SF allows bikes indoors, but its cycling goal is elusive

|
(63)

When the Board of Supervisors this week voted 9-2 to require commercial building owners to allow employees to bring their bicycles indoors while they work, ordinance sponsor Sup. John Avalos hailed the legislation as an important step toward meeting the city goal of having 20 percent of all vehicle trips in the city be by bike by the year 2020.

“We are removing a barrier to people getting around the city by bicycle,” Avalos said at the March 6 hearing, noting that the measure addresses cyclists' concern about bike theft and helps keep sidewalks uncluttered and racks and poles free for other cyclists to use.

While it's true this may help make cycling a bit more attractive, San Francisco would have to take far bolder actions to get anywhere near meeting its 20 percent by 2020 goal, a target it set in 2010 with legislation sponsored by Board President David Chiu and one regularly touted in speeches by Mayor Ed Lee.

Just last month, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency released its latest bike count survey, which showed that about 3.5 percent of vehicle trips in the city are taken by bike, a 71 percent increase in the last five years, gains the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition lauded as “impressive.” Yet to reach the city's goal would require a 571 percent increase in the next seven years – one that would seem unattainable at this pace.

“It's a very ambitious but realistic goal,” SFBC director Leah Shahum told us, although she acknowledged it would require a drastic change in the city's approach. “I've been impressed by how much Mayor Lee has touted the 20 percent by 2020 goal, but our city agencies need to step up their sense of urgency and commitment to meet that goal.”

The SFMTA is now finalizing a report on how to hit that 2020 target, which is scheduled for release next month. But agency spokesperson Paul Rose acknowledged the difficulty in meeting that goal: “It would take funding resources which at this point we don't have.” He can't yet say would it would take to meet the goal, which the report will outline, but he said, “We're exploring what can be achieved with our available funding.”

Shahum said all studies by SFBC and other groups show concerns about safety is the biggest barrier to substantially increasing cycling in the city, and that most people need bike lanes – particularly paths physically separated from cars, known as cycle tracks – to feel safe. She praised the SFMTA for installing 20 miles of new bike lanes in the last two years, its fastest pace ever, “but that pace needs to double or triple to meet that goal.”

Instead, Mayor Lee has backed off a pledge he made last year to fast-track a short segment of bike lanes on dangerous sections of Oak and Fell streets that would connect two popular east-west bikeways: the Panhandle and the Wiggle. That project was delayed by a year for more meetings and work after motorists objected to the loss of street parking spots.

“We're talking about three blocks. It's relatively small in scope but huge in impacts,” Shahum said of the project. “If the pace of change on these three blocks is replicated through the city, it'll take hundreds of years to meet the goal.”

In his run for mayor last year, Chiu regularly touted the 20 percent goal he set in 2010 after returning from a fact-finding trip to the Netherlands – where about 38 percent of vehicle trips are by bike – that he took with SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, SFBC members, and officials from other cities. Chiu says that San Francisco might be further along than the SFMTA figures show, citing an SFBC poll showing that 5 percent of San Franciscans say they ride a bike daily and another 12 percent ride more than once a week.

“Whatever the current percentage is, we have a long way to go. We have to be bolder about specific projects and strategies,” Chiu told us. He said there is a growing recognition that promoting cycling is an important way to address traffic congestion and greenhouse gas reduction and that “segregated bikes lanes are the most efficient way to move the most people through areas of urban density.”

Chiu also said that San Francisco could be poised for rapid progress on the creation of new bikes lanes, citing early opposition to replacing parking spaces with parklets and the car-free Sunday Streets (which kicks off its new season this Sunday along the Embarcadero) events, with the business community and many neighborhood groups fearing that restrictions on motorists would hurt businesses.

“The experience has turned out to be exactly the opposite,” Chiu said, noting the explosion in demand for parklets and new Sunday Streets events in the last couple years, saying that a widening embrace of more cycle tracks and other biking infrastructure could be next.

