For over two years now, the City of San Diego and local residents have wanted to stabilize the cliff on Aldine Drive in the Kensington/Talmadge area. They fear the cliff will give way when substantial rain falls. So, two years ago, funds from Caltrans and money from some federal grants were allocated to stabilize the cliff with a retaining wall.
During those two years, the City has urged communities across San Diego to become more pedestrian- and bike-friendly. The Kensington/Talmadge subcommittee for transportation and safety agreed wholeheartedly. That’s why, when reviewing the Aldine cliff-stabilization project, chair Robert Coffin and his subcommittee thought the project was a good place to start, especially because Aldine Drive is already considered a popular route for cyclists.
The subcommittee’s proposal was simple: paint some dotted lines and little stick figures riding a bicycle on the right hand side of the road and everyone would be happy.
Turns out it was too much to ask.
Coffin says during the July meeting, the city project engineer Gaetano Martedi said no funds were available for a dedicated bike lane, ultimately telling Kensington’s residents to take a hike -- just not on Aldine Drive where there would be no room for pedestrians or cyclists.
To Martedi’s surprise, a former member of the transportation and safety subcommittee was in attendance. He informed Martedi that two years ago there was money set aside for the sole purpose of a bike lane on Aldine Drive -- in addition to the money for stabilizing the cliffs.
Martedi and city aides had no clue there was any money, let alone where it was. City officials said they needed some time tracking down the money, and they would return to the August meeting with more information.
Coffin just received word that the City’s engineer already had plans for that date, but someone would be able to make it to the September meeting.
To see the Kensington/Talmadge planners meet in person, ride your bike down to the Kensington Community Church, located at 4773 Marlborough Drive, on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.. If taking Aldine Drive, ride with extreme caution.