First phase for completion of Coastal Rail Trail, Oceanside segment, underway
Oceanside CA— Oceanside has received the Silver Award from the League of American Bicyclists as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’. The Silver is an upgrade from the Bronze Award the city has held for the past several years and the designation is valid for four years.
“It is difficult to upgrade the designation.” said Howard LaGrange, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Oceanside. ” The League of American Bicyclists puts a lot of emphasis on bicycle education in schools when it grades out a community and that is something we really don’t have any control over.”
Oceanside received a “Needs improvement” grade, in the report card prepared by the League of American Bicyclists, for bicycle education in schools. The average grade for a Gold designation is “Good”.
Below are the 10 building blocks for a Bicycle Friendly Community put forth by the League of American Bicyclists.
|Building Block||Average Gold||Oceanside|
|High Speed Roads with Bike Facilities||35%||66%|
|Total Bicycle Network Mileage
to Total Road Network Mileage
|Bicycle Education in Schools||Good||Needs Improvement|
|Share of Transportation Budget
Spent on Bicycling
|Bike Month and
Bike to Work Events
|Active Bicycle Advocacy Group||Yes||No|
|Active Bicycle Advisory Committee||Meets at Least Monthly||Monthly or more frequently|
|Bicycle–Friendly Laws & Ordinances||Good||Average|
|Bike Plan is Current and is Being Implemented||Yes||Yes|
|Bike Program Staff to Population||1 per 36k||1 per 176k|
Oceanside received four out of ten in “Category Scores”: Evaluation and Planning (Setting targets and having a plan), Enforcement (Promoting safety and protecting bicyclists’ rights), Encouragement (Mainstreaming bicycling culture) and Education (Motorist awareness and bicycling skills).
The City has several active projects and more in the early planning stages including the Coast Highway Corridor and enhanced bike lanes which include a buffer and green paint in bike lane, traffic flow conflict points.
The City has installed two bike repair stations, one at Mance Buchanon Park and the other on Pacific Street, north of the pier. A third will be installed at a location yet to be determined. Oceanside also maintains modular bike storage and repair station on the west side of the Transit Center along the Coastal Rail Trail.
Oceanside was the first city in San Diego County to implement ‘Sharrows’ but many motorist and bicyclist alike don’t know their meaning. Sharrows are lane markings that tell users that the lane is too narrow for bikes and vehicles to safely share side-by-side. “The Sharrows are strategically placed on streets, where bikes may use the full lane, for the safety of the bike rider. Bike riders are encouraged to ride over the symbols on the road to prevent “Dooring” which is when a bike rider runs into a door being opened by a motorist in a parked car.” said Mr. LaGrange.
To further education, there are monthly bike traffic safety course offered by the City which include three hours of classroom study and six hours on the road. The City holds numerous bike safety school assemblies and bike rodeos. Advertisement wraps have been attached to buses showing the dangers of bikes passing a bus on the right and the meaning of Sharrows.
An analysis of bike vs vehicle accidents, in Oceanside, showed that 61% of the incidents were caused by the bicyclist and 90% involved turning or failing to yield.
Oceanside scored a three out of ten in “Category Scores” for Engineering, bicycle network and connectivity. The first phase of an east-west rail trail, connecting San Marcos and Vista, dubbed the Inland Rail Trail, was completed in March. The possibility of the Inland Rail Trail connecting Vista and Oceanside will be a bit more problematic.”When the Sprinter line was originally proposed, there was plenty of room in the right-of-way to accommodate a bike trail,” explained Mr. LaGrange. “When the rail lines were installed, in an effort to save money, the curves were straightened out a bit and now the right of way is taken up by track.” The San Marcos- Vista connection is expected to be completed in 2019. However, the Coastal Rail Trail segment in Oceanside is one step closer to completion.
The city is in the process of figuring out the best way to connect the north and south ends of the Oceanside segment of the Coastal Rail Trail. The north side of trail starts/ends at Oceanside Blvd. The south starts/ends on Morse near Buccaneer Park. The Coastal Rail Trail is part of a connected 44-mile bike trail between the City of Oceanside and the City of San Diego.