Mayoral Press Secretary Christine Falvey told us, “The mayor is very much committed to the aggressive goals set to get to 20 percent by 2020 and the city is moving in the right direction. He has also always supported the Oak Fell project and we're seeing progress. It will be complete in 2013 and he has been talking to the SFMTA about the project to keep up to date. San Francisco is on its way to becoming the most bicycle friendly city in the U.S. and in this era of limited public funding, the mayor is working with the SFMTA to explore what ways we can increase trips taken by bicycle with available funding and increased public awareness.”

She cited the Avalos legislation and the current installation of cycle tracks on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park as examples of the city's commitment to “move us toward the goal of 20 percent,” but many in the cycling community consider these efforts to be low-hanging fruit – easy, cheap, and non-controversial improvements – that won't get the city anywhere near its stated goal.

Bike activist Marc Salomon is critical of the incremental approaches taken by SFBC and the city, saying that to make significant progress the city needs to address enforcement and the culture on the roadways, protecting cyclists from aggressive or impatient motorists and recognizing that many traffic laws don't make sense for cyclists.

“We need to change the culture of the cops to make sure every street is a safe street,” he said. Shahum said that's an issue SFBC is trying to address: “We are talking to them about how police could better enforce dangerous behaviors.”

Yet any efforts to promote cycling will likely be met with a backlash by motorists who resent losing space to cyclists and the fact that many cyclists routinely run stop signs and lights. Sups. Sean Elsbernd and Carmen Chu voted against the Avalos legislation, with Chu objecting to city staff evaluating businesses that seek waivers based on limited space or other factors, calling it a waste of precious resources.

But Avalos noted that his ordinance – which will be up for final approval on its second reading this Tuesday – has no enforcement mechanisms and “overall, this is a cost effective way to promote bicycling in the city. The costs are minimal.”

He also thanked the conservative Building Owners and Managers Association for supporting the legislation. Shahum said BOMA strongly opposed similar legislation almost 10 years ago and its embrace of it now shows how attitudes toward cyclists have changed. “There are so many more people biking now and the business community recognizes the benefits of having more of their employees biking,” she said.

Even politically moderate supervisors have been supportive of promoting cycling, with Sup. Scott Wiener saying at this week's hearing, “It's very important to make it as easy as possible to bike, and bike theft is a big issue in this city as well.”

Comments

They're already the most self-absorbed group with the biggest sense of entitlement in the city. So let's encourage them to be even more precious and sanctimonious, by compelling building owners to allow them to drag their wet, muddy bikes across their carpets.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

You might wanna read a little on the peak oil situation and how soon oil shortages will be a common reality. The result of supplies of oil going down sharply with demand for oil going up sharply can only mean one thing - much higher gas prices (or lots of starving ppl). There's a reason oil was less than $10 per barrel in 2000 and is over $100 now - a 10 fold increase.

Remember the old film clips of China where everyone was using a bike to get around? Well that's the direction it's going to go here and everywhere else in the world - and the pace it will be changing is quick because there won't be a choice in the matter. It's extremely energy-inefficient to take 3,000 lbs of extra mass with you when you are travelling from pt A to pt B.

It wasn't a big deal when supplies of oil were plentiful and oil (energy) was almost free. But the 50 years of that are gone - and that's about all it lasted for - so realize things aren't the way it was 50 years ago.

You can either fight reality by getting mad and trying to pretend it's not reality or you can plan for that reality and realize the City of SF has to plan for that reality. The City of SF is doing the right thing in making the city more friendly for bikes.

The cost differential between riding a car in the city (parking, gas, time costs) vs the almost free cost of riding a bike will only grow wider with time and with time, more ppl will be ditching their cars and using a bike to get the big savings in $ and time from the bike vs their cars.

Do you really want to go thru life acting like the Tea Party Republicans who are specialists in denying reality? Those are no ppl one should try to emulate.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

who, you know, can't ride bikes. San Francisco also has pretty steep hills - not everyone can manage them.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

is THAT why no one lived past 30 before cars were invented? And here I thought it was Soylent Green. You must go out and spread the word about this impending re-holocaust before it's too late! 

Posted by marke on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

30 years before cars were invented was 1851 - at that time there were 21,000 people living in San Francisco, the majority near the Presidio and the port and people traveled by horse and buggy. Are you suggesting we depopulate the city and return to that mode of transport - along with your beloved bike?

Bikes are not for everyone. Nor are cars. Those who don't follow your personal choices aren't wrong - it's that kind of sneering elitism which makes people hate people like you Marke.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

In 1851 the census bureau counted the population of SF at 94,766. Your arguments are inane.
The issue is about the loss of three blocks of parking so people who choose to bike to work can do so without the fear of being maimed. Car vs bike bike always looses. Those are daughters, sons, fathers, mothers, kids going to school.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 7:54 am

But whatever.

The three blocks of parking have become for many people the canary in the coal mine of the Bike Coalition's demands to make every major road accessible to cyclists - despite the inconveniences that imparts onto motorists. I know that's not what many cyclists want but that is the perception and this is really a battle of perceptions.

Mothers, daughters, sons and brothers also live in those neighborhoods where they will be denied parking as well. If you stop making this a zero-sum game then maybe people could try and reach common ground without characterizing the views of others as reactionary or ignorant.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

garage and moved there only on the understanding that street parking is available. We're punishing those who actually live in that neighborhood to satisfy a small, elite group who merely pass through it.

And that is quite clearly wrong.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

I take it you support my proposal to turn Fell & Oak back into pleasant, two-way neighborhood streets instead of the freeways they are now, to stop punishing the people who live in the neighborhood to satisfy those who merely pass through it, and all that.

Posted by Alai on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

They exist even in Europe. Study after study shows they are more efficient.

But my point was more than people like you that live there should not have their parking taken away just to please a small minority of mostly white, fit, healthy people who live miles away.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 7:27 am

Because millions of cars don't make motoring at all inconvenient to motorists.

Posted by Mr Focus on Mar. 12, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

Nobody is more self absorbed and entitled than the motorists who think that they shouldn't have to share the road with bicyclists.

Bikes are no worse on the carpets than shoes. Do you walk?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 12:55 am

Bikes can go anywhere but cars can only go where bikes can go.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 7:28 am

If there's anything that evokes San Francisco, it's "wet and muddy" From Oregon you sound as if you're whining.

Posted by Mr Focus on Mar. 12, 2012 @ 2:54 pm
Posted by Aaron Bialick on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

Yes, it seemed to illustrate the story well considering I park my bike at my desk everyday.

Posted by steven on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

I did something similar and simply walked over to the City Hall bike parking room and snapped a photo.

Posted by Aaron Bialick on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

But there is something wrong with the bicycle coalition demanding shielded bike lanes on major streets - something which costs a lot of money - for an activity which less than 96% of San Franciscans engage in.

I'm curious - have bicyclists ever considered using non-major streets to get where they're going? There are very few thoroughfare-type streets available in San Francisco to automobiles which allow drivers and passengers to get through the city quickly at rush hour. Masonic, Geary, Fell, Oak, Upper Market/Portola are a few of those - why do bicyclists insist on the need to travel right next to fast moving automobiles when lots of other alternatives exist for them to get where they're going?

Perhaps a solution could be worked out where certain rules requiring full stops at stop signs etc... could be suspended on alternate routes to allow bicyclists to get where they're going quickly and more safely?

Why do you always insist on such a confrontational approach Steven - one you know is guaranteed to anger car owners, while at the same time wringing your hands over that same anger?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

in SF a driver can make reasonable progress. Those are the 3-lane streets with phased lights i.e. Fell/Oak, Bush/Pine, Gough/Franklin, Masonic, Lombard and Geary.

So why, oh why, do cyclists want to risk their lives on these major expressways? Especially when, as you note, there are perfectly decent and parallel alternatives as little as a block away?

