Big changes are coming to the entirety of Second Street

SFMTA plans for August 18 Agenda

For those that have not yet submitted a letter or would like to voice an opinion on the Second Street Plan, your next chance is Tuesday, August 18 at the SFMTA Board of Directors meetings:

SFMTA Board of Directors
Tuesday, August 18 at 1pm (Agenda)
Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

SFMTA Seeks To Reduce Bike Parking Due To Lack Of Utilization

Socketsite – excerpt
Following the collection of over six months of data tacking the utilization of bike racks installed in the 18 parking garages managed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the agency’s Parking Division has requested a reduction in the required number of racks to be installed in at least seven (7) of the garages due to “significant slack capacity” for the racks which are already in place.

The Union Square, Sutter Stockton and Civic Center garages are among those facilities for which reductions in the number of bike parking spaces required to be installed have been requested, with observed average daily utilization rates of 26.5 percent, 48.1 percent, and 14 percent for their existing racks respectively.

Keep in mind that businesses and buildings which have installed private racks, such as Twitter, Dolby and City Hall, have impacted the demand for publicly-accessible bicycle parking.

A City ordinance adopted in 2013 upgraded and increased the number and quality of bicycle parking spaces required for City-owned buildings and parking garages based on expected demand… (more)

Who’s Not Against Cars-First Prop L? Supes Tang, Farrell, Yee, and Mayor Lee

By Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerp

Not sure how smart it is to lambast everyone who doesn’t agree with your anti-car line. Barely 3% of the residents ride bikes, which means that 97% do not, yet all we hear about is the need to pour more money into bike lanes and protect the rights of bikers to run red lights and ignore the traffic laws that everyone is supposed to bide by.

People support Prop L because we are really tired of having bikes crammed down our throats. Riding a bike is not everyone’s cup of tea, and most bikers also own motor vehicles.

Longtime SF Bicycle Coalition chief to step down

By sfexminer – excerpt

One of the strongest San Francisco voices in advocating on behalf of bicyclists is stepping down from her role as head of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and heading to Europe.

Leah Shahum, often seen riding around town on her orange two-wheeler, announced in a letter to the nonprofit’s members Tuesday that after 17 years with the group, 12 of which as its executive director, she is calling it quits by the year’s end.

“It’s time for me to pedal toward new adventures, including participating in a German Marshall Fund Fellowship to research the successes of Vision Zero in Europe,” Shahum said in the letter… (more)

Good news for some of us. One less anti-car voice to counter.

Transportation imbalance: City taxpayers support the Bicycle Coalition

A reader writes : district5diary – excerpt
A reader writes:


City agencies collect tons of data that is available in many databases at I’m experimenting with it for the first time today. Takes some time to understand how to search for data, gather, organize, and sort the information. Looks like other cities in the US are using this Open Data system to be transparent with residents.

You can look at various crime statistics, payments to vendors. Data is collected from 2007 on.

The Bicycle Coalition gets lots of money from Dept. of Public Health, the MTA, Neighborhood Development, and the PUC in the form of grants, continuing projects, operating costs.

The database on Vendor Payments lists all the money paid in vouchers to SFBC. Don’t know what the vouchers are for.

I added up how much was paid to SFBC for these fiscal years:

2007: $ 54,088
2008: $ 143,537
2009: $ 127,700
2010: $ 120,103
2011: $ 180,459
2012: $ 202,407
2013: $ 239,427
2014: $ 223,460
2015: $ 7,992

The fiscal year just started for 2015, and the SFBC is already on the payroll!


Rob’s comment: The city gives the Bicycle Coalition $49,000 every year to stage Bike to Work Day, and it even hires people from that special interest group: here, here, and here. And the city pays $188,000 a year for a police escort for Critical Mass.


Our comments: Taxpayers Subsidize the SF Bicycle Coalition. The Bicycle Coalition, along with other political action non-profit 501(c)4’s, sucks up bond money (voters approved to fix potholes and expand Muni services), and uses it to write anti-car legislation against drivers.
Related article describes one of the bills they passed.

