Georgia-Meade Bikeway

Some thoughts and next steps


The Georgia-Meade Bikeway is a 3.5 mile segment of the greater North Park | Mid-City Bikeways, which is a 13 mile network of bike corridors that connect the Mid-City neighborhoods north of Balboa Park to Downtown. Meade runs horizontally from Kensington in the east to University Heights in the west, at which point the bikeway extends south via Georgia into North Park.

Georgia-Meade Bikeway diagram from Go By BIKE


On the ground, Meade Avenue has been given a dramatic road diet, whereby roads have been narrowed to allow for Class II bike lanes. Though some might’ve preferred Class IV bikeways, the combination of Class II and punctuated traffic calming measures (roundabouts, raised crosswalks, and chokers) on this lower traffic volume road (compared to El Cajon Blvd., Madison Avenue, or Adams Avenue) should be sufficient. The improved road elements are meant to decrease the likelihood of a head on collision, reduce traffic speeds, and make active transportation both on and off the road a more comfortable experience.

Meade Avenue 2018
Meade Avenue 2022


The Mid-City neighborhood consists of over 130,000 residents spread out across some of the most densely populated communities in San Diego. On top of the population density, Mid-City also contains some of the most mixed-used communities in the city. This fusion of residential, commercial, and recreation makes Mid-City a great place to implement more pedestrian/bicycle oriented design. The Meade-Georgia Bikeway, allows residents from the more residential neighborhoods of east Mid-City to easily access the business districts scattered across the western portion (e.g. North Park via 30th Street, Adams via 35th, Normal Heights via 33rd, University Heights via Park Blvd., and the entire strip of businesses along the parallel boulevard, El Cajon).

Mid-City community zoning map - Yellow: Single-Family Residential, Brown: Multi-Family Residential, Orange/Pink: Commercial, Green: Parks

By inducing greater demand across this east-west corridor, the Mid-City community can reduce vehicular traffic through these denser, pre-war neighborhoods. Most significantly, this greatly decreases the probability of vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Other potential benefits include reduced traffic congestion for those that absolutely must drive and decrease demand for parking in the various business districts (a popular point of contention when discussing non-car infrastructure). Some potential long term benefits are an improvement in air quality for residents living on or near the corridor, improved transit efficiency, and longer pavement lifecycles.

Though the city has not implemented any bike counters on this route, preliminary heatmap data from both Strava and Ride With GPS show promising bicycling activity along the Meade-Georgia Bikeway.

Ride With GPS’s heat map of the Mid-City area
Strava’s heat map of the Mid-City area


I live in Kensington and use Meade almost every single day. Most mornings, I use it to get to the gym in University Heights. During the day, I use it to visit stores and businesses on 30th, Adams, or El Cajon to grab food and run errands. It’s even comfortable to ride along in the evening (if a little dark), on days where I’m coming back from seeing friends in Hillcrest, University Heights, or North Park. I love seeing fellow bicyclists ride past, residents walking their dogs, homeowners tending to their yard, and businesses opening up for the day as I commute between the small neighborhoods sprinkled across Mid-City.

The segment between Marlborough and Georgia is generally fine though there are a couple of things that can be improved.

  1. There are 10 roundabouts (or, traffic circles) scattered throughout Meade Avenue. Roundabouts are great: they slow down traffic, reduce head-on and side impact collision frequency and severity, and allow for decorative landscapes on what would otherwise be a patch of grey concrete. However, the striping pattern upon entry can lead to some confusion. In the picture below, you’ll notice that the bike lane abruptly ends and forces a quick merge into the sharrow right before entering the roundabout. Generally, this maneuver can be done thoughtlessly, thanks to the relatively low volume of traffic present at any time. Nonetheless, I think more clear striping would go a long way in making Meade Avenue truly for all ages and abilities.Other cities have solved this problem by using colored (usually green) pavement and way-finding signals. In the case of the above roundabout entrance, I’d like to see the bike path curve into the traffic lane using green (or red, to follow the Dutch) paint and clearer way-finding.Here are a couple of examples from Austin and Salt Lake City(below) has done a great job of demarcating bike paths through wide intersections and sudden chokepoints.Austin, TX uses white stripes and sharrow markings to demarcate the recommended travel path for bicyclists across a wide intersection ( abrupt choke point in Salt Lake City, UT is clearly demarcated with a green lane and sharrow markings (
  2. Meade Avenue intersects with 30th Avenue, another bikeway that was recently opened. Despite both of these individual bikeways being terrific places to ride, the junction between them feels more like an afterthought. In the picture below, I’m facing west on Meade with the intent of turning left onto 30th. To do so, I need to wait at this intersection, yield to oncoming traffic (because this is an unprotected left turn), and then turn through the intersection. Again, not a deal breaker, but an element that can certainly be improved upon, especially if we’re wanting to encourage people of all ages and abilities. The typical strategy here would be to add a bike box to the right side of the intersection on 30th, so a bicyclist would position herself there when Meade Avenue is green and then continue south when 30th turns green. I think that requires too much waiting for what isn’t a terribly busy intersection. A more simple change would be to allow for a leading left turn signal which would benefit both left-turning bicyclists and vehicles. Obviously, the pedestrian crosswalk signal would defer to left turning vehicles.

These issues are not specific to the Georgia-Meade bikeway - similar bicycle connectivity issues can be found throughout San Diego (in that interactive map, a lot of the blue and green lanes are extremely uncomfortable for bicyclists, e.g. El Cajon Blvd ).

Indeed, many of the existing bikeways may be great for commuting but fall short when trip chaining ( journeys that consist of numerous shorter trips) is required. As a remnant of mid-century modern urban planning, many bicycle corridors are focused on commuters, that is, getting riders from point A to point B, while not providing the necessary connectivity to comfortably access everything in between.

Next steps

San Diego’s bicycling network and culture are in its early stages: in 2018 the city was awarded Bronze status by The League of American Bicyclists, with one of the recommendations to achieve Silver status being:

Continue to expand the bike network and increase connectivity through the use of different types of bicycle facilities appropriate for the speed and volume of motor vehicle traffic on each road

It is encouraging that our current mayor, city council, and regional government (SANDAG) continue to push for more robust bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. In the 2021 Regional Plan, there are dozens of projects dedicated to Active Transportation, one of the main categories of focus (Appendix A: Transportation Projects, Programs, and Phasing, Page 6), with $292 million allocated to regional bikeway projects. San Diego City is allocating $28.1 million towards their Vision Zero initiative, including $11.9 million for bicycle facilities (Adopted Budget Fiscal Year 2022, Volume 1: City Budget Overview, Page 19).

In fact, the city recently announced that Park Boulevard would receive protected bike lanes between Adams Avenue and University Avenue. This is a great extension of the existing east-west bikeways (including Georgia-Meade) that cut through Mid-City, allowing easy access to the many businesses and residences that line Park Blvd.

The next step is ensuring that the Park Blvd. improvements are expanded into and through Balboa Park. This would provide a safe path from Mid-City via Uptown into Downtown on a route where we are already seeing a large volume of bicycle activity (Strava heatmap and Ride With GPS heatmap). We would like to see this corridor upgraded to a Class IV bikeway. This would go a long way in encouraging an increase in bicycle trips between two significant commercial and residential cores, including numerous educational and cultural institutions along the corridor. If you would like to help push this forward, please visit the campaign page on and write to the city!

Advisory Lanes

Advisory Lanes in San Diego

“It is a whole new way for drivers and cyclists to share the road.” City of Ottawa

I first experienced Advisory Lanes in Holland in 2014 on a bike barge trip with my family. This was a new type of bike facility to me and I liked them.  Below is a photo from the trip that shows a great visual of an advisory lane In Holland.  I especially appreciate the different colors of asphalt that are used to differentiate space for different types of users.  As one can see, space is dedicated to a safe pathway for people on bikes and other rolling devices. Check out this one minute video to quickly learn how Advisory Bike Lanes work for cyclists and drivers. We do believe it is an intuitive street design treatment that drivers and cyclists will learn to use quickly.

As a long time advocate, I was thrilled to hear that our City is recommending and implementing the use of Advisory Lanes in San Diego. In May, City staff, Everett Hauser, provided a brief introduction to the Mobility Board for the use of Advisory Lanes on Hancock Avenue.  I personally believe it will be an improvement for all and is a great compromise for businesses, parking, and active commuters along this corridor with limited street space.  

In June, Everett updated the Mobility Board with criteria being used for evaluating future streets for Advisory Lanes.  Below is the table presented.  It shows Advisory Lanes will be evaluated for narrow streets with limited space, low volume traffic and low volume speeds.  It was clarified that streets with parked cars will be considered, as straight-in parking is being proposed for Hancock.  As noted, this type of treatment will be used on streets designated in the Bicycle Master Plan that will be resurfaced with slurry seal or overlay treatment.  Check out to view upcoming street resurfacing projects. 

