By 2020, the city’s ambitious Climate Action Plan hopes 6 percent of people living near major transit stops in San Diego will be commuting to work by bike. That number, if the city hits its goals, should jump to 18 percent by 2035.
That’s in service of the Climate Action Plan’s overarching goals of slashing greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades and moving the city to 100 percent renewable energy.
Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts reports that high-ranking city staffers had serious questions about those aggressive bike commuting goals when the plan was being drafted.
In emails released by the city as part of a public records request, Keatts finds clear concerns from folks like Linda Marabian, deputy director of traffic engineering for the city, who wrote that the numbers “did not come from anything measurable or related to actual increased ridership.”
The city went ahead and codified the bold goals anyway.
Keatts explains that the bike commuting boom envisioned in the Climate Action Plan relies on a handful of important policy changes and new biking infrastructure. For example, the city has to update community plans to allow more dense housing near job centers, yet a handful of new community plans adopted last year don’t do much in the way of promoting bike ridership.
One staffer wrote in the 2014 emails that even if the city made ambitious changes to its biking infrastructure, it still might not be enough to hit the goals.
• A writer for the Reader rode along with City Councilman David Alvarez as he led a bike ride through Barrio Logan. Alvarez told riders that safer bicycling upgrades are coming: “We want to make sure that those improvements to our streets include amenities for bicycling. The money is there.”
A San Diego Shooting Makes National Headlines Again
Just shy of a week after last Sunday’s mass shooting at a pool party in University City, San Diego made national headlines again this week after police officers shot and killed a 15-year-old-boy when he pointed a gun at them.
The weapon turned out to be a BB gun, and as details of the incident unfold, it appears the boy, who reportedly summoned the officers to a parking lot in front of Torrey Pines High School on Saturday via a 911 call, had likely enlisted the police in his suicide plot.
There’s no one official database that tracks fatal police shootings (although The Washington Post and others do their best to keep track of the number), so if Saturday’s shooting was indeed a “suicide by cop,” there’s not a great way to put the incident into context. The Washington Post did cite a 2014 report by the National Sheriffs’ Association, which estimated that about a third of police shootings fall into that category.
• The Union-Tribune’s Michael Smolens filed his latest column before news of Saturday’s shooting broke, but he took a look at San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman’s recent time in the spotlight. He criticizes Zimmerman’s handling of the University City mass shooting, which she said was not motivated by race even though witnesses say it was, and the department’s officer staffing shortage, which she partly blames on media scrutiny.
Weekend News Roundup
• Check out these photos of Charles Lindbergh on an important test flight in San Diego. The never-before-published images have been hiding in a file cabinet for 90 years. (Union-Tribune)
• The new federal spending plan doesn’t do much to help President Donald Trump deliver on his campaign promises to build a border wall. The U-T explains that while the plan does contain a significant amount of money for border security, that money can’t be spent on an actual wall.
• Recognizing the signs of domestic violence, homelessness and the effects of human trafficking on women and children were among the topics discussed at a symposium at the County Office of Education on Saturday. (Union-Trubune)
• NPR’s Michel Martin was recently in town hosting a talk about the realities of living near a binational border. A recap of part of the conversation has been posted. (NPR)
• Public health investigators are looking into a Hepatitis A outbreak. (NBC 7)
• Sunday’s Padres game was rained out, marking just the third time that’s happened in Petco Park’s history. (CBS Sports)
• Speaking of the late spring storm, a baby sea lion washed ashore and was spotted wandering the streets of San Diego. (People)