I dream of quiet, safe, neighborhood streets with networks of bikeways that promote efficient, healthy, and joyful commutes near and far, for all ages and abilities. After attending Circulate’s Vision Zero Coalition meeting and the Mira Mesa Town Council this evening, I am providing an update to the previous article about advisory bike lanes as new bicycle infrastructure for San Diego. 

There is gold to be found on Gold Coast Drive and I’m hoping it will be dispersed throughout the city, in neighborhoods that are frustrated with high speed, cut through traffic. Gold Coast Drive in Mira Mesa, Evergreen in Point Loma, and many other streets are great candidates for this new type of road design to create safer streets by calming traffic speeds through our neighborhoods.  The benefits of these types of lane markings are a reduction of vehicles on the street, lower vehicle speeds, quieter neighborhoods, less pollution, and safe access to key destinations. As a property owner, that sounds pretty nice. 

Unfortunately, much of the Mira Mesa community hasn’t realized the value of the innovative design, known as advisory bike lanes. On Monday, many expressed concern over perceived dangers such as increased traffic, head on collisions, and drunk drivers. Lacking accurate information about how advisory bike lanes work, and how successful they’ve been on streets with similar characteristics, they argued that advisory bike lanes are inappropriate for Gold Coast Drive. However, research has found a significant reduction of crashes on roads where advisory bike lanes were implemented; an aggregate 44% reduction in crashes. 

There is an alternative solution of providing protected bikeways that would be safer, but this option requires removing parking spaces which is not an easy sell. Gold Coast Drive is a neighborhood street with a designated 25 miles per hour speed limit, therefore, edge lanes are an appropriate design.

Many mentioned last night that Gold Coast Drive is a cut through used by drivers to avoid congestion on Mira Mesa Boulevard.  Hello neighbors, wouldn’t your quality of life and property values improve if you lived on a more peaceful road?  

A silver lining is that Gold Coast features three public schools along its length and this type of bike facility will create safe routes to schools, SRTS. Imagine our children enjoying the ride to school, chatting and laughing with friends on a bike, scooter, skateboard, or whatever active mobility option they choose. After six years of leading 10-12 year olds to school, it was evident, and supported with research, that active transportation and physical activity has positive effects on the brain and on school performance.  Our younger folks are the leaders to break free from the car dependency that is choking our streets, polluting our air, and changing our climate and we must provide the opportunities to empower them. Many have experienced the independence and the fun of electric bicycles and we must embrace this healthy way to move in San Diego. Please help dedicate a safe space for them to ride and establish healthy lifestyles.

Shout out to the older folks like me. Try riding an e-bike to enjoy your community, improve your health, and reach your destination feeling refreshed and energized. E-bikes flatten hills, make it easier to carry heavy loads, and go longer distances while filling your body with exhilaration and life.  You not only can watch your grandchildren ride to school with their friends, maybe you will be lucky enough to join them.

If you have questions or are still unconvinced, please reach out and we can ride an e-bike together to discuss and experience the real dangers of sharrows and understand why more people don’t ride bikes in beautiful, climate kissed, San Diego.  As a car driver, I understand the frustrations of a slower bicycle rider impeding the way. Advisory bike lanes make mobility more efficient for all, as it becomes easier for drivers to navigate around cyclists, giving options to legally move along the road in synchronicity with cyclists and other drivers.  

Advisory lanes make our neighborhoods safer, quieter, and more enjoyable. I hope Mira Mesa and Point Loma folks will learn about them, be open to change, and support the city’s efforts to make our streets safer for all. 

Your Bike Friend.

Nicole BurgessNicole23ob@gmail.com