With among the lowest vehicle miles traveled per resident in San Diego County, El Cajon has thousands of residents who rely on biking, walking, and public transportation every day. For too long, however, El Cajon has had some of the least safe biking and walking infrastructure in the County.
El Cajon’s new active transportation plan, released just last week, sets out to change that and make biking and walking safe options for all of El Cajon’s residents. In its current state, however, the plan is completely insufficient, both in the inadequate safety upgrades it proposes, and in the many dangerous intersections and roads it leaves untouched. The public comment period is open until March 18th. Let’s mobilize now to make sure the planning team understands that the current plan is not safe.
What can you do?
The planning team is taking feedback on the Active Transportation Plan from now until March 18th. Go to this link to review the plan and leave your feedback: http://elcajonatp.com/elcajonatp/
Here are our main points about what needs to change to make the plan safe for people of all ages and abilities. Feel free to copy and paste this exactly, edit it as you see fit, or leave your own feedback based on what you think is most important.
Dear project team,
Thank you for all of your hard work on this plan. While this plan is an important step in the right direction for El Cajon, it does not yet propose an active transportation network that will make riding a bike or walking safe and convenient options for people of all ages and abilities.
At minimum, this plan should ensure that all bike facilities meet the guidelines set by Caltrans. In brief, that means that any high volume roads with speed limits of 25 mph or higher or low volume roads with speed limits of 35 mph or higher must have Class II bike lanes, and all high volume roads with speed limits 35mph or higher must have Class IV separated bikeways. While several stellar projects such as the Fletcher Parkway Cycle Tracks and the Main Street Cycle Tracks meet these criteria, the majority of proposed projects do not. The proposals for sharrows on high-speed, high volume roads like Avocado Avenue and Cuyamaca Avenue are extremely unsafe, and should have no place in an Active Transportation Plan. Furthermore, the plan does not propose any safety upgrades at all for many extremely dangerous sections of roadway within El Cajon’s city limits.
Before presenting to the City Council, the project team must ensure that its proposed bike facilities meet Caltrans’ minimum standards in every case.
Finally, this plan fails to propose any pedestrian safety upgrades to several intersections where three or more pedestrian crashes occurred between 2014 and 2018. Those intersections include Jamacha Road and East Main Street, Avocado Avenue and East Main Street, Chase Avenue and Emerald Avenue, South Second Street and East Main Street, North Second Street and East Madison Avenue, and Washington Avenue and Jamacha Road. All of these intersections should be upgraded with enhanced crosswalks and curb extensions where possible.
Thank you for all of your hard work on this plan. It is an important first step towards making El Cajon an active transportation friendly community, but it will need significant improvements to make biking and walking safe for the majority of El Cajon’s residents.
We want the project team to hear this message from as many people as possible. So please share this post with as many people as you can.
After closing the public comment period on March 18th, the project team will spend two weeks to a month integrating feedback into their plan, and then present a finalized draft to the El Cajon City Council in mid-April. Once that date is set, we’ll want as many people as possible to come speak in support of a safer plan. Stay tuned, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to come speak.
Everyone deserves a city where biking and walking are safe and convenient options. Let’s work together to make sure the El Cajon planning team knows they have a lot more work to do to make that a reality.