Every time I get on my bicycle to go to the grocery store or to head down to the water for a scenic bayside ride, I ask myself this question: why is the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is such an unfriendly place to ride a bicycle?
I’m constantly battling cars for lane space and have nearly been sideswiped so many times I’m surprised when it doesn’t happen. Vehicles pulling out of parking spaces bring up visions of me hurtling over my handlebars and over the hood like an action hero in a Hollywood movie car chase.
Only one street, Sixth Ave., has a bike lane for any considerable length. And it’s one way at that (tho be alert for those electric scooters coming at you in the wrong direction).
It is illegal, or so I have been told, to ride on this sidewalks. That’s a shame because many of the sidewalks in the Gaslamp are wide enough for a mini-van.
Not a lot of people ride bicycles in the Gaslamp area and that’s part of the problem – drivers in cars are not used to dealing with bikes. Then again, maybe one reason a lot of people don’t ride bikes here is because it’s such an unfriendly place for them to do it.
When I break out into the open along the bay, it’s great. I cruise along the marina, around the Embarcadero and past the USS Midway. Now, with the opening of the Portside Pier waterfront restaurants, I can cruise to those places for food and drinks in true, cool PubClub style.
But while in the Gaslamp, I have to be as alert as someone who has had 10 cups of coffee.