Survey Floats Proposal To Add Parking-Protected Bike Lanes To Oak And Fell Along Panhandle

by Nuala Sawyer : hoodline – excerpt

The North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) has released a survey polling the community about a radical plan: to install separated bike lanes on both Fell and Oak streets, running the length of Panhandle Park between Baker and Stanyan. To achieve such a feat, one lane of traffic may have to be removed, and parking would be set back from the curb to create a buffer between the bike lane and car traffic (similar to the setup on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park)…

The Panhandle currently has two paths running through it. The path on the south side, commonly used by pedestrians, is bumpy thanks to tree roots pushing through the soil, and meanders to and fro along the edge of Oak Street.

The north side of the park is a different scene. The wider two-way multi-use path is used by runners, pedestrians (often pushing strollers), rollerbladers, skateboarders, and cyclists. Particularly during the morning and evening rush hour, it can become a highway for two-wheeled commuters, connecting them from the popular Wiggle bike route to Golden Gate Park, the Richmond and the Sunset…

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) supports the work of NOPNA in polling the community about these issues. “It’s so great to see the neighborhood association seeking the community’s feedback on how best to improve the Panhandle and neighboring streets,” said Chris Cassidy of SFBC. “We’re excited to see the results of this community survey, and eager to see streets around the Panhandle reflect the hopes of those who use them the most.”

But it’s likely that not everyone in the neighborhood will be a fan of the proposal. As readers well know, the addition of new bike infrastructure, which can spell less space for cars on the road, is perennial hot topic around these parts (see the discussion around this week’s story on a new Tenderloin bike lane). If implemented, the new bike lanes could require the removal of a lane on both Oak and Fell streets, which serve as main arteries for east/west car traffic in the area… (more)

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Eyes on the Street: Folsom Buffered Bike Lane Goes Green

by  : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The new, wider buffered bike lane on Folsom Street in SoMa is getting finishing touches this week as the SFMTA adds green paint where drivers are expected to merge with people on bikes.
“We pushed for green paint at the intersections, and we’re thrilled to see that safety element being added today,” the SF Bicycle Coalition wrote in its newsletter. “We’ll continue to monitor this pilot to see how the design works.”
Folsom commuters: How has your experience been? Does it feel safer? Are drivers using the bike lane, as has been often reported with the similar bike lane on Eighth Street? Let us know in the comments…. (more) 

 

SFMTA Bicycle count 2013

http://sfmta.com/sites/default/files/SFMTA%202013%20Bicycle%20Count%20Report.pdf

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) 2013 Bicycle Count Report was developed by the Strategic Planning and Policy Group…

SFMTA STRATEGIC PLAN

Under the FY2013 – FY 2018 SFMTA Strategic Plan, the SFMTA is committed to achieving a citywide mode share goal of less than 50 percent auto and 50 percent non- auto (transit, bicycling, walking and taxi) of all trips to, from, and within San Francisco by 2018.
In order to achieve the shift in transportation modes, the SFMTA 2013 – 2018 Draft Bicycle Strategy Plan estimates a need to increase bicycling from 3.5 percent of all trips to 8 to10 percent of all trips by 2018. Bicycle counts are a key metric in assessing the progress towards these mode share goals… (more)

Bike Lanes that work and those that don’t

Unpaved Bike lanes on Potrero Avenue. Very few bikes on this street, which is a major freeway access point to 101 and 280 South as well as Bayview and Cesar Chavez. Neighbors object to the Potrero Plan to reduce traffic and parking by widening the sidewalk and putting in more bike lanes. There are nearby streets with NO TRAFFIC which are better suited for bikes. That is where they are now.

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Repaved Bike lanes on 17th Street. Many bikes use this street. Note the one side of the street where the trucks loading food MUST park in the bike lane. This is a long-established kitchen that is used by the non-profits that serve the area. They were here long before the bike lanes were put in. This neighborhood is full of PDRs that require motor vehicles to do their work. This is why the NE Mission wants to be left alone by the SFMTA. We all get along here.

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Cyclist Hospitalized After Striking Streetcar

Political power on two wheels: Don’t mess with the bikers!