If you have ideas or suggestions that you think advisory lanes would be a good fit in your neighborhood, please feel free to share with BikeSD to gain support and help advocate for innovative paint treatments that prioritize safe pathways for people on bikes. If you’re a fan like I am, please send Mayor Todd Gloria an email. Send gratitude and encourage more.

If you like to ride, we recommend to do so often. 😊

BikeSD Parklet

The Time is Now

We cannot fear change, we must adapt.

In the swell of pivoting to ensure small businesses survive the ever-changing landscape of pandemic-related restrictions; the City of San Diego temporarily eased restrictions on establishing parklets.

Let’s make temporary permanent. Let the parklets stay.

As San Diegans, we are accustomed to and often prefer opportunities to dine outdoors. With our average 75-degree and sunny weather, San Diego is in the perfect climate position to encourage and support parklets.

This also provides a perfect climate position to encourage and support cycling. The dedicated bike lane on 30th Street is an integral part of the North Park of the future.

Close your eyes and imagine a vibrant, people centric, 30th Street with fewer cars, more people meandering between establishments and more people riding up to their favorite restaurant - imagine 30th Street busy, but with far few car horns.

Since the shutdown a year ago, there are now over 450 businesses leveraging parklet space as business space to serve their customers. It is a wonderful sight to behold and is one many would like to see in San Diego permanently. We love it and believe it is a healthy, vibrant, wonderful future for our business districts.

Unfortunately, there is a conflict on 30th Street between a long anticipated paving project and the parklets we wish to remain in operation. We believe there is a solution for these businesses’ parklets to stay permanently after businesses are opened to indoor dining. Timing is everything. If we do not act swiftly, we will lose the majority of the parklets that we have learned to love and enjoy.

Among the parklet designs available from the City San Diego, BikeSD is advocating for an option that is a win for everyone. We spoke with several North Park business owners regarding this particular parklet design and received a majority of enthusiastic and optimistic responses. There was also an overwhelmingly positive response to the upcoming bike lane, too.

This alternative design moves the parklet to the sidewalk while providing a safe ADA walkway in the street right of way. This eliminates people walking through business patrons and allows for a continuous business. No wait staff weaving through tables and pedestrians. It creates a cohesive environment where customers can hear the music, see the televisions and feel like part of the venue while enjoying the outdoors. Lastly, but critically, it provides the space for a continuous bikeway that avoids conflict zones. This is a solution that can support businesses to continue outdoor dining past the pandemic and into a more vibrant people centric city.

We want to continue supporting our North Park businesses. Join us and ask city staff and Mayor Gloria to work on a solution for all, quickly and efficiently as we support the upcoming resurfacing project and want businesses to adapt and be prepared for the spring and summer season. 

Let’s act quickly and efficiently so we can support the upcoming resurfacing project, allow businesses to retain their parklets and be prepared for the spring and summer season. 

Let’s be bold. Let’s take this opportunity to construct 30th Street for all of North Park, to be a leader for the rest of San Diego. 

Who is ready for bike parties on a parklet filled 30th Street? We are ready.

Jasmine Greene

Finding the joys of riding a bike at age 54

Jasmine Greene is an amazing kindergarten teacher at Ocean Beach Elementary that all my kids were lucky enough to have as their teacher 15 years ago.  After years of not seeing her as much, our lives have come back together as she has found the joys of riding a bike in San Diego.  Here is her story of why she started riding and how she has become a new fan of the bike and all the benefits it offers.

  1. When and why did you start biking in 2020?

For the past year on most weekends two of my good friends, Anna and Leanne, and I had taken on the 52 Hike Challenge. When the trails closed due to COVID, Anna suggested biking instead. I didn’t own a bike and had not been on one for 30 years, so I was a bit nervous about it. We met in University Heights and took our first ride to Seaport Village in April 2020. From that day on I was hooked. I discovered the joy of bike riding at age 54!

  1. Where do you currently ride and where is your favorite place to ride in San Diego?

I ride from Kensington to Ocean Beach to get to work, twice a week. I sometimes do this with Leanne, but am also comfortable riding on my own now. The one hour ride to and from work is the perfect way to begin and end each day. It clears my head and exercises my body. After riding I feel like I’ve had some time for myself, and am more focused and relaxed. It is something I want to do more often.

