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Love and hate on San Diego's bike lanes

Out of bounds – skateboarders, scooter riders, motorized bikes, joggers, trash cans, armored cars, bike thieves, hearses

Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right
Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right
Video:

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right in North Park


There's love and there's hate toward the hundreds of million dollars spent on the 1,700 miles of bikeways laid out throughout San Diego County.

And recently, there are those illegally in the middle of the well-marked bike lanes despite the many signs and painted symbols.

"The bike lanes are being used by skateboarders, scooter riders, motorized bikes, joggers, offloading, stopping to pick up 'to-go' orders," noted Pat Sexton in a recent interview. "Much of North Park does not have alleys for trash pickup, so do the trash cans go in the bike or traffic lanes?"

Hearse or a funeral bus taken in front of Saint Patrick's


Sexton, a retired North Parkian and founder of Save30thStreetParking.org, has been monitoring and advocating to save her neighborhood's street parking — and affected businesses and dwellers. Some in North Park and nearby City Heights who lost street parking to bike lanes have said online they park up to a mile away from their homes. They trek home, return to their car the following day, and then drive to work.

"Even Brinks is still using the bike lanes to do business with the Union Bank (on 30th and University)," She continued. "But their drivers are not going to subject themselves to parking in the North Park Garage parking structure then walking a satchel full of money/checks around the neighborhood."

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Sexton sent me a photo of what appears to be a hearse or a funeral bus taken in front of Saint Patrick's on 30th. "Not good to have to carry someone's casket around the corner and down the street," she added.

He notices people parked in the bike lanes loading or unloading groceries.


Then, on Valentine's Day last week, just south of St. Patrick's, a motorcycle rider "scared the crap out me when he came up behind me," recounted North Parker Bob LaRose. "And then [the motorcyclist] passed me on the right" — a bike lane on 30th Street en route to South Park.

Like many South Park and North Park residents who post on the NextDoor forums, LaRose sees daily non-cyclist activities on their bikeways. He notices people parked in the bike lanes loading or unloading groceries, and he sees delivery service vehicles or USPS trucks parked in bike lanes "since there is no other place to stop. The one ironic exception I see most often is that people park in the bike lanes in front of the bike shop near the corner of 30th and Upas to load and unload bikes!"

Then there are posts online of bike thieves stripping and switching out bike parts within or close to bike lanes in hopes they can sell parts or a complete bike to a passing cyclist. Some thieves are so brazen they'll ride a stolen bike while rolling another one in tandem within the bike lanes.

LaRose sent me the video of the motorcyclist who passed him using the bike lane; he posted the video on the NextDoor app. A South Park dweller wondered, "Where's a cop when you need one?" A North Park cyclist responded, "They never ticket the people parked illegally in the bike lanes. Why would they ticket people riding illegally in the bike lanes?"

On Reddit, the topic of the illegal use of bike lanes in San Diego County came up. A Redditor responded in part, "It is against the law to block bike lanes or park in bike lanes. See CA Vehicle Code 21211.  Attorney here, I have successfully sued and won where bicyclists are injured due to blocked bike lanes; this goes for landscapers, regular members of public... Only certain utilities can block bike lanes, and then only when properly warning and tapering off traffic. Blocking bike lanes forces bicyclists into the path of vehicles, and it is extremely dangerous."


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Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right
Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right
Video:

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Motorcyclist on 30th passing on the right in North Park


There's love and there's hate toward the hundreds of million dollars spent on the 1,700 miles of bikeways laid out throughout San Diego County.

And recently, there are those illegally in the middle of the well-marked bike lanes despite the many signs and painted symbols.

"The bike lanes are being used by skateboarders, scooter riders, motorized bikes, joggers, offloading, stopping to pick up 'to-go' orders," noted Pat Sexton in a recent interview. "Much of North Park does not have alleys for trash pickup, so do the trash cans go in the bike or traffic lanes?"

Hearse or a funeral bus taken in front of Saint Patrick's


Sexton, a retired North Parkian and founder of Save30thStreetParking.org, has been monitoring and advocating to save her neighborhood's street parking — and affected businesses and dwellers. Some in North Park and nearby City Heights who lost street parking to bike lanes have said online they park up to a mile away from their homes. They trek home, return to their car the following day, and then drive to work.

"Even Brinks is still using the bike lanes to do business with the Union Bank (on 30th and University)," She continued. "But their drivers are not going to subject themselves to parking in the North Park Garage parking structure then walking a satchel full of money/checks around the neighborhood."

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Sexton sent me a photo of what appears to be a hearse or a funeral bus taken in front of Saint Patrick's on 30th. "Not good to have to carry someone's casket around the corner and down the street," she added.

He notices people parked in the bike lanes loading or unloading groceries.


Then, on Valentine's Day last week, just south of St. Patrick's, a motorcycle rider "scared the crap out me when he came up behind me," recounted North Parker Bob LaRose. "And then [the motorcyclist] passed me on the right" — a bike lane on 30th Street en route to South Park.

Like many South Park and North Park residents who post on the NextDoor forums, LaRose sees daily non-cyclist activities on their bikeways. He notices people parked in the bike lanes loading or unloading groceries, and he sees delivery service vehicles or USPS trucks parked in bike lanes "since there is no other place to stop. The one ironic exception I see most often is that people park in the bike lanes in front of the bike shop near the corner of 30th and Upas to load and unload bikes!"

Then there are posts online of bike thieves stripping and switching out bike parts within or close to bike lanes in hopes they can sell parts or a complete bike to a passing cyclist. Some thieves are so brazen they'll ride a stolen bike while rolling another one in tandem within the bike lanes.

LaRose sent me the video of the motorcyclist who passed him using the bike lane; he posted the video on the NextDoor app. A South Park dweller wondered, "Where's a cop when you need one?" A North Park cyclist responded, "They never ticket the people parked illegally in the bike lanes. Why would they ticket people riding illegally in the bike lanes?"

On Reddit, the topic of the illegal use of bike lanes in San Diego County came up. A Redditor responded in part, "It is against the law to block bike lanes or park in bike lanes. See CA Vehicle Code 21211.  Attorney here, I have successfully sued and won where bicyclists are injured due to blocked bike lanes; this goes for landscapers, regular members of public... Only certain utilities can block bike lanes, and then only when properly warning and tapering off traffic. Blocking bike lanes forces bicyclists into the path of vehicles, and it is extremely dangerous."


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