Separated bikeways on Oak and Fell finally up for approval

By Joe Fitzgerald : sfbg – excerpt

…the fate of a dangerous but vital bike route in San Francisco will be decided on Oct. 16. Oak and Fell streets, one of the few major east-west byways in the city, carries tens of thousands of cars each day, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Right now, there is no bike lane on Oak, and the stripes on Fell are only two feet wide …

There are two bike lanes through the Panhandle inside the park. The bikes must stop at the same lights as the cars now. Muni buses are already complaining about the traffic. Taking out lanes will slow the buses down even more.

But all that could change. If the transit agency gives it the green light, the perilous Oak-Fell corridor between Scott and Baker will gain needed concrete barriers and wider bike lanes, according to SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose and bike advocates…
The project has met repeated delays, despite Mayor Ed Lee’s promise that it would be done by the end of 2011.
A section of the major bike route “The Wiggle,” its the only game in town if you’re a cyclist who wants to cross the city from east to west. But not everyone favors the fix.
Blogger and anti-bike activist Rob Anderson, who sued San Francisco for not performing proper studies on bike lane projects in 2005, calls it a slap in the face to people who must drive to work.
“It shows no sympathy or understanding for working people in the neighborhood,” Anderson said. He bemoaned the loss of parking as particularly harmful to residents in the area, which would lose 35 parking spaces, according to SFMTA data..
If the bike lanes were more safe, more cyclists would ride them, Shahum said. This would pave the way towards San Francisco’s goal of increasing bike ridership to 20 percent of trips made in San Francisco by the year 2020, which is enshrined in legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors two years ago. Currently, about 3.5 percent of bike commutes in the city are by bicycle, a 71 percent increase from 2005, according to the city’s “2012 State of Cycling Report.” …
Shahum said the SFBC plans to turn out its members on Oct. 16 to ensure passage of a project it has sought for years… (more)

What Do Strip Clubs and Churches Have in Common?

David LaBua : 7×7 : ParkingGuru – excerpt

Dear Ticket-Free,

Many people think that you can never park in a white zone. Not true.  Anyone who has thought this has been driving right past perfectly legit parking spots. And, because of this, white zones are one of the absolute best places to find parking.
White zones are found in front of businesses: Restaurants, apartment buildings, hotels, bars, nightclubs, and churches. Their purpose is to make the loading and unloading of passengers easier. While some white zones are in effect 24 hours a day, most are only in effect during the business hours of that particular business. Knowing the hours of a business is a critical piece of information that will lead you to more triumphant parking experiences.
To know what hours a white curb is in effect, simply read the writing on the white curb itself and/or the meter post to see the specific days and hours that the zone is enforced. If it simply says “No Parking During Business Hours,” go to the door of the business relevant to that curb to see the posted hours of business… (more)



Alternative to MTA Bike Lanes on Oak St.

by David Drabkin : HAIA – excerpt

HAIA’s Alternative Cycle Plan on Hayes: The Haight Ashbury Improvement Association published an alternative route to the Oak St. proposal of the SFMTA / SF Bike Coalition. The MTA plans are problematic and fundamentally flawed from a safety perspective. A safer, less costly implementation of moving cyclists from the Panhandle (at Fell and Baker) to the Wiggle is to go north to Hayes St., right and east to Scott. Then, right at Scott, across Fell and Oak, and into the Wiggle. The lower volume of traffic, stop lights at busy intersections that would be crossed perpendicularly, and right hand turns for east bound bike traffic, make the route inherently more safe. In addition, there would be no impact to current users of Oak St. nor a reduction of parking along Oak, as proposed by the MTA. Problems of right turns from Oak onto Broderick and Divisadero from Oak will be eliminated, as will problems of driveways for garages and businesses that line the three blocks of Oak St. that will have cars driving across a dedicated bike path. View the HAIA Focus on Safety brochure (here)

Safer Bike Plan:  HAIA has proposed the use of Hayes St. (between Baker and Scott) as a more sensible way to connect the Wiggle to the Panhandle bike path. Less traffic and slower vehicle speed remove the need for a separated bike lane. Right hand turns in the east-bound direction, with traffic lights at Divis, Fell and Oak St. mean a lower risk of cars unintentionally hitting cyclists. West-bound bike traffic can use the same route, with left turns onto Hayes and Baker being made at STOP signs. Neighborhood parking, already at a premium, is also preserved in this plan. Finally, this was the SFBC’s bike lane plan since at least 2001. Why is it necessary to cram cyclists into the high speed blender of Oak St. now?…

City Hall: Please justify the Panhandle bike lanes

District 5 Diary – excerpt

As readers of District 5 Diary already know, the primary justification for eliminating more than 100 parking spaces on Oak and Fell Streets to make protected bike lanes is to make cyclists more “comfortable” riding bikes there. There’s no evidence of a safety emergency, and the city hasn’t bothered to present any other justification. This is just another anti-car, pro-bike project based on the city’s “mode shift” theory—that if the city makes it harder and more expensive to drive and park in San Francisco, a lot of people will give up driving their wicked motor vehicles and start riding bikes. The city even admits that it has no evidencefor that theory; it’s based on nothing but wishful thinking and trendy anti-carism from the Bicycle Coalition. The likely result of these projects: They will only making traffic worse for everyone in San Francisco.

Mary Miles (SB #230395)
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, CA
Edward Reiskin, Director, MTA
Luis Montoya, MTA
John Rahaim, Director of Planning
Bill Wycko, Environmental Review Officer
Brian Smith, Information Director
Re: Oak and Fell Project
This is an IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST pursuant to the Public Records Act (Gov. Code secs. 6250 et seq.) and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance (SF Admin. Code secs. 67 et seq.). I request access to and the opportunity to make or get the following records:
1. All records of environmental review of the “Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Project.” If these records do not exist, please so state in writing, referring to this item number in this Request.
2. Traffic counts on Oak and Fell Streets taken in the past five years, including the dates, times, and name(s) of the person(s) making the counts, and the method used to make the counts. If these records do not exist, please so state in writing, referring to this item number in this Request.
3. Bicycle counts on Oak and Fell Streets taken in the past five years, including the dates, times, and name(s) of the person(s) making the counts. If these records do not exist, please so state in writing, referring to this item in this Request.
4. Pedestrian counts on Oak and Fell Streets, including the dates, times, and name(s) of the person(s) making the counts. If these records do not exist, please so state in writing, referring to this item in this Request.
If these records are in an electronic format, please provide them on a disk. If they are only in hard copy, please provide the records for my review within 24 hours of your receipt of this IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST. If I have not received a response to this Request by 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2012, I shall deem this Request denied.
Thank you for your attention to this IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST.
Mary Miles
Attorney at Law