A rendering of the Landis Bikeway. Courtesy SANDAG

SANDAG broke ground Thursday on the first phase of a series of projects to add more than six miles of bike boulevards and protected bikeways in North Park and surrounding urban neighborhoods.

The regional planning agency’s Georgia-Meade and Landis bikeway projects will add the bike paths through City Heights, Kensington, Talmadge, North Park, Normal Heights and University Heights. SANDAG expects the two projects to be completed by early 2022.

SANDAG has worked to dramatically expand and promote cycling access locally since 2013, when the agency’s board approved the $200 million Bike Early Action Plan, which includes 40 projects totaling 77 new miles of bikeways and bike paths countywide.

The plan is funded by Transnet, the region’s half-cent sales tax for transportation that SANDAG administers.

Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Vice Chair Catherine Blakespear and San Diego City Council members Georgette Gomez and Chris Ward all attended the ceremony at Cherokee Point Park. Once completed, the bike paths will run through Gomez’s and Ward’s respective districts.

“Today marks a significant step on the path to creating a network of regional bikeways to give San Diegans safe options to travel to work, school, or just to get out and enjoy our beautiful region,” Blakespear said. “Breaking ground on these two urban bikeways brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.