This question has spurred widespread interest as of late amongst the outdoor community, especially amongst bike riders and cycling groups. So, I thought I’d do some research myself, as an active bike rider and curious person. With San Diego’s outstanding year-round climate, it came as no surprise to me that San Diego would be considered the capital of biking and active lifestyle industries and with some of the highest cyclist numbers in the nation.
The truth is, there are thousands of bike riders in Encinitas and hundreds of thousands of cyclists riding through Encinitas! A study was conducted a few years back that there are 1,100,000 bike riders/cyclists in San Diego county. * Recent reader opinions expressed in the Coast News erroneously reported that there are ‘400 bike riders in Encinitas’. This is both inaccurate and pointless when making any argument for or against creating safe bike (and/or ped) infrastructure today, including the Leucadia Streetscape (the long planned and awaited extension of the Encinitas Streetscape roadway improvement project completed in 2003 and soon to be extended into Leucadia in 2020). All of those numbers could be/would higher if we had better and safer bike infrastructure in our towns and county. Collectively, as a community, we might even have fewer traffic headaches and collisions, and more parking opportunities if people could safely get around town by foot, bike or even electric golf carts!
The numbers aside, it is important to note that biking in Encinitas and San Diego contributes positively towards not only local economic development and overall health & well-being, but to general quality of life as well. There is no doubt that planning and building for a future of improved mobility, including walking and biking infrastructure, will pay sizable dividends both today and well in to the future. It is also certainly one sure way to accommodate a growing population and maybe even reduce our carbon footprints. In my humble opinion, we owe it future generations unless we want to gridlock them into tiny spaces at the coast and in the county, beyond.
Respectfully, Elena Thompson, “E.T.”
Leucadia Resident and Bike Rider