SANDAG

The future of San Pedro looms on the lagoon side

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This little guy was standing next to me taking photos of the same Garifuna ensemble as I was. Probably got better photos too, from his shorter perspective ...
This little guy was standing next to me taking photos of the same Garifuna ensemble as I was. Probably got better photos too, from his shorter perspective …

If there is one thing that I learned in my short stint with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) it was how to set up a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There were at least four of them. That worked out to one a month. To which you can also add a month-long celebration of bicycling which culminated in a bike festival followed by a single day in which thousands of people actually rode their bicycles to work and school.

SANDAG is many things but its biggest role is as the transportation agency for the 3.2 million people in San Diego County. And it handles its duties extremely well. It builds highways, bike paths, railroad tracks and bridges – and I contributed to organizing ribbon cutting ceremonies for each of those.

So it was with some professional curiosity that I decided to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday night for the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk & Water Taxi Terminal on the lagoon side of San Pedro Town. Read the rest of this entry »

In San Pedro, ‘Bike to Work’ Day is every day

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Due to high public demand, here is a photo of Rose's bike (foreground) and mine.  Those baskets have already come in handy for hauling groceries, computers, water.
Due to high public demand, here is a photo of Rose’s bike (foreground) and mine. Those baskets have already come in handy for hauling groceries, computers, water. The big tires are perfect for the rough roads and soft sand trails.

One of the things I brought with me to Belize is a gray “Bike to Work 2012” T-shirt from my brief stint with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

Is it silly, ironic or clueless to wear such a shirt in a town like San Pedro where almost everyone bikes to work, and to dinner, and to shop, and to get from here to there and back again?

As Dorothy would say, “Toto, we’re not in San Diego anymore.”

Well, maybe “almost everyone” is an exaggeration. I think “most people” would be a closer guess.

In San Diego, we spent months and many dollars coming up with ways to entice people out of their cars and onto their bicycles for one day a year. We set up way stations and gave bikers food, drink and swag. Like the T-shirts.

There was music, publicity, TV news stations looking for the easy hook and visual. And plenty of good reasons why it would be better for your heart, lungs and longevity to put the pedal to the pavement rather than the gas.

Those who know me from San Diego may recall the “Pedal Power”” blog I wrote during my final reincarnation with U-T San Diego/SignOnSanDiego/Union-Tribune. I loved bicycling around San Diego and tried hard to convey that joy to our readers.

During “Bike to Work Month” I tried to do exactly that every single day. Well, I managed to bike to work most of the month, and even sporadically after that. But there always seemed to be some thing or other tugging me back into the car or the trolley or on the bus.

Well, now we’ve joined the masses pedaling their asses full time.

Yesterday we pedaled up the coast along the beach trail around 4:30 p.m. Dozens of young men returning home from construction jobs on houses and resorts passed us in the opposite direction. It is a drop-dead beautiful commute but it can be a long one too, especially after working all day.

But it is second-nature to them. I’m sure if I’d had my “Bike to Work” shirt on I would have gotten lots of quizzical looks.