Seems like the classic child stratgey of wanting a toy that some other kid has. So I like you idea. Let cyclists be licensed, registered and insured. Enforce the law with them in the same way as with drivers. and then we'll talk about some more bike facilities.

But a mode of transit that is the opposite of public (even cars carry several people - bikes (almost) always just one) and that can only be practiced by young, fit, healthy people isn't inclusive. It's an elitist mode of transport.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

First of all, far more than 4 percent of San Franciscans ride bikes. The SFBC poll indicates that 17 percent of city residents ride at least a few times per week, another 10 percent ride a few times per month, and 17 percent ride once a month or less. That means about 44 percent of city residents ride bikes. The fact that bikes are still just 3.5 percent of modeshare reflects the hundreds of thousands of outsiders who commute into the city, which is one of the challenges the city faces in realizing its goal.

As for your point about confrontation, some of that is inherent to creating bike lanes within an established transportation system that was largely built for automobiles. But I do like your idea about alternative routes for cyclists (more and more cities are building those kinds of "bike boulevards") and keeping other streets focused on cars. Unfortunately, that small section of Oak-Fell is a tricky issue because it is the natural connector between the Wiggle and Panhandle, which is the only good east-week bike corridor in the core of the city (and alternative routes would either go up a big hill or the long way around). The proposed cycle tracks wouldn't interfere with the flow of cars, although they would take away some street parking, which I think most people would agree should be a lower priority for our transportation infrastructure than safely moving people.

But I do think there are more opportunities for creative solutions to some of these conflicts than what we've seen in recent years, and I appreciate you making that point.

Posted by steven on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

I guess that makes the Wiggle issue a little more clear.

A lot of motorists feel cyclists want everything while contributing nothing. And clearly there are a lot of negative feelings from bicyclists towards motorists. It's all an issue of perception and when people are rationally explaining these issue, like you just did, it makes it easier to understand.

John Avalos suggested during the mayoral campaign that bicyclists paying a nominal yearly fee would go a long way towards mitigating the perception, which may be mistaken but still is widely held, that bicyclists don't contribute to the care and maintenance of the roads on which they want to ride. I know if that happened it would take the air out of a lot of anti-bike arguments.

I'd be supportive of creating more of these "bike boulevards" for cyclists, which would keep everyone safer and encourage more biking, which in and of itself is clearly a good thing. I think myself and most other San Franciscans who travel primarily by car would support these kind of "creative solutions" vs. perpetuating what feels like this never-ending war between drivers and cyclists in the city.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

Paying a nominal (and it is truly 'nominal' given the fact that the costs of administering any bike reg program always cost more than it brings in, especially given the living wage paid to public employees in CA) will only ever lead to cries by the anti-bike crowd that all bike infrastructure funding come from (unworkable) bike fees.

What would go much, much further toward alleviating the misconception that cyclists aren't "paying their share" is some honesty.

Some honesty from the anti-bike, pro-highway, anti-tax lobby who insist on still propagating this lie in order to stir up anti bike, or anti-liberal bias.

Posted by Mr Focus on Mar. 12, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

They have to be paid for by the productive part of the economy. They ain't free.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

In fact, there is no bike lane on Oak, only on Fell. And I routinely see cyclists ambling gently and safely along Page Street - just one black away.

The bikes on Fell cause a real hazard and place those cyclists at risk. We shouldn't have bikes on 3/4 lane high-speed, high-volume thruways like Fell and Oak.

So yes, by all means, create some bike "boulevards". Just don't try and superimpose them on the routes that are most suited to hogh-speed traffic.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

Page is indeed a lovely street for bicyclists traveling through the Haight and great alternative route to busy Haight Street, but cyclists coming off the Panhandle (an important east-west route that get bikes off the busy streets) would have to ride up a very steep hill on Baker or Broderick to get to Page, only to ride back down another steep hill a block later as it crosses Divis, and it's just not realistic to expect cyclists to do so. Bicyclists and the city's system of bike lanes try to avoid going up and down hills like that (hence the Wiggle, which cuts back and forth to ride a ridgeline through Lower Haight), which would make cycling a far less attractive transportation option. It's in everyone's interests to make cycling as attractive as possible because for every person who opts to use a bike, that's one less person in a car or crowding onto Muni.

