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SANDAG approves additional $90 million for bicycle projects

Downtown bike lane
Posted at 12:41 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 19:44:57-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In 2004, San Diego taxpayers approved a transportation tax increase that earmarked $200 million for bike projects for more bike lanes, safety features on the roads for cyclists and foot traffic, and new walking trails.

Friday, SANDAG said it's going to need more. Officials said rising construction costs have called for an additional $90 million for the projects, many of which have been started.

The money would come from funds already allocated for these types of projects.

RELATED: Compromise proposed for 30th Street bike lanes in North Park

Critics of the increase in funding argue only one percent of San Diegans use bikes and costs of $5.5 million per mile built for these bike lanes is unjustified.

The San Diego Bike Coalition says the funding is needed to provide San Diegans with more transportation options, reduce auto dependency, and increase safety of bicyclists. They add that an expanded bike network will help the county move closer toward greenhouse emissions goals.

SANDAG has been working toward the biking goals since 2013, when the agency approved a $200 million Bike Early Action Plan. The plan, funded by the region's half-cent tax on public transit fares, includes 40 projects totaling 77 new miles of bikeways and paths around the county.

Crews broke ground on the first phase of the project last December and expects to complete two projects by early 2022.