In Spring 2011, the City Council adopted National City’s first ever Bicycle Master Plan. Since then, with the support of National City’s Mayor and City Council, staff aggressively applied for a variety of transportation grants to implement new bicycle facilities, consistent with the Master Plan. In Fall 2012, National City was notified by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) that they were the recipients of three Active Transportation Grants totaling $1.1 million. Grant funding and local TransNet funds were used to implement traffic calming measures, pedestrian crosswalk enhancements and over five miles of new bicycle facilities on “D” Avenue, 4th Street and 18th Street in National City.
During development of National City’s Bicycle Master Plan, a public bike tour was held to identify deficiencies, constraints and opportunities for implementing new bicycle facilities in National City. Participants identified “D” Avenue, 4th Street and 18th Street as key corridors for creating a bicycle network through National City. Subsequently, these same three corridors were listed as “Community Corridors” as part of National City’s General Plan Update (adopted in Summer 2011.) Community Corridors are synonymous with “complete streets,” with the purpose of calming traffic, enhancing safety and access for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improving walkability and quality of life through functional and attractive streetscaping.
Several innovative safety measures were implemented as part of these Community Corridor projects. First, National City received permission from the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) to install “Green” Bike Boxes at select signalized intersections along “D” Avenue, 4th Street and 18th Street. The purpose of the green bike boxes, which are located at the front of a signalized intersection, just before the crosswalk, are to provide a highly visible, designated waiting area for cyclists to allow them to get out in front of vehicles when the traffic signal turns from red to green.
Recently implemented, these unique roadway markings are the first of their kind approved for use in California. Pending the results of the experimentation process, which includes extensive data collection, these types of boxes may eventually be incorporated into the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA- MUTCD) for use by other agencies Statewide.
Another safety enhancement implemented was reverse angle parking, which provides drivers a clear line of site to check for other vehicles and cyclists prior to exiting from the parking space.
In addition to the Community Corridor enhancements, National City partnered with A Reason to Survive (ARTS), a National City-based, non-profit that runs creative programs for youth facing adversity, local artist Roman De Salvo, and Sweetwater High School to design and fabricate artistic and functional bike racks through a $50,000 Active Transportation Grant. Students from Sweetwater High’s Welding Academy were selected each semester to participate in product development, hosted at ARTS workshop and design studio.