The Coast News Group
Currently, the Escondido Creek Bikeway ends abruptly when it meets North Broadway. On August 5, Escondido City Council approved a funding agreement with SANDAG to construct a .6-mile bike path to finish the missing link. Photo by Ellen Wright

Missing bike link approved

ESCONDIDO—The 7-mile Escondido Creek Bikeway currently ends abruptly near Evan’s Tire & Service Center at the corner of Woodward Avenue and North Broadway.

The San Diego Association of Governments has given the city a grant to continue the bike path.

It will fully cover the construction of a .6-mile link in the Escondido Creek Trail/ Bicycle Path that is currently missing between Broadway and Center City Parkway.

About a year ago, the pocket park next to Evan’s Tire & Service was opened to the public.

Donations from The Kiwanis Club of Escondido and the Escondido Charitable Foundation made the park possible.

The pocket park was a few years in the making and advocates hoped it would encourage more people to bike in Escondido.

However, a chunk of the bike path is missing, making it difficult for riders to continue smoothly.

The grant, totaling $1.092 million, comes from a half-cent voter approved sales tax known as Transnet.

“I have always been a strong advocate for SANDAG to finish the missing bike path,” said Mayor Sam Abed. “I’m very, very pleased that the SANDAG board has approved the (grant).”

Once the bike path is complete, it will provide a direct bike route from the Escondido Transit Center to downtown.

Bike paths will be built on Centre City Parkway and Valley Parkway. The bike paths will be completely separate from traffic, which increases safety.

A bike lane with painted stripes will be installed along the eastern side of Broadway to Valley Parkway.
Another portion of the grant will go towards building a pedestrian bridge over the Escondido Creek along Broadway.

A signalized crosswalk will also be added at Woodward Avenue.

“It’s just a great program because it enhances the transportation, safety and mobility and encourages biking and walking,” said Abed.

Construction on the project likely won’t begin for about another two years.

First, the project needs to get environmental clearance. After that, engineering and design of the project may take up to 21 months.

The funding is part of the state’s Active Transportation Program, which funds active transportation projects.
The goals of the state program are to increase safety and mobility for non-motorized transit users, like walkers and bikers.

In doing so, public officials hope to increase the public’s health and to reduce greenhouse gasses by cutting down on the amount of cars on the road.

While Sandag helped the city receive funding for the project, city staff will be responsible for the entirety of the project.

The state issued about $6 million in grants for active transportation infrastructure locally.