The Coast News Group
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Community CommentaryOpinion

How many bike riders are there in Encinitas?

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


Lynn Marr November 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Yes, ET, the writer of this commentary’s comments are skewed. She is probably talking about the number of bicycles owned, not the number of riders at any particular time in any particular location. As I recall, the City of Oceanside did attempt to do an actual monitored count of bicyclists on its streets. Elana Thompson is closely allied with Real Estate interests, that imagine they stand to capitalize on commercial real estate, and planned desnisfication adjacent to North Highway 101, in Encinitas.

That is part of the Streetscam plan, with roundabouts that are unwanted and unneeded. All bicyclists would have to funnel through narrow, one-lane roundabouts, with no cross-streets, due to the RR tracks, along with all motor vehicle traffic also reduced to one lane in each direction. This will not be safer, will INCREASE greenhouse gases, due to more stop and go traffic on our public highway. The goal of the N101 Streetscape was to reduce the speed down to 30 MPH. That has already been accomplished with speed cushions. During peak periods, traffic is already slowed down. More and more traffic would divert to side streets with Streetscam, also endangering bicyclists, particularly on Neptune.

Sheila Cameron, in this week’s Coast News, has an excellent Letter to the Editor in reply to ET’s commentary, here.

Sheila Cameron November 10, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Please see my Letter to the Editor in the November 8th Edition of the Coast News. Plenty of statistics and sources! Encinitas does not spawn thousands of bicyclists….more like 400 or less actually from our City. Sheila S. Cameron

Candice Shine November 6, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Tom Sawyer you asked the question that was on my mind. Where are the actual studies for Encinitas?
ET (the writer) has skewed the data for her own agenda or there would be real data we could sink our teeth in.
This article was so full of holes I wonder why the Coast News printed it. To take up space for real news?
I wonder if this kind of data was provided to the City Council who then made their decision to screw up Leucadia Blvd with green clown bike lanes for which you may see one or two bike riders on any given day. Now that’s the truth!

Tom sawyer November 5, 2019 at 7:18 am

Any data claim without providing links to the actual studies and data is worthless.

Regardless what it the point? There clearly are never “millions of bikes” on the road

Your claim is like saying since everyone over 18 *could drive a car* that’s how many cars there are.

The bikes in Leucadia are a disaster. The roads were made for cars not packs of bikes who disregard stop signs, and ride more recklessly every weekend.

There is no justification that says because the number is high (according to you) we have to share the roads.

A better argument would be:

1) how do we handle an increasing number of recreational cyclists.

None of these people are going to work or commuting.

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