EDITORIAL : Guardian Editorial – excerpt
Could lowering the speed limit help us reach our biking goal by 2020?
It’s going to be hard to reach San Francisco’s official bike transportation goal, which calls for 20 percent of all vehicle trips to be taken by bicycle by 2020. Everyone in town knows that; everyone at City Hall and in the biking community agrees that some profound and radical steps would need to be taken to increase bike trips by more than 500 percent in just eight years…
But the city, it turns out, doesn’t have the power to unilaterally lower speed limits: State law requires speed limits to be set based on formulas determined by median vehicle speeds. That seems awfully old-fashioned and out of touch with modern urban transportation policy, which increasingly emphasizes bikes, pedestrians, and transit, and city officials ought to be asking the state Legislature to review those rules and give more latitude to cities that want to control traffic speed…
In the meantime, Reskin argues that a lot can be done by redesigning streets, using bulb-outs and barriers to discourage speeding..
So now we know the real reason for all the annoying changes on our streets. They want to slow down the speed of the cars. So do these new speed limits apply to bicycles? What kind of ticket do they give a speeding bicycle, or better yet, a bicycle running a red light?
This reminds me of the chant “Bikes against Cars”, from “Ride Hard, Die Fast”, an avant garde theatre production by Snake Theater.
Transit First was created in 1973 to fund Muni and help balance the transit needs of the city, not coerce drivers onto bicycles. How does this kind of attitude balance anything?
No wonder the drivers are ready to revolt.
Now wait for the real shoe to drop when the Bicycle Coalition and the Port Authority support the Mayor’s Central Subway tunnel. What have those three got in common other than a desire for public money?