In my commentary on October 4th, 2019 in this newspaper, “Cry, Our Beloved Leucadia,” I stated that “Streetscape basically benefits the bicycle community (about 400 in Encinitas) and a lot more bicyclists up and down the coast who like to ride three and four abreast.”
Recent letters to the editor from Greg Rahill and Elena Thompson questioned that 400 number.
According to the 2017 Census Bureau ACS 5-year estimate, there were 259 people who biked to work regularly. The total number of people who the city has estimated ride their bikes in the community is about 300!
Mayor Blakespear stated in her newsletter (data from city staff) that the bike ridership in Encinitas is 0.48%, and her goal is to increase it to 0.58%. The population in Encinitas is about 62,595, and a 0.48% ridership in the entire community is about 300 people. My estimate of 400 was generous.
The latest statistics for Encinitas (2017) show that 259 workers biked to work out of a total of 31,340 workers. Bicyclists equaled 0.82% of the 31,340. That means 22,500 (71.8%) people drove a car to work. Others car pooled, used public transit, motorbiked, walked or worked at home.
Questions? Please go to: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/encinitas-ca/ and scroll down to “Commuter Transportation”!
The mayor and City Council of Encinitas are committing a massive amount of our tax dollars — $50 million, in fact — on 2.4 miles of road to accommodate fewer than 400 local bicyclists and a whole lot of out-of-town bicyclists who use our city to go from point A to point B at our expense!
It’s a beautiful, charming stretch of highway, I don’t blame them. However, narrowing our four-lane historic Highway 101 through Leucadia to two lanes — one north and one south — is not a good plan. An alternate plan was presented to keep our four lanes and still accommodate bicyclists. It was supported by the majority of citizens. It was a win-win. What happened?
Sheila S. Cameron
former Mayor of Encinitas