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New bike path opens in Oceanside

A new segment of the Coastal Rail Trail – a bikeway that will eventually span 44 miles from Oceanside to San Diego – has been completed in Oceanside and is now open to the public.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the $2.45 million project was held April 7 on the north end of the project on Wisconsin Avenue just east of South Myers Street, next to a newly-installed bike rack.

Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood and SANDAG First Vice Chair and Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney cut the ribbon. They were joined in the celebration by Oceanside Councilmember and North County Transit District (NCTD) Board Member Gary Felien, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce CEO David Nydegger, members of Bike Walk Oceanside, local business owners, and community members. After the ribbon cutting, bicyclists went on a short ride to the Oceanside Transit Center. With grant funding from SANDAG, the City of Oceanside is planning to build a bike parking station next to the Center.

“Recreational amenities like the Coastal Rail Trail help define us as a community and contribute to an enhanced quality of life. We are extremely pleased to offer this amenity to our residents and guests,” Mayor Wood said.

Located along the railroad between Oceanside Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue, the 2,000-foot segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is a collaborative effort between SANDAG, the City of Oceanside, and NCTD. NCTD owns the public right-of-way where the bike path lies. Featuring landscaping on both sides and bollard lights, the Class I path is separate from vehicle traffic. The path connects with another Class I segment of the Coastal Rail Trail at Wisconsin Avenue, providing a direct ride to the Oceanside Transit Center.

“By working hand in hand with local jurisdictions, we are going to make the San Diego region one of the most bike-friendly in the nation,” SANDAG First Vice Chair Janney said. “Over the next decade, we will dramatically expand regional bike networks to enable people of all ages and abilities to get around on their bikes safely and comfortably.”

The Oceanside segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is the first project completed under the Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program (EAP), a $200 million initiative adopted by the SANDAG Board in September 2013. The EAP comprises 42 projects totaling 77 miles of bikeways. The goal is to complete these projects in a decade.

Studies have shown that regions that have invested in bicycling have seen significant economic and health benefits. For example, a 2010 study estimated the annual economic impact of bicycle recreation and tourism in Wisconsin to be $924 million and the potential value of health benefits from reducing short car trips and increasing bicycle trips to total nearly $410 million. Another study, published in 2011, found that commuter and recreational cycling in Iowa generates more than $400 million in economic activity in the state and $87 million in health savings.

The bike project was funded by a mix of federal and local sources. About $1.52 million came from the federal Transportation Enhancements program. Another $931,000 comes from TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG.

More information is available at KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/Bike.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.