City agencies hire SFBC to conduct studies that show the need for more bikes lanes and traffic calming. Then they design streets that remove parking and traffic lanes.


If you want to change the way things are going, vote NO ON A and YES ON L. If you really want to send a message to the city officials to let them no what you think, sign the Stop SFMTA petition.

California Has Officially Ditched Car-Centric ‘Level of Service’
California will no longer consider vehicle delay an “environmental impact.
Now, thanks to legislation passed last year and a yearlong effort by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), California will no longer consider “bad” LOS a problem that needs fixing under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) . This won’t just lead to good projects being approved more quickly and easily, but also to better mitigation measures for transportation impacts. – sfstretsblog

Separated bikeway along the Embarcadero

Can you envision a separated bikeway along the Embarcadero?

A bike lane laces most of the roadway of the Embarcadero in either direction, but it’s not complete, and sections like the Third Street Bridge are less than ideal, to put it mildly.

Casual riders and family-style tourists often don’t feel safe on the bike lane, so they ride along the promenade itself. This is perfectly legal, btw: The promenade along San Francisco’s waterfront is a shared-use path, which means both pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to use it, from Third Street to the south going north to Powell and Jefferson streets. (There is some signage that declares this, but not enough.)

Cyclists and peds usually co-exist on this popular stretch without a second thought: the path is expansive and there’s plenty of room.  But in some parts it can get congested, with cyclists traveling in both directions trying to weave around pedestrians.

This situation can be improved —  and you can attend an open house meeting Thursday, July 24 at 6 PM, to find out what might be in store for the Embarcadero:

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project Open House

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
  • 6:00 PM
  • Pier 1 – The Embarcadero (map)
  • The Embarcadero & Washington
  • San Francisco, CA 94111

You might recall that for a short time during the America’s Cup races, a section of the Embarcadero was temporarily cordoned off into a separated two-way path from The Ferry Building to the Cup’s main public pier.

Below are a couple rendered images from SPUR that give an idea of what a separated bicycle pathway might look like. More ideas can be found in their document building the emBIKEadero waterfront bike path (PDF)… (more)

Let ‘s make driving on the Embarcadero more difficult than it is now, eliminate more parking spaces, and spend more money while asking the citizens to take on another half a billion dollars in debt to wreak more havoc on our streets.

That is the plan, but voters who are fed up with it can vote to Restore Transportation Balance in November instead.
Now is the time to let the contestants for Supervisor in District 6, and Supervisor Chiu of District 3, know how you feel about the plan. District 3 and 6 Supervisors should have a say about what happens in their districts. The Eastern Neighborhoods stopped the parking meters when our Supervisors said NO.

Coping with the throngs on S.F.’s beloved Embarcadero
July 9 Port Commission Meeting – (video) Item 12B Embarcardero Bike Lane Project – The presenter claims this project will require an EIR and additional design reviews. The public can participate and should let the Supervisors know how they feel.

City Finds Bike Boxes May Actually Increase Crashes

by Sarah Mirk : portlandmercury – excerpt

One of the biggest safety problems for bikes and cars sharing the road is right hooks—drivers turning right crashing into cyclists, especially at busy intersections. Since 2008, Portland has tried to stop right hooks by painting green “bike boxes” at 11 problem intersections.

But do the boxes actually make cyclists safer? Just this year, Portlander Kathryn Rickson was killed at an intersection with a bike box on SW 3rd and Madison and many people have complained that the bike box on NE Couch is still a right hook zone. A 2010 study found that the bike boxes make cyclists and drivers feel safer at the intersections, but we’ve never had hard data on whether the boxes actually reduce the number of crashes.

Until now. Yesterday, the city released a depressing letter (PDF) to the Federal Highway Administration that shows the bike boxes may have actually doubled the number of crashes.

In the four years leading up the installation of the bike boxes, there were 16 right hook crashes at the problem intersections involving bikes. In the four years since their installation, the intersections had 32 right hook crashes involving bikes.

