“The bikeway is almost done” said Miguel, as he walked out by the freeway exit.
On June 29, Miguel walked up the State Route 15 Commuter Bikeway (northbound) towards Adams Avenue.
“The pavement, walls and fences look good to go,” he said, “the only things that look unfinished are the landscaping and the lights.”
In his photos, some of the plants look as if they were recently planted and are separated into rows — there is still a lot of dirt. About an 1/8 to a 1/4 of a mile up the hill, there were orange street cones which were neatly stacked, a porta-potty, and a portable faucet with a paper towel dispenser. “It looks like they might be picking this stuff up soon,” he said.
The $15.6 million bikeway project started construction in March of 2016. It was slated to be finished by this summer.
The bikeway is a paved 12-foot (occasionally 18-foot) wide pathway that goes downhill for about a mile, and ends at Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley — where Miguel entered from.
“It’s not that steep,” said Bev Barrett, “not as bad as the Texas gradient.”
Barrett is a retired educational administrator and a lifetime cyclist from Kensington. She was so excited about the nearly completed bikeway, she posted photos of the construction crew on her social media — and thanked them.
“I met my husband while riding my bike,” she said, “and since then, we bike all over the place. Camino Santiago in Spain, New Zealand — and here locally, to La Jolla (via Presidio Drive) on Sunday mornings.”
Prior to the building of this pathway, there were only two efficient ways to cycle to Mission Valley from mid-city San Diego; via Fairmount Avenue and Texas Street. “… but [automobile] traffic is pretty fast there,” Barrett said, “and from Fairmount, we have to take the Aldine [Drive] curve which is narrow and we have to share the road with the big buses too.”
Sandag video on bikeway
1:48 video on new SR-15 bikeway
On May 17, SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) released a video update on the project which further confirmed that the “bikeway is scheduled for completion this summer.” According to their website, this is only the beginning of a $200 million Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program.
Barrett raved about the many lamps (embedded into the cement wall covered with stainless steel covers) for night-cycling, and Miguel applauded the additional three-foot fences atop the walls; to protect the cyclists from debris from adjacent freeway traffic.
One reservation about the bikeway is the noise coming from the freeway. Miguel advised to “bring some headphones or wear earmuffs in winter.”
Last October, some paleontologists from the San Diego Natural History Museum discovered a portion of a skull (braincase and parts of the inner ear) of a baleen whale within the sandstone of the bikeway construction site. It was estimated to be 3.5 million years old.