Opinion: Reflections on Cycling, Recycling and Cycling Though Padres Batting Coaches

A man on a bicycle path n City Heights. Courtesy SANDAG

As we close out one year and begin another, I am struck by how the concepts of “cycling” and “recycling” have frequently appeared in recent local news stories. Yes, ’tis the season for recycling old Christmas trees and working out on newly gifted Peloton cycling machines, but this phenomena goes much deeper. 

I contend we can use “cycling” and “recycling” to pause and reexamine some important local issues that were perhaps overshadowed by more dramatic national news like COVID, inflation, and Billie Ellish’s latest hair color. In doing so, we can enjoy a droll look at some of the issues afflicting San Diego residents.  

First, there is the controversy surrounding the amount of money the San Diego Association of Governments plans to spend on a county wide system of bicycle lanes and roadways, designed to get citizens cycling their way to a greener and healthier way of life. Turns out SANDAG’s original plan to build 77 miles of streets and pathways by 2023 for $200 million was a little too optimistic.

The plan has now been amended to reflect a cost of $446 million. Oops! Such a huge cost overrun might not be a big deal to politicians and bureaucrats—they merely shrug and wait to be reelected or given a pay raise—but the average taxpayer recoils in horror at such a spending error. 

Related to cycling, my wife’s grandson—a senior as the University of San Diego—recently expressed a desire to buy a bike so he can cycle to campus each day from his Birdland apartment. Nothing less should be expected from a dedicated Torero student minoring in environmental studies.


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