The vast majority of the new crashes—81 percent—occurred at just four of the eleven intersections, at SW 3rd and Madison, SE 7th and Hawthorne, SE 11th and Hawthorne, and NW Everett and 16th. At the other seven intersections, right hook crashes slightly declined.

What appears to be leading to the new crashes in that people are biking through the intersection faster, overtaking cars that are turning right. While the bike boxes have been good at stopping right hooks when both the car and bike are starting up from being stopped at a light, 88 percent of the crashes happened at a “stale” green—not from a dead-stop but from a turning car striking a cyclist who’s in motion, pedaling down the block and through a green-lit intersection. That’s the kind of crash that killed Rickson this spring… (more)

If you read the comments you will see that there are a lot of different attitudes about this among the cyclists. This is a good time to stop the street changes while the issue is reviewed and other ideas are considered that are less costly and less disruptive. That is if you want to solve the problem of making biking safer instead of forcing people onto bikes.


Carmageddon cometh

San Francisco needs to radically rethink its transportation system to avoid gridlock. 


San Francisco — already overwhelmed with private automobiles — faces a grim future of gridlock unless there is a radical change in how we think about city streets, parking, and regional transportation.

The facts are clear. Every day there are 1.7 million private car trips to, from, or within the city, according to the city’s transportation plan. Coupled with almost 10,000 vehicles registered per square mile, San Francisco today has one of the densest concentrations of cars on the planet, more than any peer city in the United States. In the business-as-usual scenario, the streets are forecast to absorb another half-million car trips. By 2040 there will be 2.2 million car trips on the exact same street grid we have today… (more)

We all agree on one thing: The system is flawed. Anybody think that the SFMTA will be able to get it together in 2030 when they can’t make it work in 2014? Time for any overhaul of the SFMTA.
Send your complaints to the city officials and demand reform:

SFMTA’s new bicycle strategy – The SF Bike Coalition wish list


calbike – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s new Bicycle Strategy is the state’s most serious look at what it would take to triple bicycling. The SFMTA’s Timothy Papandreou analyzed what it would take to triple cycling to 10% of trips to work, up from a little over 3% today.

He concluded that the existing bike network is comfortable for only 10% of street users and that from $300 million to $500 million would be necessary to build a complete network of protected bikeways to attract tens of thousands of new riders daily.

The strategy has remarkable support across the political spectrum as a necessary means to continue economic growth in a congested city, according to a Streetsblog article on the topic. Its Board of Directors voted to support an investment of nearly $300 million in the next five years, a huge increase over the current funding of less than one half of one percent of its capital budget on bicycling. Sources tell us that new taxes are being considered that will generate the necessary funds and that key decision makers in the government and business communities are supporting dedicating sufficient funds to bicycling improvements in the next few years (more)

Remember this in November when they tell you they need $500 million or whatever to fix the MTA and the potholes.

Remember this voters when you get to vote to raise your vehicle license fees, your sales tax, and take on more public debt by selling more bonds.
According to the California Bicycle Coalition, SFMTA intends to continue spend $300 million on bicycling, not expanded Muni service.

Walking and biking were free when I was a kid. Why are we spending billions of dollars on it now?

Volunteer training makes bicycle advocacy easy

By Renee Rivera : sfgate – excerpt

Whether you bike every day for your commute, get out on weekend road rides or ride for neighborhood errands, the experience is made better or worse depending on the streets you are riding on. Maybe you live in Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek and ride to BART on the Iron Horse Trail. Or perhaps your commute from Oakland to UC Berkeley takes you through the traffic-calmed Webster/Shafter corridor. If you have a low-stress commute on established paths, bike lanes or bike boulevards, those improvements make your ride feel much safer and more pleasant.

How do these bike lanes, bike boulevards and other facilities – Oakland alone has more than 140 miles of bicycle facilities on its streets – come to be on our streets? The impetus for these changes comes from people who live there but take the extra step of asking their city to make an improvement for walking and bicycling… (more)

So, we need to have a car advocacy group. Ready to join? sign the Stop SFMTA petition and stay tuned to  Metermadness and Grassroots Actions