Jeremy Blakespear who lives in Encinitas, says he'd like to see more people getting out of their cars and using bikes for recreation and better health in protected bike lanes. His advocacy has caused him to be maligned from San Diego’s largest bike lobby, the Bicycle Coalition.
“Its truly amazing to realize that one of the largest obstacles to better bicycling infrastructure is coming from organized cycling clubs,” Blakespear wrote in a published letter to the Encinitas Advocate.
Blakespear served on the organization’s advocacy committee, and was their representative to the San Dieguito River Park’s master planning. After being approached by a few Bicycle Coalition members, he threw his hat into the ring to serve on the organization’s board of directors, made up of cycling clubs around the county.
On October 23, of the six candidates up for appointment, only Blakespear was not approved for the board. “I felt attacked for advocating good protected bike lanes, said Blakespear.
“I immediately left the meeting and resigned the next day.”
Blakespear says the Bicycle Collation is made up of riders that are the “bold and fearless” type – vehicular cyclists (bikes sharing the road with motorists) that believe bikes have an equal right to share the roadway, and do not want to be restricted or slowed down by beach cruisers, kids, or pedestrians that may use protected bike lanes.
“Vehicular cycling is a failed philosophy,” Blakespear said, pointing to traffic engineering studies showing increased bike riding occurs when bikes are taken out of the roadway, and into a protected lane.
“Physically protected bike lanes are shown to both increase ridership and reduce serious injury, and helps cycling be available to a larger percentage of the population,” said Blakespear.
The Bicycle Coalition seems have become the most powerful lobbying group for vehicular cycling in San Diego, with politicians latching on the group’s big voice and presence.
Several cities have instituted painted green bike lanes, or use the sharrows symbol, which indicate the road’s lane must be shared with bicyclists. Blakespear believes other groups; Circulate San Diego and Climate Action Campaign will lead the charge for advocating for sensible bike lane infrastructure.
Blakespear now serves on the Mountain Bike Association, along with continuing to serve on the city of Encinitas’ Bike/Walk committee. His wife, Catherine Blakespear, is the mayor of Encinitas.