Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007 | To Councilmember Frye: If the city, or you as a civic leader, would like to do any one thing to address climate change, encourage bicycle commuting. As it is now, the city does everything it can to discourage the use of the bike as a mode of transportation.
True, there are many bike lanes, but there are very few dedicated bicycle paths. The bike lanes are full of hazards, such as road debris, shards of broken glass, service access to underground utilities, and curbside drains. More frequent street sweeping would be a great help. And, in the future, not placing manholes in the middle of bike lanes would be a plus. The safest and best approach would be to build dedicated bike paths, which would not have any of the aforementioned hazards.
How would a cash-strapped city, such as San Diego, get the money for improved bicycle facilities, you ask? By reining in the Redevelopment Agency. Does the city really need 13 redevelopment areas? What could the city do with its share of the property tax the Redevelopment Agency collects? My guess is that if the city stopped redevelopment in the areas that are not blighted, the city’s share of the property tax would more than cover the city’s operating deficit for the coming year. City government would once again be able to do the routine things, like sweeping the streets, or building bike paths.