By Henry Grabar : salon – excerpt

Forget Boss Tweed or newspaper endorsements: There’s a surprising new political power in big cities — bicyclists

In New York, the would-be “bike voters” face an important election. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure, a benevolent era for cyclists, pedestrians and park-lovers, is expiring….
His would-be successors, though, have struggled to stake out territory of their own. In the early stages of the campaign, they were eager to distance themselves from this transportation legacy. De Blasio, for one, had called transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan a “radical.” The tenor of the debate caused some consternation on the part of cyclists and others who have supported the administration’s changes to street design.
“I get that Bill de Blasio and others are striving to distinguish themselves from Bloomberg,” Paul Steely White, the executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, told the New York Times in February. ”My advice to them is to pick another issue.”…
“We certainly think there is a complete streets voter out there who will prioritize transportation policy — who will prioritize this as one of their deciding factors,” McClure added…
“Our roots have always been in biking,” said Noah Budnick, the deputy director of TA, whose roster of issues also includes bus rapid transit, play streets, public plazas, and traffic enforcement…
Indeed, the most obvious models for the new StreetsPAC wear their biking allegiances on their sleeves. One is the politically active San Francisco Bike Coalition, which, like TA in New York, has been remarkably successful in obtaining both policy and infrastructure reforms for cyclists in the Bay Area. Ridership is up 71 percent over the last five years in San Francisco. The SFBC also endorses candidates in local elections….
Indeed, the most obvious models for the new StreetsPAC wear their biking allegiances on their sleeves. One is the politically active San Francisco Bike Coalition, which, like TA in New York, has been remarkably successful in obtaining both policy and infrastructure reforms for cyclists in the Bay Area. Ridership is up 71 percent over the last five years in San Francisco. The SFBC also endorses candidates in local elections….
If you’ve been following the news in New York over the past few years, you might have thought bicycles would be a major campaign issue here too. Bike lanes and the city’s new bike share program have been the golden goose of tabloid headlines. The issue has generated, from supporters and opponents, references to the following: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, “The Exorcist,” Bush v. Gore, the American Revolutionary War, and the Taliban’s demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas. (And those were just the public statements I came across in researching this article.)
But as the summer wore on, the candidates have shelved the anti-bike rhetoric. Usage of the bike-share program exploded and polls showed the majority of New Yorkers not only approve bike lanes but would like to see more of them. “Certain candidates may have joked about ripping out bike lanes or that they wouldn’t be opposed to removing pedestrian plazas, “ McClure notes. “But the reality is that there’s no moving backwards from this.” As TA employees put it to me, the debate over bike lanes is settled…
That’s not to say that the common political goals of the movement have largely been accomplished. Congestion pricing, for example, was one of the failures of the Bloomberg administration and remains a politically charged issue. (De Blasio, as a City Council member, voted against it.) Traffic safety is still a huge problem:…
But with success come challenges. The San Francisco Bike Coalition drew some criticism last year when it chose not to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass, the free-for-all bike ride that originated in San Francisco and has become a worldwide event – indicating a division between the political wing and the lawless roots of San Francisco bike culture. If one of the major bike organizations decides to shun electric bicycles, would its members follow? Is it possible that the interests of mass transit riders and cyclists – two groups that make up the core of Transportation Alternatives’ membership – could diverge in the future over competition for street space?
What’s clear is that the concept of a “bike lobby” is no punch line. L.W. Rundlett would feel right at home… (more)

Can we get an amen?

by Tony Robles : SFBG.com – excerpt

OPINION Senior and Disability Action recently learned of the outcome of the case of the elder who was killed in a collision with a bicyclist in the city’s Castro District. The victim, 71 year old Sutchi Hui, was walking across the intersection of Castro and Market Streets with his wife when he was struck by 34 year old Chris Bucchere, a self-described “entrepreneur, software developer, founder and CEO of Social Collective Inc.”
Our organization has been involved in the issue of pedestrian safety, advocating for improvements on the city streets, corridors and areas that pose safety risks for seniors, people with disabilities and the public in general. The tragic incident that took Mr. Hui’s life emphasizes the need for better pedestrian safety and the need to hold bicyclists accountable for their actions…
Senior and Disability Action was dismayed by the breezy attitude of the cyclist, who, after the collision that claimed Mr. Hui’s life, lamented the loss of his bike helmet in a blog:
“In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac…may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live and ride one. Can I get an amen? Amen”…
We all must adhere to the rules of the road; the rules apply to both motorists as well as cyclists. We recognize that there are cyclists that follow the rules of the road. But this case was egregious, not only in the loss of life, but in the arrogance of the cyclist, who was using an app that gauged his speed and overall performance on the road, offering a prize as an incentive. The metaphors are striking—plowing through an area as if one has the God-given right and too bad if you happen to be in my way. Mr. Bucchere’s actions in the aftermath is evincive of the race and class privilege that has permeated the city, where some lives are evidently worth more than others.
Can we get an amen?

