Study of Bike Use on 30th Street Demonstrates Fears and Predictions of Opponents: Less Business and Locals Unable to Find Parking

by on December 7, 2021 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Kate Callen, a longtime North Park activist, performed a study of bicycle use along the contentious 30th Street corridor and its new bike lanes. She found that the fears and predictions of opponents of the bikepath project are true: there is less business and local residents are having a difficult time finding parking.

Callen took a careful count from security video of bike lane riders (bikes, scooters, skateboards) on the 3400 block of 30th Street during peak commuting times, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4 through Friday, Oct. 8. Over the course of those 20 hours, the average number of riders per peak commuting hour was 16.

Callen, a former San Diego Bureau chief for United Press International, said:

“People have been asking for years for any data, the city has been saying we will get to it eventually.”

This important study has ramifications for other communities, such as Normal Heights and Ocean Beach, where bicycling extremists have pushed for the premature removal of parking and for so-called “road diets” that create dangerous conditions.

Why did Callen do the study?

She said:

“The community was kept in the dark until just before (former Mayor Kevin) Faulconer announced it as a done deal. When people first heard about it, they didn’t believe it.  How could the city do something so outrageous without telling us?”

She also stated:

“We have a lot of people in Save 30th Street that are avid bicyclists and have been for years.” Even with the new bicycle lanes, “they will not ride on 30th Street,” she said, because it’s too narrow and they already ride on Utah Street, which is very wide.” She added, “Nobody has really told us why the bike lanes were needed.”

Times of San Diego writer, JW August, filed this noteworthy report:

In the five months since the bike corridor has been in place, the activists say their fears have proven to be true. It’s not as promised, they contend. In fact, they say, it’s been detrimental to those who work or live along the corridor.

Merchants and restaurant owners say they are seeing less business, and residents complain about being unable to find places to park.

The residents who have protested the bike lane initiative from the beginning say the city’s transportation department ramrodded the project through. They assert that the manager of its mobility program, Everett Hauser, had no interest in hearing their concerns and that he appeared to be a bike lane advocate focused on pushing through the project.

Hauser is listed on the San Diego County Bicycle coalition website as the No. 1 rider, having taken 1,191 bike trips, covering 20,678 miles through this month. Times of San Diego contacted his supervisor in order to speak to him about his job description.  She responded by saying we have to file an open records act for this information.

Merchants and residents along the bike path say they appreciate the research Callen has done because they’ve wanted some solid information to bolster their contention that the limited bicycle traffic does not justify the hardship locals face every day dealing with the city-installed bike lanes. They also question the environmental value when car and truck drivers circle the area looking for parking spots or go into nearby neighborhoods to park.

See the balance of August’s fine piece here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

TL December 7, 2021 at 9:15 pm

If you build it, they will come.



FrankF December 8, 2021 at 7:29 am

I live one block east of 30th Street. Since 30th has been turned into a giant bike lane, all of the business patrons are parking in front of my house leaving zero parking for my visitors. And what really frosts my crank, serious bike riders want nothing to do with the bike lane because it segregates them to the lane next to the curb where the roadway is poorly maintained and the bikes are hard to see by vehicles turning right, so the serious bike riders still use the middle off the vehicle lane, which is their right and the bike lane goes unused.

Don’t get me started on the nightmare of the still unused bike lane on 5th Avenue in downtown. What a cockup that is!!


Chris December 8, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Interesting. I see people using the lane on fifth all the time from Bankers Hill to Hillcrest (or at least when it was a painted lane before the construction of hard barriers which are still not done). Are you only talking about downtown?


OB John December 13, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Turns out the 5th ave protected bike lane is not due to open until Dec of 2022 making this a mind boggling 3 year project!! Thanks to SDBC (San Diego Bike Coalition) I was given this info as I got no response from Mayor Gloria or the Get-It-Done app. Even though this lane has been completed enough to be useable for at least 8 months now it still remains blocked due to the city claiming that signal lights need to be installed first to avoid liability issues. I was perfectly happy riding with the old painted bike lane which made it easier for cars and bikes to co-exist and didn’t cost the taxpayers mucho $$$$$$$$$’s.


24BestBuys December 9, 2021 at 12:27 pm

I live in 30th Street and I can see no parking sense anywhere.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: