San Diego installs counters in new protected bike lanes
San Diego installed bike counters on two streets with new protected bike lanes in an effort to track the impact on cycling habits.
Counters were installed in the new Pacific Highway bike lanes in Little Italy last November, while others were installed in the 30th Street bike lanes in North Park last Saturday.
As of Thursday afternoon, the 30th Street devices had logged more than 1,700 bike and scooter rides.
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Stephan Vance, chairman of the board of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, said the data is already debunking the myth that bike lanes are a waste because no one uses them.
“Obviously there’s been some opposition to (bike lanes), so it’s really important for the city to know that what they’ve done here is working,” Vance said.
The 30th Street bike lanes were installed last summer after more than two years of planning and community outreach. Some residents and businesses hailed them as a much-needed safety improvement while others criticized them, mostly because they required the removal of on-street parking.
A group called Save 30th Street Parking sued the city in an attempt to block bike lanes, but lost the case last year.
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Bicycle and pedestrian counters have existed on several key routes in San Diego County for years, though several have ended up with dead batteries because no public agency has agreed to fund their upkeep. They are all operational again and maintained by SDSU and the regional transport agency SANDAG.
City spokeswoman Anna Vacchi Hill said the city plans to install more bike counters on major bike routes, but hasn’t decided on specific locations yet.