San Diego is an extremely active city. This is obvious in the amount of surfers, hikers, swimmers, runners, and bikers seen out promoting better health about town. The San Diego Bicycle Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycling in the area, is one major proponent in guiding the city into more bike-friendly territory.
They are not alone in this quest, however, as this has been a productive year for all things pedals, brakes, and gears (if one so chooses).
In a press release issued by the San Diego Bicycle Coalition today, they thanked city officials and various other partners for making 2012 "the year that bicycling boosted business." The group celebrated by hosting its annual Holiday Joyride at Mission Brewery yesterday evening.
The press release elaborated that Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw believed many things led to the successful promotion of bicycling in the city. Among many factors, he cited the fact that "The nation’s largest bike-friendly business district program, more bike advocacy groups, a public bike sharing program announcement, more cyclists at special events and a record-number of cyclists riding to work all contributed to one of most successful years ever for cycling in San Diego."
“We’re putting San Diego on the path to becoming one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., and we hope to continue this momentum to break more records in 2013,” Hanshaw continued.
During Bike to Work Month this past May, SANDAG's iCommute trip tracker tool calculated that more than 18,000 bike trips to work - a twenty percent increase from the prior year. New bicycle advocacy groups also popped up in Coronado, Encinitas, Chula Vista, Solana Beach, and Council District 2 (Mission Hills area).
At the annual Holiday Joyride, Mayor Bob Filner was present to kick off the ceremonies, reviewing the 2012 year and speaking of goals for the bicycle community for 2013. The Bicycle Coalition then extended their 2012 Golden Gear of Advocacy Awards to community leaders:
· Public Partner of the Year - San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria · Advocate of the Year – Nicole Burgess of Ocean Beach · Volunteers of the Year - Howard LaGrange and Pete Penseyres of Oceanside · Bike-Friendly Business Advocate of the Year - Jeff Motch, owner of Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights & Tiger!Tiger! on El Cajon Boulevard · Community Partner of the Year – Walk San Diego.
Seeing this much government participation from community leaders is how San Diego can become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States. Knowing that leaders are dedicated to this is reassuring to those who would rather commute by bike than by any other means. The hard work of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition will be at the forefront of this mission.