The Plaza Bonita Bikeway and Sweetwater Bikeway are now connected and open for use.
Plaza Bonita Bikeway gets linked
The two protected lanes linking Bonita Road to the Sweetwater Bikeway along the Sweetwater River (and on to the Bayshore Bikeway) were formerly separated by a block-long gap where the paths ended and riders had to hop onto Plaza Bonita Road between the northwest corner of Westfield Mall and Bonita Mesa Road. This was easy enough heading southeast but more problematic for those riding northwest; riders had to merge left across the lanes to make a left turn onto one of the two Sweetwater Bikeway access points.
The San Diego Association of Governments originally planned on connecting the paths in early 2014, but the $1.2 million project was delayed due to contract negotiations with the subcontractor (Urban Corps) and then to avoid conflict with SDG&E's transmission line work in the same area.
The road work began early this year, however, and on March 28 the new bike path connection was completed. It runs along the west side of Plaza Bonita Road on the sidewalk level and has designated shared road crossings with pedestrians accessing Westfield Mall.
The old paths are still in need of sweeping and shrub trimming, but the new connection is a big improvement for bike commuters either passing through between the coast and Bonita Road or patronizing businesses in the mall.