency, SANDAG, led by the agency’s executive director Gary Gallegos.

To recap, SANDAG put a sales tax measure on the ballot last November and it failed to garner the required 2/3 votes in part because organizations like BikeSD opposed the measure. SANDAG’s proposal was to raise $18 billion to spend on transportation projects, but a large portion of those funds would have gone toward expanding and building more highways—an attempt at marginal gains to address congestion problems in the region.

In Keatts’ piece, we learned that the revenue projections for the tax measure were inflated and yet, “the agency’s board of directors approved putting the $18 billion spending plan before voters.”

We already know that Gallegos is a man without any vision, given his statement, “Transit is not going to work for every person in the region.”

On Tuesday, Keatts, followed up on the SANDAG bombshell story with some statements from the agency’s board chair, Supervisor Ron Roberts who stated he had no idea what was going on with the organization because he wasn’t told anything.

Why isn’t Gallegos being held accountable?
Why isn’t Gallegos being held accountable?

For an agency managing one of the largest sources of public dollars, not knowing is simply not acceptable as a response. Supervisor Roberts can’t simply disregard this gross act of public deception and except the public to have faith in either his ability to govern or in the agency’s ability to solve the region’s problems related to transportation or even housing. Furthermore, having a leader running a government agency that lacks vision beyond the highway-centric one from sixty years ago isn’t the way forward.

The SANDAG Board of Directors is currently at a retreat this week and we have to make it clear that when they return from that retreat, we expect new staff leadership—no excuses.

So we are calling on SANDAG’s Gary Gallegos to step down as executive director.

Make the call to change the corrupt nature of one of our most important regional agencies:

Board Chairman Ron Roberts: (619) 531-5544

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer: (619) 236-6330

For more information please read this commentary by former BikeSD President, Andy Kopp.