To promote safe, convenient, and healthy walking, bicycling, and transit commuting options for the City Heights community.
City Heights is characterized by high transit ridership, a low vehicle ownership rate, and thousands of children who walk and bike to school every day. However, because of some poorly designed public infrastructure, City Heights residents frequently report that parents feel unsafe crossing the street with children, wheelchair users are forced into the street, transit stations are dangerous to access, and bicyclists are scared to ride in the street because of speeding vehicles. In order to attain safe, convenient, and healthy walking, bicycling, and transit commuting options, the Active Transportation Program works with residents, community groups, the City, SANDAG, and Caltrans to advocate for health-supportive built environment enhancements and policy change. The program is currently training the next generation of active transportation advocates through a leadership academy seminar while providing leadership development mentorship along the way. As a result, City Heights streets are transforming to become safer for all users.
- Community-based research, planning, and action planning
- Leadership development workshops
- Advocating for complete streets and safe routes to school
- Pursuing environmental and social equity by advocating for healthy, clean transportation options through policy change
Transportation and Planning Highlights:
SR-15 CenterLine BRT Receives Full Funding: The full $45 million needed to fund the CenterLine project has been allocated. The money will complete the Transit Plazas at University Ave and El Cajon Blvd, improve bike/pedestrian access, install community art, and construct the transit-only lane in the median of the SR-15. The rapid bus will connect City Heights to job centers Downtown and in North County in minutes.
ACT: The Boulevard (Art + Community + Transit)
Over 40 residents and stakeholders participated in a Community Visioning Workshop on March 19 for a new City Heights CDC-lead initiative called ACT: The Boulevard (Art + Community + Transit). The initiative is focusing on opportunities for art, creative placemaking, and active transportation enhancements for the El Cajon Blvd & Fairmount Ave/43rd St intersection areas.
The new Price-Copley YMCA and Mid City Rapid 215 Stations at this intersection have generated hundreds of new walking trips a day, which is promoting active living and public health in our neighborhood. During the Community Visioning Workshop nearly 200 ideas were identified by residents, business owners, and stakeholders from the area on how that walking experience can be safer, more engaging, and more interesting.
At the Pop Up Placemaking Event, three local bands played, aguas frescas, chips and salsa were served, and four parking spots were transformed into a linear park for people to enjoy. In addition, the Doors to the World interactive art exhibit asked transit riders and passersby to drop a pin on a map to indicate their homeland. While the partner organizations planned the Pop-up Placemaking event itself, local City Heights artist Vicki Leon was engaged to bring to life ideas generated at the prior Visioning Workshop. Vicki oversaw the creation of several murals during the event painted by community members. She also developed several higher-cost, permanent art installation concepts that could be installed in the future, and unveiled these design concepts during the festivities.
City Heights Built Environment Team: Over 40 residents graduated from a Leadership Academy that empowered residents with information on how to advocate for changes to the built environment. The BET is now working to implement changes identified in their Community Driven Action Plan.
50th Street & University Ave Pedestrian Safety Project Implementation, winner of Golden Footprint Award for Best Urban Project: The intersection of 50th St & University Ave, the center of Little Mogadishu, was one of City Heights’ most popular yet dangerous intersections. The City Heights CDC worked with residents, business owners, and the City to shape and implement a dozen different traffic calming features to make the intersection safer for all people. The project was implemented in less than a year.
54th Street & University Ave Complete Streets Project: City Heights CDC worked closely with Built Environment Team members and residents of City Heights to shape the University Avenue Mobility Plan for 54th Street to 68th Street. Together we were successful in shaping a plan to improve safety at one of the most dangerous intersections in the Mid City area – 54th St & University Ave. This intersection currently features two high-speed free-flowing right turns that are highway-like features in the middle of one of the most walking/biking/transit-dependent neighborhoods in San Diego County. The intersection’s current conditions are inconsistent with recommendations in the Highway Design Manual, which help explains why dozens of reported bike/pedestrian crashes have taken place near the intersection in only a few years. While the BET and CHCDC continues to pursue capital funding, we were successful in convincing the City to install an interim measure – A high-visibility green bike lane, only the 2nd one installed in the entire City of San Diego.