Posted by steven on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 5:41 pm
Posted by Alai on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

As a daily cyclist on the Wiggle, I think the proposed cycle tracks will actually make the ride more dangerous. Think about it, we have very few separated bike lanes in SF, one is the panhandle, it crosses a single intersection, (Fell/Masonic) that intersection is one of the most dangerous in the city. This proposed cycle track will cross several more and add several driveways of cross traffic. Plus it is on a slight incline which will allow east bound cyclists to increase their speed over what it is at Masonic. Also there is the fact that on the panhandle the path is wider, and if you need to you can ride off the path fairly easily, the proposed track is more like a tunnel with a curb on one side and a line of cars on the other.

Currently heading east the automobile traffic on the two blocks of Oak from Baker to Divis is generally gridlocked due to right hand turning cars and the fact that the light at Divis is slightly out of phase with respect to the lights to the west of it. This makes it easy for cyclists to fully take the right hand lane (passing the turning cars on the left), with impatient drivers only having a complaint between Divis and Scott. (I say they have 2 other lanes, so use them.)

Here is another problem with cyclists demanding infrastructure changes for their safety. There were high profile changes like the Bike Box on Market at Van Ness. Take a look at how many cyclists actually wait for a actual green light within the bike box and how many ride right through and wait either in or beyond the crosswalk, then jump the light. It's hard to claim that you feel so unsafe, when there are 10 people trying to do a track stand in the north lane of Van Ness.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 11:37 am

I agree, biking west through the trees of the panhandle is pleasant, one of the few Class I cycle paths in the City. Pedestrians should get priority on the south side track, cyclists on the north. Peds have thousands of miles of sidewalk and dedicated ROW throughout the City, the Panhandle bike path is one of the few cyclists have.

Heading east own Oak is one of the most exhilarating rides in the City and is very safe. One can pedal as fast as possible over a relatively smooth roadway and center stripe it through the Divisadero intersection with enough speed to make it up to Steiner or Pierce to turn and head down through the wiggle and back to civilization. That is 1.1 miles of sheer cycling heaven.

One of the intersections with the most cyclist-on-cyclist contention is Page and Steiner, with some cyclists under the impression that they get to run a stop sign north on Steiner to head west on Page even though I'm running a stop sign continuing south on Steiner. It appears to always come close to incident, but never actually does.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 11:58 am

There is a mixed-use path in the Panhandle. It's not a bike lane at all - it's just that bikes are not banned there.

But of course cyclists treat it as if it is a bike lane, seeking to crowd off other path users, in much the same way as cars do on Fell and Oak.

And that's the irony. When given their own right of way, cyclists behave exactly like the motorists they claim to despise, riding too fast, hogging the path and terrorising children playing, people walking their dogs and anyone not numble enough to get out of their way.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

The panhandle north path is defined as a class I bike way by the City, that is why it has a center stripe, like the Marina Green class I bike way that also has a center stripe. The panhandle north bike path also has special signals, both at Masonic and Shrader because it is a Class I bike way.

Most folks understand that it is a major bicycle transportation link and understand that cyclists can get up to speed and respect this, just like most cyclists respect that there are sidewalks on Oak and Fell as well as a south side pedestrian path that we don't bike along.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

it is illegal for you to do so. In fact, a bike is illegal everywhere in the Panhandle except that one mixed-use path. It's not about "respect" - it's about the law.

And no, I don't "understand" that it's an "important transit link" at all. Why not? Because the Panhandle is first and foremost a park - a place for relaxation and play, not for high-speed commuting.

