San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the regional transportation organization, recently approved an historic $200 million for bicycle projects in the region. SANDAG hopes to complete 77 miles of new bicycle facilities within the next 10 years.
This is truly historic for San Diego, and a major step for bicycle transportation. It has been praised by nearly all local bicycle advocacy groups and alternative transportation groups. GSSD applauds this move too.
But let’s put SANDAG’s $200 million / 77 miles in 10 years in perspective:
Chicago has set a goal of 662 bicycle miles by 2020 (7 years) – an increase of over 400 miles of bike facilities.
New York City has added over 200 miles of new bike facilities in the last 3 years.
Minneapolis plans to add 240 miles of new bikeways in 20 years.
Portland approved $613 million for 662 miles over the next 20 years.
So while San Diego should pat itself on the back for making a big leap (reletive to its past spending), let’s remember, we are still very, very far behind. Nothing short of a “Manhattan Project” for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit programs will bring us up to world-class status in 20 years. We do want world-class status – don’t we?