For some reason city agencies appear to be fueling the anger that is growing between extreme bikers and the rest of us, instead of calming it.
This story about the death at the hands of a cyclist is running in the same paper as the story about the SF Bike Coalition’s Memorial to a biker hit by a truck on Folsom Street. Does no one else see the irony in this?
We need someone at City Hall to put a stop to the growing war between extreme bikers and the rest of us.
With the closure of the Bay Bridge and the possible BART strike we need a reasonable balanced transit approach that does not cater to any one group.

RELATED:
Memorial for cyclist marred by SFPD harassment

The animosity that is being instigated between bikers and drives needs to stop. There is no better time than now for the bikers and the rest of us to stop fighting over the roads. A biker’s death by truck, is no more tragic than a pedestrian’s death by bike. Where is the outpouring of remorse for that victim? Did the biking community send flowers to his memorial? It is time for the city to re-evaluate priorities. The voters are fed up with the mess on the roads. The complete streets program is a complete failure.

SF’s pricey bike counter on Market Street isn’t as reliable as billed

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

A cyclist on Market Street is counted as two bikes by the new digital counter. Other cyclists do not register. - JESSICA KWONG/THE S.F. EXAMINER

Market Street Bike Counter

Every biker counts in San Francisco — but some count more than others.
A Market Street bicycle counter that lets cyclists see the day’s bike traffic total increase by one rider as they pedal by, in fact isn’t always showing them their contribution.

Sometimes, bikers don’t cross the counter’s trip wire near its center and are not counted. At other times, a biker will pass through and count for two. Either of these things can happen when cyclists ride through side by side with a fellow biker. And motorcycles, automobiles, law enforcement vehicles and Recology garbage trucks have all been spotted counting as bicycles…
Market Street Bike Counter…  (more)

SFMTA’s Livable Streets Team Plucks Neal Patel From SFBC

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

Neal Patel will be leaving his position as planning director at the SF Bicycle Coalition to join the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s Livable Streets team, bringing his talents in community outreach to city government.
Patel said the details on his position at the SFMTA are still taking shape, but that he’ll be working on pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic calming projects “in some way, shape or form.”
“I’m really excited to be moving over there, although it’s been an amazing experience” working for the SFBC for the past six years, he said… (more)

Polk Street community meetings over parking loss for bike lane turning ugly

By: Joshua Sabatini : examiner.com – excerpt

A plan to create a bike lane on Polk Street has led one city transit official to call parking supporters’ behavior “offensive.”
The vice chairwoman of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors had some choice words Tuesday for the community after a March 18 meeting organized by Polk Street merchants that drew hundreds of people opposed to the loss of parking.
“I took offense at the behavior of a lot of the participants there,” said Vice Chairwoman Cheryl Brinkman. “I feel that booing and jeering is not constructive at all.”…
“I really don’t think that we should say it’s one or the other and jam the process through,” he said. “We have to remember that we say this is a transit-first policy, but we don’t have a transit-only policy.”… (more)

In the words of Board member Jerry Lee, “We have to remember that we say this is a transit-first policy, but we don’t have a transit-only policy.”
In fact the policy is supposed to be to support a balanced transit system. Lately, the program has been anything but balanced. Voters are rebelling against SFMTA’s constant push for more money to fund the bottomless pit that the SFMTA has become. No longer will people support paying more for less Muni service.
Polk Street residents join North Beach, NE Mission, University Terrace, Mission Bay, and Potrero  in their decision to say “No” to plans to remove more parking.
“We don’t need your help. Go away and leave us alone.” is the common refrain, as trust in the SFMTA plummets to an all-time low.

Russian Hill and Polk Street businesses oppose SFMTA road safety plans

By: : examiner.com – excerpt

Business owners and residents on San Francisco‘s Polk Street see cyclists as typically culpable in accidents with cars, scoff at the notion of global warming, and are strongly opposed to the SFMTA’s suggestions for improving their neighborhood.
This was the tone of a public meeting organized by the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association at the Old First Presbyterian church, Monday night March 18th.
View slideshow: Saving Polk Street
The Middle Polk Neighborhood Association has aligned itself with a movement called Save Polk Street, which has opposed the SFMTA plan in a poster campaign.
MPNA chair Dawn Trennert repeatedly had to appeal to Save Polk Street supporters in the crowd to show respect for pro SFMTA speakers. Mr. Reiskin was loudly booed and shut down while attempting to outline his plan for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements along the stretch of Polk Street from Union Street in the north to McAllister in the south…

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