Letter to editor: Paint our streets for safety, comfort, and visibility
Published - 02/28/17 - 06:50 PM | 2832 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

It was evident last Thursday at the Peninsula Community Planning Board that the community supports safe and comfortable bike facilities throughout our communities. The board was presented with the National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

We discussed the value of paint to create safer streets by creating “awareness for drivers and guidance for cyclists.” We discussed the city’s efforts and successes they are having with repurposing our streets when they are resurfaced. We are making great progress but the majority also believe we can do even more with paint.

The board members were ecstatic with the green paint that can be found throughout the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide and they were supportive of continuing the street markings throughout the intersections. The intersections are the most dangerous areas and these paint markings will help denote where these riders and drivers should be in the street. We often hear cyclists that are fearful after the bike lane is dropped as they approach the intersection. Fearful of where to be and not comfortable can be discouraging for new riders and they may choose to not ride again.

As a representative for District 2 on San Diego City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, I have worked diligently to encourage, recommend, and request the City to begin to implement paint treatments throughout the intersections per NACTO guidelines. In January 2016, the Bicycle Advisory Committee sent a formal letter of request. Since then, I am aware of only one intersection in the City to receive these recommended paint treatments. Point Loma is fortunate to have received an innovative paint treatment through the intersection, which can be seen on Voltaire and Bolinas streets as you head into Ocean Beach.

As a daily rider and riding six years with the Dana Bike Train of fifth and sixth graders, I know firsthand that this new paint treatment is a tremendous improvement to this difficult corridor. It adds a sense of comfort and safety for the rider as well as awareness and mindfulness for the the drivers. The PCPB board and the community are supportive as they approved a letter recommending paint treatments at specific intersections that will be resurfaced in the upcoming weeks; these include Voltaire, Chatsworth, and West Point Loma Boulevard.

I am off to Death Valley to ride 250 miles to raise awareness for better bike infrastructure. I have done my best over the past year to contact city staff, the mayor and many others to encourage them to continue to use more from the NACTO guidelines to support safe and comfortable bike facilities and to implement paint marking throughout the intersections.

I am hopeful that they have heard the community, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, and others, but extra voices never hurt. If you are supportive, please take a moment to contact your City, your mayor, and/or Councilmember Lorie Zapf.

Let them know how much you like the paint treatments in the area and that you want more. Ask them to support the PCPB letter for paint markings throughout the intersections, per NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

Safer streets equal a healthier future. I look forward to providing safer opportunities for more people to enjoy their commute by bike. I want to be optimistic that the City has heard our voices and know this will be a big win for the entire city. My vision is that as I return from Death Valley in March, the city will have embraced the use of paint throughout the most dangerous areas of the street, the intersections.

If you are not supportive, I ask you to contact me at [email protected] first as I would be interested in discussing the opposition. If you are looking for guidance, please feel free to contact me for some riding tips to enjoy the best form of transportation.

Final rolling note, we will have a Bike Walk San Diego District 2 meeting on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at 2233 Soto St. Pedal on my friends.

Nicole Burgess

District 2 Bicycle Advisory Committee representative
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