Entrance to Rose Canyon bicycle trail
Entrance to re-located Rose Canyon bicycle trail. Courtesy of SANDAG

The newly relocated and upgraded Rose Canyon Bike Path opened to the public on Wednesday afternoon, in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.

Relocating and upgrading the path was necessary to create space for two new tracks for the Mid-Coast Trolley extension,  and a second heavy rail track for the passenger and freight trains that run through the canyon. When the trolley line opens in late 2021, this complete corridor will provide San Diegans with efficient multi-modal transportation choices.

“The Rose Canyon Bike Path is one part of the extensive Mid-Coast Trolley portfolio of projects,” said SANDAG Chair and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. “This new bike path is a great example of the positive impact the future trolley will have on the San Diego region for generations to come.”

The approximately one-and-a-half mile stretch of upgraded bike path runs along Interstate 5 from the northernmost point of Santa Fe Street to the intersection of Gilman Drive and La Jolla Colony drives and will be used by more than 400 bicyclists daily. When complete, the path will connect to the future 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail that will run from Oceanside to Downtown San Diego.

The new bike path features 2,100 tons of asphalt pavement and more than 7,000 feet of new fencing and guardrail. Additional upgrades include striped lanes, underground utilities, and landscaping. Storm drainage has also been improved to prevent future flooding in this area, something that previously impacted cyclists and pedestrians traveling through Rose Canyon.

A 1,000-foot section of the new bike path, near Gilman and La Jolla Colony drives, will remain unfinished while crews complete construction of the Mid-Coast Trolley underpass. This section is anticipated to open in early 2020.

The new $1.6 million bike path was supported by a combination of TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax, and Federal funding.

The Mid-Coast Trolley Project will extend Blue Line Trolley service from Old Town Transit Center to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as Mission Bay, the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and University Towne Centre. Nine new stations will be constructed. Major construction work began in 2016, with service anticipated to begin in late 2021.