In 1988 Robert Fulghum published a book of short essays entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. His first principle was “Share everything.” Robert Fulghum would be proud of the latest development going on in Vista called Sharrows.
If you have driven on Eucalyptus Avenue or Civic Center Drive in downtown Vista recently, you have probably seen these new symbols that have appeared on the road. What is a Sharrow you ask? Sharrow is shorthand for Shared Lane Markings. They are State-approved markings: white bicycle images with two forward pointing arrows painted on streets primarily where a travel lane is too narrow for side-by-side sharing and for motorists to safely drive next to bicyclists within the same lane. In other words, Sharrows are meant to notify motorists that they have to share the road with bicyclists. On Sharrow roads, bicyclists are no longer expected to hug the shoulder to allow motorists to pass them. They can ride their bikes freely down the middle of their travel lane.
Sharrows are not a City of Vista creation. According to the City of Vista’s website, Sharrows are now in Encinitas, Leucadia, Solana Beach, and Oceanside in North County, as well as the San Diego communities of Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Normal Heights, and downtown San Diego.
The appearance of Sharrows is good news for local cyclists. Even more important to cycling enthusiasts, however, is the fact that the City of Vista is in the midst of updating its Bicycle Master Plan. The goal of this update is to:
• Reduce gaps in the bicycle network;
• Improve bicyclist safety;
• Increase use of bike lanes, bike routes and trails;
• Increase the frequency of bicycle commuting; and
• Reduce overall vehicle emissions within the City.
Becoming a more bike-friendly community has obvious and tangible economic and environmental benefits. Vista also recently added new decorative bike racks in downtown Vista at several locations. Bike over to Lush Coffee, the Yellow Deli, the Avo or Mother Earth to see these new attractive bike racks that were created by local Vista artist: Randall Art Ranch.
These developments in Vista are going on concurrently as SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) has been working on the Inland Rail Trail, a proposed 21-mile Class I bike path that is located within the cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido. This trail, as the name implies, will follow the Sprinter rail line. The eastern most portion of the bikeway already has been constructed by the cities of Escondido and San Marcos. For Vistans, the good news is that in July, 2013, the San Marcos to Vista segment was approved for construction. This new 7-mile section will extend the Inland Rail Trail to the intersection of N. Melrose and Bobier Drive in Oceanside. Construction on this 7-mile section will begin this year and will take until 2019 to complete.
If you are a mover and shaker (or just a biker) and you are interested in being involved in any portion of this process, you may want to attend the next “Bike Walk Vista” meeting. This relatively new group is intimately involved in all of these exciting biking updates going on in our community. To find out more about any of these developments, here are three resources you may want to visit: www.VistaBikePlan.com (City of Vista’s Bike Master Plan Website), www.Facebook.com/BikeWalkVista (Bike Walk Vista’s Facebook Page), and www.KeepSanDiegoMoving.com (SANDAG’s Inland Rail Trail Website).
So as the new plans unfold and trails are built, let’s see if we can start “sharing everything!”
Vista Chamber of Commerce