It's easy to get lost in mumbo jumbo and terms that end up being meaningless. Of course people don't support bike lanes when it just means that traffic is going to get worse. No one likes traffic! The real question is why do we want bike lanes? Why do we want more urbanism? It's because we want San Diego to be a great place to live. Here is what I want San Diego to be. What do you want?
I want a San Diego where I can randomly run into friends on the street and shake their hand rather than being trapped in a metal box, and where I constantly run into my neighbors because we are all out in the same area together.
I want a San Diego where I can let my kids ride their bikes to the corner store for ice cream and not worry about them getting run over, or be able to play football in the street in front of the house.
I want a San Diego where I can go out and have a drink and then get home in a way that doesn't risk other people's lives.
I want a San Diego where the custodians and dishwashers can raise a family close to their work, in a nice neighborhood, and not be outcasts because we only allow large houses on large lots in the nice areas.
I want a San Diego where I can get home from work in 20 minutes with a chance to unwind by walking or biking to get a little exercise so I don't have to pay for a gym membership.
I want a San Diego where it's so easy for the people to patronize a local shop that small shops owned by San Diegans flourish so we can tell the big box retailers to go screw themselves.
I want a San Diego where we can walk our kids to school and then let them walk home on their own.
I want a San Diego where people of all backgrounds and income levels and interests can be in the same park together and experience the whole beautiful, broad spectrum of humanity.
I want a San Diego where dangerous streets are fixed without requiring that a child die first to prove it's truly dangerous.
I want a San Diego where I can walk to pick up donuts and a cup of coffee at 7 am on a Saturday without having to get in the car because, let's face it, we're half asleep and shouldn't be driving. Or when discovering you're out of milk and eggs in the morning doesn't mean you're going to be stuck driving 15 minutes to the shopping center rather than a quick stroll around the block.
I want a San Diego where there are enough people living nearby that a single main street can support a craft brewery, and a wine shop, and an ice cream shop, and a gay bar, so everyone can get their kicks however they want to.
I want a San Diego where I can get around while goofing off on my phone and not have to worry about causing an accident or getting a ticket.
I want a San Diego where beautiful young women can smile at dashing young men when they get on the same bus, and perhaps strike up a conversation, rather than being stuck in their separate cars on the 805, crawling towards work in non-descript office parks.
I want a San Diego where I have time to spend with my children after work because I'm not stuck on the freeway instead.
I want a San Diego where "sexy streets" doesn't just mean some new asphalt, but rather a street that everyone can enjoy no matter how they choose to travel.
I want a San Diego where I can spend my money of good meals and trips with the family rather than sending my money to big corporations to pay for my car or to the Middle East to pay for gas.
It's for these reasons that I want San Diego to change, not because I hate drivers, or want to screw someone out of their tranquil suburban lifestyle. Change is scary, but there is such a better life on the other side. If we can't make everyone see that, it's our failure, not theirs. If you are stuck battling someone that is resistant to the change you seek, ask yourself: why do I want this change? And why are they against it? If we all agree that we want a better life, perhaps we can agree on how to get there.