My favorite rides are along the coast with friends. Any destination ride is fun to me. I am now ready to tackle any hill! Slow and steady wins the race.

  1. Did you think it was possible to commute by bike from your house to your work?

Never in a million years would I have thought it was possible for me to ride a bike from Kensington to Ocean Beach. First of all, it just seemed too far and complicated with all the neighborhoods to go through. I had no knowledge of any of the biking routes and the hills seemed ominous.

  1. What are some of your favorite things about riding a bike?

Taking off on the bike feels so freeing. I love the idea of using my own body to move through time and space. I’m out there alone in the world and yet right smack in the middle of it all. I see so much more than I do driving my car. I have run into many friends along the way. While on my bike I get the enjoyment of seeing lots of dogs, ducks, birds, and even flying fish! I notice what is happening in  neighborhoods more intimately; I see store fronts, people exercising and life happening all around me. There is a great feeling of simply being alive and in the midst of it all.  Biking has become a type of mediation for me.

  1. What have you learned about your neighborhood, and our city, while riding a bike?

I had no idea there were so many bike routes. I still feel like a novice in this area. I am unsure of how to get from one place to another by bike in San Diego. This is an area I still struggle with.

Biking has made me very aware of the gravity of San Diego’s homeless population and how far-reaching the issue is. Cyclists are much more confronted with this up close than motorists.

  1. What are some of your challenges of riding a bike in San Diego?

I have had one minor accident and it woke me up a lot. I’m much more cautious now. One of the biggest challenges are the potholes and road conditions. I ride up Presidio Park to get home from work and the side of the road is full of potholes. The road itself is very narrow, without a dedicated bike lane, so that is always a challenge.

Cars are another major concern. I am fully aware of the fact that in a crash they will win. I am very cognizant of cars while riding, but I can’t always be sure that drivers notice me.

Riding on Adams Avenue and University Avenue regularly, the hazards include people in parked cars opening their doors, cars pulling out abruptly or making illegal u-turns. The buses are sometimes unsettling too.

  1. As your experiences evolve you as a new rider, how do you envision your riding to be different in 2021?

While I love my hand-me-down bike, I have decided to upgrade and am having a custom bike built with Velofix. This is a local company and one I know I can trust. Having a bike that fits me well is something I am looking forward to. I now consider bike riding a part of my weekly routine. Interestingly, I find myself craving it. I will look for more opportunities to ride s

ocially in 2021.

  1. Do you have any big requests for our new Mayor to make your riding more comfortable and to encourage others to give it a try?

Help drivers become more aware of bicyclists’ rights. Improve biking infrastructure by creating more designated bike paths so that commuting is safer and viable. Please fix the potholes and other road hazards such as open grates, especially in bike lanes. Increase police presence on more isolated bike paths, such as the Flood Control Channel and the San Diego River Trail.

  1. What would you say to someone that is interested but concerned to ride a bike?

The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings. Start by riding with a friend or a group. Learn how to use your gears! Join BIKE SD to track your miles and hear from other cyclists. Give biking a try. I have always been a very active person: running, swimming, hiking, and practicing yoga. Biking was never part of my activity list. It didn’t speak to me until I gave it a try. Then it shouted out loud and clear!

Riding partners Anna and Leanne enjoying San Diego by bike with Jasmine.  

Interview by BikeSD Board Member Nicole Burgess

Leah Schaperow

San Diego Can Become a Bike Rider’s Paradise

Leah Schaperow
Leah Schaperow and her e-bike at Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego is the perfect place for a walk, bike ride, scooter ride or hike in the canyons. It rarely rains and the temperature is usually just right.

When moving to San Diego I traded my car for an electric bike and found that this beautiful city has some wonderful bike infrastructure and new protected lanes are being discussed and installed right now. I take my bike to the grocery store, out to restaurants and to commute to my small business in Liberty Station.

A little over a year ago I would have been baffled that I could build and run a pottery studio without a car, now I can’t imagine anything else. The money that I would have put into owning a vehicle, gas and insurance I now put into my business. My electric bike makes a five- or six-mile commute hauling clay and equipment easy and fun.

Leah Schaperow


This letter originally appeared as a letter to the San Diego Union Tribune and was written by BikeSD board member Leah Schaperow.