The City of San Diego has created a document called the Climate Action Plan – I’m sure you have heard of it. A big effort when Faulconer was Mayor. In it, the City called for 1 million trees to be planted in 10 years. I believe that was already almost 10 years ago and if they have been keeping a running tab on the new trees planted, it is in the couple thousand, if that many. Then here comes the dedicated bicycle lanes project – Awesome, another aspect of the Climate Action Plan – less cars, more bikes. So specific project being addressed here, the ‘improvements’ on southbound 4th avenue and northbound 5th Avenue. Dedicated bike lane with a protective strip for planters. Great I thought here comes trees + landscaping. But what do they do? Fill the planters with concrete! Where are the trees City? You make private developers comply with all of the landscape requirements including cramming trees into little cutouts where they typically do not survive. And then you come in and as is typical City fashion – do not comply with your own requirements. Big surprise! So instead of these potentially beautiful shaded bike lanes that would also provide canopy and shading over the City streets, you insert white shiny, glaring concrete to really make sure that whomever rides in these lanes gets the full solar effect and has a miserable experience. Millions of dollars for these projects but nothing for trees – that you were advocating for in the Climate Action Plan – but yet underfund the tree programs, do not provide staffing nor budget to service the need and continue to cut down mature trees instead of taking actions to preserve + protect. What the hell are you people doing over there? Did you throw away all that money on 101 Ash Street so every other project has to be be short changed and suffer for your inability to do projects correctly?
The City also attempted to insert some planters at the intersections for storm water management and traffic calming – presumably. I say that because the planters rise up away from the gutters so that the water runoff cannot be treated because gravity won’t allow it. Unless these are faux storm water treatment islands. In that case they are just little token landscape islands – again with no trees.
This is beyond embarrassing. The City has to be called out for their hypocrisy and inability to do the basics of complete streets and urban forestry correct. Complete Streets are supposed to be just that – complete with all aspects of pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular, urban forest, site features, wayfinding, lighting, etc. This is a Grand Onion candidate on par with any other faux pax that the City has pulled in the past.
City of San Diego Bike Lanes - where ever they occur - but these are specifically on 4th + 5th Avenue between downtown + Hillcrest
City of San Diego
City Planning + Engineering
Not sure and do not want to guess since this is a true embarrassment