San Francisco and its cycletracks lead the way toward safer biking statewide

Ting is working on the issue with the California Bicycle Coalition, whose executive director Dave Snyder is a longtime San Francisco bike activist. Snyder says Caltrans doesn’t allow bike lanes that include physical barriers against traffic, even though they are widely used in other countries and states and considered to be safest design for cyclists.

San Francisco has been blazing the trail toward safer cycling with innovative designs such as cycletracks, or bike lanes that are physically separated from cars, which have been installed on Market Street and JFK Drive. But cycletracks aren’t legal under state law, something that a San Francisco lawmaker and activist are trying to solve so that other California cities can more easily build them.

“Right now, many cities are not putting in cycletracks for fear they don’t conform to the Caltrans manual,” says Assemblymember Phil Ting, whose Assembly Bill 1193 — which would legalize and set design standards for cycletracks — cleared the Assembly yesterday [Wed/29] and is now awaiting action by the Senate.

Ting is working on the issue with the California Bicycle Coalition, whose executive director Dave Snyder is a longtime San Francisco bike activist. Snyder says Caltrans doesn’t allow bike lanes that include physical barriers against traffic, even though they are widely used in other countries and states and considered to be safest design for cyclists.

San Francisco is technically breaking the law because they have the best traffic engineers in the state and a good City Attorney’s Office and they know they can defend it in court if they have to,” Snyder said. “Most places in the state won’t do that.”… (more)

So now we know. They admit some of the bike lanes are illegal. If you object to this law (Assembly Bill 1193) to legalize the illegal bike lanes in San Francisco, let Phil Ting and the state representatives know about it now: Contacts here. And let your city officials know: Contacts here

Sign petitions, write letters. This is an election year. DO YOU WANT TO GIVE MORE MONEY TO THE FOLKS WHO ARE BREAKING THE LAW NOW? Do they represent your interests?

RELATED:
Gov’s Report to Caltrans: Get Out of the Way of Protected Bike Lanes
Caltrans needs to stop focusing so much on moving cars and let cities build safer street designs with protected bike lanes, says a new report commissioned by Governor Jerry Brown and CA Transportation Secretary Brian Kelly…
they must take a legal risk since Caltrans hasn’t approved such designs, and design exceptions require “a painful and time-consuming process,” says the report, produced by the State Smart Transportation Initiative…

Gov. Brown signs Frazier’s fifth bill into law, to streamline bicycle transportation

antiochherald – excerpted

AB 417 Will Significantly Improve Bicycle Transportation in Cities and Counties
Sacramento, CA –
Today Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 417 authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) that streamlines the CEQA process for bicycle transportation plans. “AB 417 is a common sense approach to a much needed change,” said Frazier.
AB 417 will provide a narrow exemption for bicycle transportation plans in urbanized areas and will ensure public participation and address traffic and safety impacts.
“This bill corrects the unanticipated consequences of CEQA,” said Dave Snyder from the California Bicycle Coalition, “and will allow cities to calm their traffic, install bicycle lanes, and improve bike parking and signage without enduring millions of dollars in expense and incurring years of delay.”
Biking has become a common mode of transportation for the daily commuter and is a proactive way for the public to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emission and improve personal health. These streamlined plans will significantly improve biking conditions and expand transportation networks in cities and counties.
“Transportation is my number one priority,” said Frazier. “AB 417 is just a start to what I hope to accomplish for transportation projects in California because a quality transportation network is essential to economic growth.” …(more)

Push to Organize SF Transit Riders Proving Difficult

By Alex Wolens : sfweekly – excerpt

Last month’s well-publicized service rollbacks at Muni were long anticipated by unhappy bus riders, motorists and regular transit activists, but at least one man has tried to capitalize on the transit agency’s woes.
Longtime transit activist Dave Snyder has used Muni’s most recent meltdown as an opportunity to organize its riders into the San Francisco Transit Riders Union. We spoke to Dave Snyder–the project coordinator of SFTRU–about the progress of his recent unionizing efforts. They have been slow… (more)