In San Diego, our climate allows for year-round bicycling. While our area has the right weather and the right atmosphere, it doesn’t always do a great job of catering to bicycle enthusiasts. To keep your ride successful and stress and accident free, bicyclists need to stay on their toes and develop a keen understanding for the rules of bicycling on bicycle lanes as well as multi-use roads.
Dangerous Bike Routes to Avoid in San Diego
For a weekend jaunt across town or to get from point A to point B, here are some of the trickiest and most potentially hazardous routes to ride around town:
Pershing Drive from Redwood and crossing the I-5 ramps. This section headed into downtown is dangerous because bicyclists must cross the ramps where vehicles may not pay attention to bicyclists. The route also features lots of hills. Bicyclists who brave this route need solid brakes to make it out unscathed.
Morena Blvd. to Qualcomm Way on Friars Road. You’ll find bike lanes down this section of town, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a safe route. Vehicles speed along this thoroughfare and bicyclists may find themselves riding between merging lanes of traffic.
Hillcrest to North Park on University Avenue. A known route for bicycle accidents, this route offers bicyclists very little room to travel safely between the lines of parked vehicles and passing lanes of traffic. If you do take this route, watch for careless motorists getting out of parked cars. An open door can present as much of a hazard to a bicyclist as a moving vehicle.
Park Blvd. to Harbor Drive on Broadway Downtown. While popular, this route features lots of traffic of all kinds throughout the day. Riders on this path should maintain constant awareness for motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
Pacific Highway around the Barnett Avenue area. Unless you’re looking for a stress-inducing ride, avoid this area. Most bicyclists familiar with San Diego despise this particular section of town for its dangers.
The intersection around Nimitz, SeaWorld Drive, I-8, and Sunset Cliffs. For bicyclists, this area may require crossing heavy traffic to continue in any direction. Traveling through merging traffic here is tough.
Safer Alternatives for Cyclists
If you are trying to ride from point A to point B, consider checking out your favorite maps app first for traffic information. Ask local bicyclists for the best alternative routes or try driving your route before you head out on a bicycle. You can also check out an updated bike map of the area from SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) featuring routes with bike lanes, multi-use paths, and upcoming routes. For safe and relaxing bicycle rides around the area, try these alternative rides:
- Take the Silver Strand path (9.2 miles) for an easy ride along the bay area and down to some nice beaches.
- For a more urban route, try the Sixth Avenue and Upas Street trail. This route features a 1.5 mile trail as well as a 4.1 mile trail through beautiful gardens and local museums.
- The Mission Bay path is an 11 mile trip with several points for stopping along the way.Travel around Crown Point or down towards Fiesta Island on this popular afternoon ride.
Safety Tips for Heading Out on the Road
Whether you choose to ride in the thick of traffic on your commute to work or take a leisurely ride on the weekends, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Choose a bike route that fits your skill and comfort level
- Always have a backup plan in mind
- Wear appropriate safety gear and check your bicycle before you head out
- Cars are supposed to watch for you, but you should also watch out for them
While many urban streets pose a threat to bicyclists, we also have several trails and paths that offer a low stress experience for riders of all skill levels. Bicycling around in traffic always carries a level of risk, but you can take steps to lower your risk and plan a more enjoyable experience. Happy riding!
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/sep/23/cover-dangerous- bike-spots- safer-routes/
http://www.discoversd.com/news/2015/aug/14/bike-paths- san-diego/#&panel1- 6