MTA Mulls Scenarios for Moving Bike Plan Forward

Streetsblog has a very informative article concerning options for moving San Francisco’s stalled Bike Plan forward.
The process for re-adopting the Bike Plan is fairly long due to bureaucratic process. While the final Environmental Impact Review will be done sometime in late June, that doesn’t mean new bike lanes will start being constructed July 1st. As the article describes, the process goes something like this:

  • Planning Department prepares responses to comments on DEIR, publishes comments and responses document (Final EIR), probably sometime in June
  • Planning Commission deliberates and certifies EIR
  • MTA Board deliberates and adopts the Bicycle Plan
  • City Attorney goes back to Judge Busch and asks him to lift the injunction
  • MTA Board deliberates and approves bike network improvement projects
  • MTA issues work orders and begins implementing new bicycle facilities and other improvements like bike racks and sharrows

Take a look for yourself and see what projects can move forward, stay put or have the possibility of rejection.

SF to Replace Parking Meters?

“San Francisco wants the parking meter to be your friend. It’s rolling out a next-generation model that can take credit cards and coins, raise rates automatically, and beam news of that rarity of city life, an empty slot.” Sounds good for drivers but what about city cyclists who rely on parking meters to lock their bikes to? Considering the gross lack of bike parking in the city, it seems that a new generation of parking meter will only hurt cyclists more.
Each new parking device as they’re called will replace 8 parking meters. Figure two bikes per parking meter that’s 16 spaces taken away for use as bicycle parking. 6,000 are to be installed this year, including installation in SF city parks, which currently don’t charge for parking.
That being said, the idea of congestion pricing in San Francisco is a good one that could reduce traffic flow downtown. Also we are in a serious budget crisis, raising revenue via parking charges may not be such a bad idea.
Form you own opinion on the matter, read the article here.

Cyclists Beware….

Cyclists beware: Market/Octavia Intersection is a Potential Death Trap, was the title of a January 25th Fog City Journal article by Luke Thomas.

Highlighting a false sense of security created by the small median between the bike lane and the traffic lane. Having the median makes a biker feel protected from drivers potentially making illegal right hand turns, this sense of safety is a false one. San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Program Director, Andy Thornley had this to say to Fog City Journal; “Does the bike lane at the Market and Octavia inbound – does that express a false sense of security? Yes, just the same way that a green light extends, probably, a false sense of security. I would advise, and I advise your readers, that at every intersection, don’t trust the green light, don’t assume that that’s adequate, assume that everyone is going to break the law, and ride defensively.”

Rider spoke up at a recent rally against the removal of a section of the Market Street Bike lane at Octavia. Cyclists won that fight but it’s up the them to stay defensive out on the road.

Read the full Fog City Journal article here

Bikers get breaks in Stimulus Package!

The Bicycle Commuter Act gives companies a $20 tax credit each month for every employee that rides to work! This act went into effect Jan 1st, so ask you employer about! The more co-workers you can get to gear up and ride to work the more your company will save. This $20 Tax Credit is a great incentive for businesses to encourage their employees to get fit and be green! Read more about the act.

Potential Removal of Market and Octavia BIke Lane

You read the title correctly, SFMTA is proposing to remove a short section of the Market Street bike lane where it intersects with Octavia Blvd. Since the 2006 opening of the Freeway ramp there have been 16 car/cyclists collisions. Read more about the removal here. Also check out the SFBC rally against the removal from 7:30-10:00 am on Friday, January 16th. Also, be sure to check out the SFBC’s Press Release and learn how to say no to this removal if you can ‘t make the rally.

Safe Bicycling in San Francisco

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is a 10,000 member strong organization that represents cyclists in the San Francisco. Encouraging safe cycling, the SFBC has many resources concerning safety and security. One of the resources is Urban Bike Training.

Taught by longtime bicycle advocate, Burt Hill, the Urban Bike Training course is a two day course offered for free here in San Francisco. Check it out! It’s great for new cyclists or seasoned pros looking to refresh their street skills.

Beyond the SFBC, San Francisco’s Municipal Transport Agency has a comprehensive bike program that includes links to San Francisco’s Bike Plan, riding safely in SF, commuting to work, bike parking and many other links to what the MTA has to offer the urban cyclists.

Brooklyn Bike Lanes

The New York Department of Transportation has been working hard over the years to make New York City greener. Some attempts haven’t worked, while others have had resounding success.

The latest green initiative, aptly called The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, is a local project that aims to install a 14 mile bicycle and pedestrian friendly path.

Taking the first steps in planning, the Department of Transportation has painted 1.75 miles of bike lanes along the Brooklyn waterfront. This small stretch of bike lane has set off a bigger debate among residents and advocates of the initiative.

Kids and Bike Safety

On December 10, 2008 The San Francisco Examiner put out a short article emphasizing the importance of keeping children safe on bicycles.

What used to be the job of Municipal Traffic controllers the responsibility has now been handed to the parents of young city riders.

For those of you who want to teach your children to ride in a safe environment I suggest the San Francisco Bicycle Coalitions’ Urban Bike Training or for the youngest ones in your family try out the Freedom from Training Wheels program also run by the SFBC.

If you’d rather stick with it yourself here is a great link to teach you how to teach the kids to ride.

Good luck, have fun and stay safe!

Two Wheels at the Office , Still Rare

The title for this post is also the title of the December 9, 2008 NYTimes article which discusses how employers and building managers could incorporate bicycle parking in their buildings.

New York city lawmakers have two suggestions, Introduction 871 and Introduction 78.
Introduction 871 “would mandate access to bike parking in most office and retail buildings, “provided that such building can reasonably accommodate the storage of such bicycle.” In addition, under that bill, going forward, new office buildings would have to offer one bicycle space for every 5,000 square feet; new retail buildings, one for every 7,500 square feet; and new apartment buildings with more than 10 units, one for every two residential units.”

Introduction 78 “would require garages and parking lots to provide at least one bicycle parking space for every 10 car-parking spaces.”

What is getting me about this piece is that San Francisco is ahead of New York!

Our City Code Bike Parking has two classes. Class 1 is, “Facilities which protect the entire bicycle, its components and accessories against theft and against inclement weather, including wind-driven rain. Examples of this type of facility include (1) lockers, (2) check-in facilities, (3) monitored parking, (4) restricted access parking, and (5) personal storage.”

Class 2 is a standard bike rack that allows a cyclist to lock up their bike.

As for class 1 it pretty much goes along that the bigger the building the more secure bike parking increases in ratio. To learn more click here!

I don’t need to explain every detail you can read the NYTimes article for yourself here.