Crews from the Municipality of San José began work Monday on a new stretch of the capital’s bike path. The route will connect San Pedro, just east of the city limits, to La Sabana Park on the west side of town.
The project is a joint effort of the municipalities of San José, Montes de Oca and the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT). According to the official timetable, it will take four months to complete.
MOPT’s Department of Traffic Engineering designed the 15.4-kilometer (9.5-mile) route, whose width ranges from 1.5 to 2 meters (5-6.5 feet).
The new bike path is painted green and will have road reflectors and road safety poles on various stretches.
The Municipality of Montes de Oca launched the construction of the first section of the bike path between the University of Costa Rica’s School of Law and the Hispanoamericana University in Barrio Escalante earlier this month. The city is investing ₡53 million ($93,000) in that segment of the path and expects to finish in early May, MOPT reported.
The Municipality of San José is responsible for the remaining stretch of the bike route, which will take cyclists through downtown San José and Barrio San Bosco.
“We hope this new bike path allows people to see the environmental benefits and the benefits of this transportation system for the city and for the people’s well-being,” said San José Mayor Johnny Araya at a public event on Monday morning.
The Municipality of San José said in a news release that the ₡60 million (some $106,000) budget for its part of the project also includes repairs and expansion of sidewalks and media campaigns to inform motorists, pedestrians and cyclists about the new route.
The project has not been universally acclaimed. Motorists claim the bike path in Los Yoses is reducing the space for them along a stretch on 41st Street, already a narrow road.
The San José Municipality inaugurated its first bike path downtown in 2015; however, that route is mostly unused. While the path sought to provide cyclists with a route from La Soledad Church to San Juan de Dios Hospital, paint and signage on that first bike path now has mostly disappeared, and MOPT has confirmed the path will be eliminated.
The ministry said that a recent evaluation by its Department of Traffic Engineering found that it is inconvenient to have a bike path along the pedestrian boulevard on Avenida 4.
“Pedestrians, street vendors and parked vehicles make it almost impossible for cyclists to use the path there,” the report states.
Transport Vice Minister Liza Castillo said on Monday morning that authorities are very pleased with the new project. She said the new bike path makes “a more efficient use of available space along the roads and provides a more safe and organized interaction between the city’s commuters.”
Municipalities are currently working on a second stage of the project that will include the construction of bike parking facilities and bicycle rental services.
Hover over the map to see the route: