Watchdog: Accountability

San Diego sits on city-purchased bike racks (figuratively speaking)

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Transportation,Watchdog,California,Kelly Cohen,Accountability,Energy and Environment,San Diego

San Diego is set to celebrate National Bike Month -- sans 200 bicycle racks the city's residents thought would be ready to use by now.

City officials would not respond to information requests about how much the racks -- which are locked up in a city storage facility -- cost, according to an article in the city's daily newspaper, U-T San Diego.

Decisions are still being finalized on where to place the metal, oval-shaped racks because of another delay -- installation of roughly 200 stations for a separate million-dollar bike sharing program that is also behind schedule, which set to roll out next month.

For a city pushing the idea of being bike friendly, sitting on bike racks makes little sense, according to Bill Sauls.

Sauls, a cycling advocate and attorney in downtown San Diego, told U-T San Diego, "For a nominal amount of money, you could really change the bike access to downtown overnight.”

The city's transportation spokesman, Bill Harris, said the delay is because of the long process to "make sure it's done right."

Last July, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved a 10-year partnership with DecoBike to install between 180 and 220 bike-sharing stations throughout the city.

The capital investment of $7.2 million — paid entirely by the bicycle company — guaranteed the city would make between $1 and $2.6 million in revenue over the next decade, according to the article.

"I've been frustrated how long this has taken," Bill Keller, who pushed for the racks as a member of the Downtown Community Planning Council, told the newspaper.

Currently, approximately 35,000 live in the revitalized San Diego downtown — a number expected to more than double in future decades — who would undoubtedly benefit from the easy access to an alternative form of transportation.

Read the full article here.

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