I've seen a number of near-accidents there where a cyclist traveling at speed has failed to anticipate the movement of a dog or child. You need to slow the f**k down there or either you'll hurt someone or someone will hurt you.

What part of "mixed use" don't you get? And why do cyclists get to arrogant and aggressive as soon as we do give them special treatment?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Because the Panhandle bike path is one of the few Class I bike paths that we have and the SFBC is about to give it up, that's why.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

It's a mixed-use path where bikes are not banned. That's all. You can't commandeer part of the city's parkland for your own private commutation expressway. And the sooner you realise that, the sooner accidents will be avoided.

Call it Class whatever you like. Just slow down and give way ot other path users, just like you expect cars to give way to bikes in regular streets.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

No, I will not slow down. There are way too many children in San Francisco, especially the little white ones playing in the park on leashes, and it is my duty s a cyclist to run them down whenever there is a conflict on a Class I bike way.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 11:23 am

ride with due care and attention there. I've seen a few near misses, and also a cyclist get threatened.

Cyclists often argue that cars should defer to them because bikes are "slower" and "more vulnerable". By the same argument, when a bike is on a mixed-use path, it needs to give priority to ambulant path users.

And sicne you stillc an't define what you mean by "Class 1", I'm going to encourage people to continue to ignore your attempts to obfuscate the issue with "techncial" terms.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

"take the whole lane" when walking on the Panhandle north mised-use pathway, thereby forcing cyclists to slow down and go around.

If a bike is "entitled" to hog an entire car lane rather than keeping right as the law requires slower traffic to do, then surely a person is entitled to hog an entire "Class 1 mised-use parkland pathway by the same reasoning?

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

Can't look it the fuck up yourself so you've got to rail on it until you make a fool of yourself.

http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=shc&group=00001-01000&...

890.4. As used in this article, "bikeway" means all facilities that
provide primarily for bicycle travel. For purposes of this article,
bikeways shall be categorized as follows:
(a) Class I bikeways, such as a "bike path," which provide a
completely separated right-of-way designated for the exclusive use of
bicycles and pedestrians with crossflows by motorists minimized.
(b) Class II bikeways, such as a "bike lane," which provide a
restricted right-of-way designated for the exclusive or semiexclusive
use of bicycles with through travel by motor vehicles or pedestrians
prohibited, but with vehicle parking and crossflows by pedestrians
and motorists permitted.
(c) Class III bikeways, such as an onstreet or offstreet "bike
route," which provide a right-of-way designated by signs or permanent
markings and shared with pedestrians or motorists.

This is the kind of bike we should use to make sure that the panhandle bike path is kept clear for light speed bike riding:

http://inhabitat.com/insane-russian-attack-bike-is-powered-by-a-chainsaw/

Posted by marcos on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

""bikeway" means all facilities that provide primarily for bicycle travel"

The north Panhandle path is not "primarily" for cycles at all. Nor is it "exclusive" to bikes. It is simply a shared path. Which is why I have no compunction taking the entire "lane" when walking there. and why cyclists always give way to me when I do.

If everyone using that path gets that, why don't you?

Posted by Grog on Mar. 11, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

"Regular treatment": Cars get two 60-foot-wide expanses of asphalt designed to keep them moving as fast as possible. When they kill people (and they have it's their own fault for getting in the way.

"Special treatment": Cyclists get a single 12 foot path, for both directions, to share with pedestrians. And God forbid they go faster than 10 mph.

They should take lessons from the motorists on Fell, who haven't killed any pedestrians since 2009.

Posted by Alai on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

make it "safer" by removing parking?

You just refuted yourself.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 7:30 am

allocated to them because there are far more of them?

Our streets are designed to provide the greatest utility to the greatest number, and not to give undue preference to a 4% minority.

