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Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion Tuesday and today. It’s been a lot of fun for me to have this conversation!
I wanted to have my last blog answer one of the first questions from Tuesday from FL:
“Kathy, in your opinion, what is the most important thing the City of San Diego can do to encourage bicycling?”
If you mean the City of San Diego administration, then the most important thing is to take action to improve bicycling conditions. Just do SOMETHING. There is already a lot of great policy on the books. Just look at the City of San Diego Bicycle Master Plan, or the city’s general plan (Both have some really good language about making the city bicycle-friendly). The bike plan has a list of about 35 ‘top priority projects.’ We need to renew our commitment and follow through on that plan right now, and start making the improvements we need to make the city better for bicycling. Stop listing all the reasons why we can’t do something and all the excuses for why it hasn’t been done, and just start doing it. Don’t wait. I personally would start with getting the city public education campaign up and running as soon as possible, and guaranteeing a source of funding so it can continue into the future.
If you mean the community of San Diego, and all of us, then it’s a little broader. The most important thing we can do as a community is to ride our bikes. For those who are already out riding, find a buddy who hasn’t ridden in a while and help them get back into it. If you haven’t ridden in a while, now is the time to get back in the saddle. The more people who ride, the safer we all are and the more fun we all have. If you need some information about where to ride or how to feel safer, get some help either from the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition or from some of your bicycling friends. Put some air in the tires and go for a ride.
And as a last thought, I hope you will remember when you are out there that riding is supposed to be fun. Sure, it can be aggravating, annoying, and scary sometimes. But when I’m flying down a good hill, I feel like I’m 10 years old again. That’s a feeling worth doing a little work for.
I hope I see you on the road!