July 10, 2007
"... we have to adopt lifestyles that are not only healthy but also environment friendly such as reducing the use of private vehicles, walking more or riding bicycles." -- Shigeru Omi, World Health Organization
Table of Contents
Is there power in numbers?
LOS reform at Planning Commission this Thursday
Even in green, "Transit-First" San Francisco, planning and implementing safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders is complicated by an over-sensitivity to motorists' experience. Moving more cars faster is the imperative over which all other transportation and land use concerns take a back seat. Ironically, environmental quality considerations, in the form of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) findings, are often the biggest obstacles to making quality-of-life improvements to city streets -- not because pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements contribute to air/noise/water pollution (they don't), but because taking pavement away from private motorcars can potentially diminish the "Level of Service" (LOS) experienced by auto drivers below a failing-grade threshold of convenience.
This Thursday (7/12/07, 10:00 am, City Hall, Rm. 416) the SF Planning Commission will hold an important hearing on automobile LOS as a CEQA measure of significance and whether it should be amended or abandoned for purposes of environmental review in San Francisco and substituted with an alternate significance measure. This is an obscure but fundamental issue for the city's aspirations to a greener, healthier future.
We urge everyone with an interest in better transportation and land use to come out and participate in the hearing this Thursday. This is an important SFBC campaign that could, literally, change the way our streets and neighborhoods work for decades to come. See our LOS page for more information on auto LOS, CEQA, and transportation planning.
Progress for Market/Octavia Intersection; Next: Fell/Masonic
Our message that we *must* make the intersection at Market & Octavia safer is getting heard. (Unfortunately it's also taken a sickening number of collisions involving bicyclists and even more near-misses...) We're happy to report that the Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee yesterday unanimously passed legislation directing the City's traffic engineers to construct a median at this dangerous intersection to prohibit motorists from making the illegal right-hand turn onto the freeway. This is a major need for which the SFBC has been advocating. Please take a minute to send thanks to Supervisor Bevan Dufty who has taken the lead on this issue, as well as Supervisors Daly and Mirkarimi, who co-sponsored the legislation. By the way, we learned that collisions at the intersection have decreased since the white soft-hit posts were added a few months ago, but there are still problems that this median solution should significantly help. Stay tuned for more.
Legislation for safety improvements at Fell/Masonic is also moving forward. In response to our volunteer crossing guard program at Fell/Masonic two weeks ago, Supervisor Mirkarimi has put forth a Resolution to the Board of Supervisors requesting changes at Fell/Masonic, including a separate traffic light phase solely for bicycles and pedestrians crossing Masonic. This separate light phase would allow bicyclists and pedestrians a safe time to cross -- cars making the left turn from Fell onto Masonic Avenue would have to wait for a designated left turn phase. (This is something the SFBC has been asking for years.) Please write to your Supervisor right away -- the vote is Tuesday afternoon -- to ask that they support the Resolution and that the safety improvements move forward immediately. This intersection is notorious for crashes and near misses, including at least four since the end of April. Urge the City to make changes now before someone else is hit. For more on the dangerous intersection, check out our Fell/Masonic page as well as recent articles in the Guardian and the Examiner.
Costumes! Bikes! Beer! Tour de Fat is Saturday, July 21!
Bring on the beer drinking and feather boa-wearing in the name of better biking in the Bay Area! Tour de Fat rolls into Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadows on Saturday, July 21, kicking-off with a 10am costumed-Bike Parade through Golden Gate Park and beyond. The bike-fun doesn't stop there! The beer starts a-flowin and the show starts a-goin' at 11:30am. There will be crazy bikes to try out, a full day of great music on the solar powered stage, and beer, beer and more beer! The ballyhoo of bikes and beer, sponsored by our friends at the New Belgium Brewery, is an all-green, all-day FUNraiser benefiting the SFBC and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Come on out, and have a good time for a great cause.
In order to make it a day to remember--we need YOU! It takes over 40 volunteers to make it happen--pouring beer, checking IDs, selling tees--don't miss out! Sign up at sfbike.org/?vol_sign_up_tdf today. Love Valet Bike Parking? Wanna park bikes at Tour de Fat? Contact Kash. Thanks folks, we couldn't do it without ya.
Hang posters in your 'hood for Tour de Fat. Contact Kate if you would like to help, or just stop by the office during business hours, M-F, 10-6 to pick some posters up.
And speaking of New Belgium Brewery, their "Follow Your Folly" web site now features a video of SFBC's Program Director, Andy Thornley following his folly: towing the SFBC bike trailer around town!
What Matters to You? Survey the Bike Environment
The SFBC is teaming up with the S.F. Department of Public Health (DPH) to create a plan for a model bikeable & walkable Treasure Island, thanks to a grant from Caltrans. We need your input in a survey designed by DPH to provide important information about what matters most to people pedaling. We're creating a Bicycle Environmental Quality Index (BEQI) -- new for San Francisco -- which we'll use to guide our planning work on Treasure Island and elsewhere.
Can you tell us what matters most to you? The survey should take less than 10 minutes. Check it out here. Thanks for your help and stay tuned for news on Treasure Island planning.
Absolut Vodka's Bay Bridge retrofit
Have you seen the new Absolut posters white-pasted around town? In the vodka company's "In an Absolut world" ad campaign, cyclists happily pedal from Treasure Island to San Francisco across the Bay Bridge -- in bicycle lanes! Hmmm, how do we get Absolut to take over the bridge retrofit project?
Join the SFBC Streetside Outreach Team!
Make your commute make a difference on our SFBC Streetside Outreach Team. Two to four times monthly, the SFBC will be taking the bike word to commuters on the street.
Next Thursday, July 19th during the evening commute (5-7pm), at the intersection of 17th St. and Valencia, we will be meeting fellow cyclists, chatting about pressing bike issues and telling riders about SFBC's progress on improving bicycling conditions around the city. Help us bring bike energy into our commutes! Interested in taking part on July 19th? Contact Dominic at email@example.com. Thanks, and happy pedaling!
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