Alternative Transportation Through The Development of Trail and Community Programs


Manage episode 292566109 series 2899812
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This week features a conversation between C3 Board Directors Tommy Hough and Kristen Victor and Barbara Torres, Grants Coordinator for the Port of San Diego, and also founder of the Bike Clairemont program. They speak with Barbara about opportunities for alternative transportation, recreation, and wildlife passage over and through canyon infrastructure. Barbara shares why she feels it is important to have alternative transportation, both from a planning and environmental standpoint. The three also discuss what is needed to make this a priority and provide resources for those looking to help take action.


[1:38] It was through Barbara that Tommy became aware of the idea to potentially take drainage culverts beneath fills that have been placed in different canyons around San Diego and utilize them not only to let water pass but enable the passage of wildlife that may have otherwise been cut off by the fills previously put in.

[3:31] Barbara works for the Clairemont Town Council Foundation and has started a sub-organization, Bike Clairemont, an alternative transportation program to bring more infrastructure to Clairemont. The program has had much success with grants and programs such as Bike to Work Days, and Kids Bike Rodeo, where children learn safety skills and general biking skills. COVID-19 has brought a lot of the funding to a halt for the time being, but it also has shown just how important biking is, now more than ever.

[5:40] Barbara has been biking her whole life and has competed internationally as well. She speaks about why biking on Balboa Ave can be challenging, and how Tecolote Canyon is a big asset for the city of San Diego as a whole.

[7:44] Does Barbara feel safe when she is bicycling? One of the challenges Clairemont has is the hilly nature. Kristen also shares her experience of shifting from car to bicycle three years ago, and how you can tell by the culture of the Clairemont community that they are not always too fond of cyclists.

[11:19] Let’s create an alternative and not put cyclists in that traffic. Not everything needs to live on the same road.

[11:45] Barabara has been working on the Balboa Underpass project for two years. She has worked to have politicians, such as Todd Gloria, understand why it needs to be a priority.

[21:06] One of the things the pandemic highlighted to us was that people really want to bike. In order to restore the canyon, we must clean the water in the margins of the creek, and reroute a portion of the trail to create support for the new trail.

[27:35] There are some places we can use as inspiration for bringing natural and wild areas into play as a holistic corridor. The Bay Area, Denver, and Wisconsin are just a few.

[29:29] Barbara reminds us that her work is volunteer, and we need committed people for this bootstrap effort.

[32:47] The framework is there. The excitement is there. The policy is there. Now we really need action. This project has great potential outcomes for many important priorities, whether it’s climate action, getting people out of cars, giving wildlife a safe place to live, or bringing down carbon emissions.

About C-3

In its 60 years of existence, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) has brought together local thought leaders from planning, design, policy, academia, community development, and more to address our region’s distinctive and pressing land use challenges. In founding C-3 almost 60 years ago, architect Lloyd Ruocco’s vision was to bring together our region’s most creative minds from the arts, sciences, academia, and government to share ideas, learn new perspectives, and build fellowship around the idea of creating livable communities.

Opportunities for Advocacy and Engagement:

Clairemont Town Council

Bike Clairemont

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