CicloSDias San Diego – No Cars for Six Hours and Five Miles

by on August 12, 2013 · 9 comments

in Culture, Environment, Organizing, San Diego

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North Park: 30th Street has bikes. (All photos by Frank Gormlie)

Yesterday, Sunday, August 11th was CicloSDias in San Diego. Three friends and I – all on bikes – joined the celebrated 5.2 miles of open roads and streets just for bicycles and pedestrians, and we rode from Golden Hill, through North Park, over to City Heights – and back.

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The official City Heights station.

Weather was perfect, the streets were cleared of cars – except for the four that we counted along the way – and there was an enthusiastic turn-out for the event.  The event was to last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hundreds of San Diegans took part in the 6 hour free bike tour thr0ugh San Diego’s mid-city. Yes, hundreds – not the thousands that we wanted to see – came out. We wanted to see hordes on bikes – but were happy with what we saw and experienced.

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Cross streets were blocked off to cars.

Ever so often, there would be a few tents and the canopies of booths open to participants, some giving away gifts, others selling their bicycling-related products and services.

We reached the end station with some ease, mingling for a few minutes with other riders, media, and a few celebrities. City Councilmember Marty Emerald was there.

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30th Street in Golden Hill never looked so sweet.

Then we turned around and pedaled back to our starting point on 30th Street.

CicloDias 8-11-13 30thSt03Looking back on the even, I’m pleased that we were involved and took the ride.

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Here, 30th Street goes over the Switzer Canyon bridge, normally a dangerous section of road due to the cars.

It was so great coasting down small hills where normally traffic would block your way, and biking along streets that you’d never see this empty.

CicloDias 8-11-13 30thBusWhy can’t we do this more often? I thought. San Diego needs to. The region is just starting to promote biking and bicycles and CicloSDias was a great start for this endeavor, although the eve of the event saw several bicycling tragedies around the County – a bicyclist was killed by a bus on Camp Pendleton and another biker was left injured by a hit-and-run in Chula Vista.

CicloDias 8-11-13 30thbus02Somewhat disappointed with the turn-out, I have yet to see any numbers by the sponsors on the level of participation. Today’s news did not reveal anything.

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The tour hits the residential neighborhoods.

If it does happen again, I would hope for a better route, more scenic, through more commercial areas, and a longer ride, as well.

CicloDias 8-11-13 CH04San Diego has joined the rest of the world in celebrating bicycles – and now we need to show the rest of the world how we can make it better.

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City Councilmember Marty Emerald joined organizers at the City Heights station.

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This intersection seemed to be bicycle-central.

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Is this the future?

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North Park residents upset with Jack-in-the-Box field a booth for their opposition to the current design.

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