The Bike-Friendly Bus

Residents of Uptown oppose the Mid-City Rapid Bus project for many reasons, citing the negative impacts it will have on traffic, and the trash and vandalism the project will bring to the community. And now, some residents claim SANDAG is improperly using TransNet sales tax revenues to help pay for the $43 million project.

"All new projects, or major reconstruction projects, funded by revenues provided under this Ordinance shall accommodate travel by pedestrians and bicyclists, except where pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited by law from using a given facility," reads the ordinance.

But SANDAG spokesperson David Hicks says the Mid-City Rapid Bus project complies with the tax code because it "accommodates bicycles with bike racks on the front [of the bus]."

Hicks also says the proposal calls for lane-striping for bicycles, and pedestrian crossings at each intersection along Park Boulevard.

"At the two locations where we are installing median bus stations, the platforms will serve as pedestrian refuges to allow for a safe waiting place for pedestrians," writes Hicks in an email.

Adds Hicks: "The redesign of Polk Street which prohibits through traffic across Park Boulevard will shorten the pedestrian crossing distance, improving pedestrian safety at this location. Trees and shrubs will be provided at the two new stations, enhancing the pedestrian experience."

However Hillcrest resident Walter Chambers disagrees. Chambers feels the project puts pedestrians and cyclists in danger, not the other way around. " SANDAG's solution for "accommodation for bicycles" on the street, is to put a bike rack on the front of the bus?" writes Chambers. "I suppose in some political, legal world, that would suffice as "accommodations for bicycles". In the real world, it's known as BS."

"Can we not have a beautiful, pedestrian and bicycle friendly street with Rapid Transit that nurses economic vitality and attracts people? SANDAG and Councilmember Gloria seem to think not, or just don't care."

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