New bike path open along San Diego River
The bike path connection is part of the city’s master bike plan to get more people out of cars and riding bikes – either to work, or for pleasure or exercise – and to see that the river is a natural amenity. With this ribbon-cutting, you can now ride along the San Diego River from Ocean Beach to the 805 without having to deal with what may be the most congested traffic area in the city. And it fulfills the mayor’s promise to focus on upgrading infrastructure in the city’s neighborhoods, and at the same time, connecting those neighborhoods.
“As we continue to connect this pathway, we continue to insure that San Diegans have a connection to one of the most precious natural resources: the San Diego River,” stated Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
“I do know people who actually ride to work along this trail from OB to Mission Valley,” said council member Lorie Zapf.
It’s not a long path, only a quarter mile, but it closes one of the key gaps in the vision to connect the ocean with the mountains on a bike, or as a hiker.
“This will really lead into the entire concept of the river park system going through there where you can start at the bay, come along the estuary, along the trail, and end up all the way out in Mission Trails, and Santee and parts further east,” said council member Scott Sherman.
There are still gaps: one at the Q (which will be filled next), one near Grantville and connecting Mission Trails with Santee. But this one under the 163 Highway is one of the keys.
“The San Diego River trail is a multipurpose trail and path that will traverse 17-and-a-half miles of the San Diego River, and this is a key part of it,” said Rob Hutsel of the San Diego River Park Foundation. “There are more sections going along. We need your support.”
The $1.8 million to complete this quarter mile section with pavement, lighting and safety features came from transnet funds through SANDAG.
“This is a perfect example of the types of projects that we will be doing more of in the coming years,” proclaimed Faulconer.
A recent study says about a quarter million San Diegans would bicycle, at least occasionally, is they could do so safely. The most common problem is the lack of continuous and connected bikeways to the city’s various destinations. It may be a while before you can bike from OB to the mountains. It took 12 years to get this quarter mile bike lane completed, but if this becomes a priority, the main gaps could be filled in 3 to 5 years.