Oceanside community members and local and regional government officials celebrated the completion Monday of a $2.45 million segment of the Coastal Rail Trail.
The 2,000-foot segment of bike path is part of a 44-mile route that when fully built will extend from Oceanside into the city limits of San Diego.
The bike route is physically separate from vehicle traffic. Features include bollard lights, landscaping on both sides, and a rock stream to improve drainage. The new path connects to an existing segment at Wisconsin Avenue in Oceanside, providing a direct ride all the way to the Oceanside Transit Center downtown.
The rail trail is part of a $200 million plan for regional bike routes by the San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning agency known as SANDAG.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood thanked a wide range of people and agencies, including SANDAG, which managed the project; the North County Transit District, which provided the right-of-way along the railroad tracks; city workers; and the local business community. He said trails like this make Oceanside and North County better places to live and work.
“Projects like this can actually help the economics of a community,” noted Jim Janney, mayor of Imperial Beach and vice chairman of SANDAG.
David Nydegger, president and CEO of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, told the crowd that the bike path is the type of project that makes Oceanside a better tourist destination.
Several times during the 20-minute ceremony, speakers paused while bicycles passed along the newly opened path