It's called, er, democracy.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2012 @ 8:25 am

but bike rider sentenced today for killing old lady on Embarcadero.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

Ummm... maybe there's a difference in the number of hills in Amsterdam and in San Francisco?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

that SF is nothing like a medievil european city. It's a modern western amercan metropolis. Places like Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges have no relevance here.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

Well at least they had a nice time riding their bikes around Holland.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

- The MTA has no place for bike safety in its strategic plan, that is not a priority at the highest levels of the agency. Why did the SFBC not insist that bike safety be prioritized?

- The MTA just doubled the fine for riding bikes on the sidewalk. Why did the SFBC assent to that, why did the SFBC not demand that the MTA identify WHERE cyclists were riding on the sidewalks and commit to making biking on the streets safer in those locations?

- Berkeley just implemented the bicycle civil rights act as passed in LA. Why did the SFBC take a pass on giving cyclists the ability to sue motorists for harassment as was done in LA and Berkeley?

- Cyclists are being whipsawed in the media over minor infractions in the Wiggle. Where is the SFBC in moving a media agenda to define the issue in terms favorable to cyclists?

- The CEQA/LOS/ATG/TSP/TSF fetid acronym stew is leading the SFBC to give developers a pass on transportation analysis of projects while trying to exempt bike projects from identifying their transit delay impacts. In so doing, the SFBC is exposing bike projects to be the only kind of project that needs to undergo transportation analysis while developers skate. Always fighting the last battle in the last war to win it this time, there does not appear to be any ability to learn from past errors and inform a new approach for the next time.

At this point, the main impediment to moving a bicycle agenda is the unattractiveness of transit as an alternative to driving. Bikes and peds will take up a sliver of mode shift, most of that will go to transit.

Bringing a moment of zen to bear, sometimes it is not advancing your immediate agenda with self righteous single issue shrillness that makes the biggest gains. To quote the Prayer of St. Francis, "it is in giving that we receive."

Make the roads safe for rapid, reliable transit and the issues of removing and metering parking will diminish in significance, the number of cars on the road will fall, the environment will benefit and most important of all, cycling will be safer as a result.

In order for those investments to be made, we're going to have to open up the MTA Board to conscientious governance so that dollars dedicated to transit are spent on transit. We are going to have to work to secure the level of funding, hundreds of billions of dollars, to invest in regional rapid transit that connects dispersed housing centers to dispersed job centers.

Beating people over the heads with sticks ends up engendering opposition to the livable streets projects. Making with the carrots and bringing folks along on mutually respectful terms is more difficult but will move the agenda further faster.

And we need a bike advocacy entity that is democratically organized and operated and which stands up for cyclists when we are under attack while working with diverse communities instead of just downtown corporate interests to identify areas of commonality. Rolling over for media slander on the wiggle and doubling of fines is not acceptable and raises rather than lowers barriers to cycling.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 10:48 am

and wants your computer monitor back.

Posted by Chromefields on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

FYI. I believe they have your brain in storage.

Posted by GUEST on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

While the geniuses are trying to figure out how to make MUNI more attractive and self supporting they are ignoring the elephant in the room. I have suggested to many past and present Supervisors that they revisit 1994's Proposition O sponsored by Sue Bierman, and opposed by all the usual suspects. A few of them even stated that they would "look into it", the silence is deafening. I have heard all kinds of objections; it would be imposing a tax - which we aren't allowed to do (?!?!); it would drive away 'businesses': it would result in a loss of jobs; "Downtown" would never allow it.
If there really is a regulatory/legal impediment to implementing a revised version of this proposal, then let's deal with it. God knows our civic leaders are excellent 'manipulators'; they always seem to find ways to 'interpret' the law if it favors their sponsors; they have little problem diverting and reallocating funds and resources when it is 'in their interest'. If such a law exists - let's just change it.
The full text of Prop O is available on line through the City Attorney's Office or the Dept of Elections. Just reading the list of those in favor and opposed comes as no surprise, the more things change..., but it does illustrate why so little gets accomplished in this town that benefits the best long term interests of the people.
Just my thruppence.
GO GIANTS.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Mar. 09, 2012 @ 12:18 pm