SAN DIEGO — A newly finished bike lane has simultaneously frustrated and elated two groups of people who frequent Azuaga Street in Rancho Peñasquitos.
Residents argue they’ve lost dozens of parking spaces on the road, cut down for the new bike lane that’s now neatly marked off with pylons.
“The people making these decisions aren’t affected by this,” resident Graham Mickle said.
Those living in the area claim the city gave them no notice before constructing the bike lane in the middle of the night. Then residents started receiving tickets in the same places where they use to park for decades.
In a statement, a city spokesperson said the lanes are part of a City Council-approved Bicycle Master Plan and “connect two segments of the highly popular SR-56 bikeway”
“Azuaga St. was recently resurfaced for the first time in 13 years, providing the opportunity to install this planned protected bikeway to greatly increase safety for riders who frequent the SR-56 path,” the statement reads. “Parking for residents remains on the south side of Azuaga St., where there are lights and sidewalks, as well as on surrounding streets.”
Even so, some living in the area still are voicing their concerns about the effort.
“They expect us to park in the dark up there,” said Pamela Blanton, a resident of the Cantabria Apartments on Rancho Peñasquitos Boulevard.
But as bicyclists face regular dangers on area roadways, some are lauding the decision to install the lane.
“We have a real dearth of separated bike paths,” longtime local cyclist John Randell said. “There are plenty of bike paths on the street in the lane of traffic, but people get killed, they get maimed, they get hit by inattentive drivers all the time.
Randell adds, “Having a separated one like this is a godsend.”
Residents who have demanded answers from the city will get their chance next week in a meeting with the city’s Transportation Department. The Zoom meeting starts at 10 a.m. on April 26.