If you don’t regularly pay attention to the news in San Diego, there’s a few transportation related things you might have missed over the past year.
The DiscoverBikes that have been a staple in San Diego are now gone! Some people who frequented the convention would use these to get around the Gaslamp and beyond (especially as it can be quite difficult to drive in and around the Gaslamp during SDCC.) Many people saw these are troublesome to use, though, because you had to drop them off at a docking location, and if one was full, you were required to find another dock. This could mean that it took you a lot more time and effort just to put the bike away, sometimes a lot further away than you intended to be. The city officially evicted the bike company in March of this year and the bikes have already been removed from downtown. This doesn’t mean that all of these secondary modes of transit have been removed, though. With these though, there comes a catch:
Scooters and Dockless Bikes
If you’re from a major metropolitan area (or have visited one) you’ve probably seen the wide array of various scooters and bikes available for rent. All you need is a card, a smartphone, and the app and you’re in. While these are ultra convenient (you can ride them just about anywhere for a fee based on unlocking, time, and distance ridden, plus you can drop them safely in locations adjacent to where you are headed) there are now very specific rules that you must abide by. Absolutely NO scooters are to be ridden on the sidewalk, as per city rules, and there will be geo-location enforced speed restrictions around certain areas, such as MLK Jr Promenade, the Embarcadero, Petco Park, and more. Certain areas will slow you to a reasonable 8MPH max to ensure your personal safety, and others that are strictly pedestrian will slow you to a maximum of 3MPH for the safety of the numerous pedestrians that frequent those areas. Pedestrian areas are strictly off limits for ALL motorized scooters and bikes.
I know these restrictions sound silly, but unless you’ve been in the middle of an SDCC crowd, you don’t know how impossible it actually is to ride a scooter or bike through these sidewalks. While walking around in front of the convention center and down streets like Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth during the convention, you’ll likely be shoulder-to-shoulder with complete strangers, If you’re lucky, the streets will be blocked off to motorized vehicles leaving pedestrians a bit more room to walk around the various people advertising shows, movies, and various other things. These restrictions keep pedestrians from being run down, and you from wiping out in front of thousands of strangers.
All of these dockless transportation methods also have rules about parking as well. You must be at least 6 feet away from any bus or trolly stops when parking (scooter companies can pin the blame on you, because you must take a photo of the vehicle to end the ride), no more than 4 can be parked together at a time, and there are also designated parking spaces around the city that you can leave your bike or scooter in to be absolutely certain that you’re in the clear. These look like little parking spots, usually alongside parallel parking, throughout the city. They’ll have specific paint and signage designating it only for these purposes, like this:
These rules are being enforced starting June 2019 and will be strictly enforced during SDCC, so unless you want a moving or parking violation for a souvenir, I’d suggest following the rules.