SFBC Biker Bulletin
January 21, 2009
"This would indeed be a step backwards. When I first heard about it I thought this is about as counterintuitive as it comes. Automobile users are breaking the law by turning right so we're going to penalize those who are legally using the bike lanes."
-- State Senator Mark Leno, Hundreds Rally to Save Market/Octavia Bike Lane, SF Streetsblog, January 16, 2009
Table of Contents
Cruising for a little romance?
SFBC Rally for Safer Market/Octavia Draws Hundreds
Hundreds of bike commuters and an impressive array of local and state leaders rallied Friday morning at the dangerous intersection of Market and Octavia to save the bike lane and protective barrier that the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) proposes to remove. The SFBC organized the rally in short-order to express our shock that city transportation leaders would try to remove bike facilities at such a critical location for cyclists' safety, especially when no new bike lanes have been added since 2006 because of the current injunction.
The SFBC is urging the MTA to halt their proposal to strip away the existing bike lane and protective safety barrier, and instead to build up the safety of the intersection by implementing the safety improvements recommended by the City's Planning Dept., which include a raised, colored bike lane, and an extension of the safety barrier. (See the full plan here.) Our members took matters into their own hands after last week's rally to show what a brighter, bolder bike space could look like: We used bright green (temporary) spray chalk to paint the bike lane as it should be.
A big shout out to the hundreds of SFBC members who stopped by or volunteered for the action. And we were proud to have the support and strong commitment from State Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, and City Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Ross Mirkarimi, and David Campos. Thanks to all of you, the MTA and the City Attorney's Office should hear us loud and clear: We want to move forward with better bike lanes and fuller bike improvements....not move backwards with the MTA's cars-first plan! See coverage of the rally at SF Streetsblog, The San Francisco Citizen Blog and photos from the rally.
What's Next? The SFMTA will present their misguided proposal to the Superior Court this Thursday,
January 22nd. We hope that the Judge denies the request (as he has once before), and the City moves
forward with the far-better Planning Dept. vision for a safer intersection. But, should the Judge approve
the MTA request, we'll have to step it up to show that cyclists don't agree with--and feel endangered by--this bad idea.
Stay tuned for updates and learn how you can help our effort.
That Other Infamous Intersection Needs Help
While we're happy that the City has made much-needed improvements at the intersection of Fell and Masonic along the Panhandle Pathway, it is clear that more remains to be done, and we need your help to make sure the City finishes the job. Fell and Masonic rivals Market/Octavia as the most dangerous and intimidating intersection for bicycling in the city. A few months ago, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) created the city's first bike traffic signal and dedicated a crossing phase to bicyclists and pedestrians, holding off turning cars for their own second crossing phase. (Background here ) So far, it's working, except for one BIG problem...
Unfortunately, lots of motorists are ignoring their red "no turn" arrow and making dangerous left turns into the intersection during the pedestrian-bike green phase. We're not sure if they're honestly confused or rudely disobedient, but we are sure that the situation is causing serious dangers for bicyclists and pedestrians. Another cyclist (and SFBC member) was hit and injured this past weekend by an illegally turning motorist.
We are frustrated that the MTA and the SF Police Department have failed to dedicate enforcement resources to this known problem. The MTA should be demanding it, and the SFPD should be prioritizing it. There's no excuse for this negligence. Contact the following decisionmakers to demand they enforce the dangerous intersection at Fell and Masonic:
Get Fenders for Your Wet-Weather Riding: SFBC Sale
Get the best deal in town on a set
of Planet Bike
Cascadia Freddy fenders for your wet weather ride--only $25 (retail $55). Stop by the SFBC HQ (995 Market @ 6th St)
between the hours of 10am-6pm to purchase a set. All sizes available (while supplies last). Questions, email email@example.com.
Love on Wheels is February 13
Everyone's favorite dating game for bicyclists--the SFBC's Love on Wheels--is back for another great year of bikes, love, and bike love on Friday, February 13 at Rickshaw Stop. Come see why Love on Wheels won the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay! Watch hot cyclists pair up and win fabulous date-y raffle prizes: sfbike.org/love. Free for members (with membership card); $10 non-members (or free if you join the SFBC). See the Love on Wheels video.
Be a contestant! Just like on TV: Real-life bike bachelors and bachelorettes quiz a blind panel to select a date and pedal off to hip local spots courtesy of our fabulous sponsors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be a contestant and tell us which way your wheels spin: Boy-Boy; Boy-Girl; Girl-Girl; Girl-Boy. Only SFBC members can be contestants.
Help Spread the word! Print a
poster (pdf)--or a few!--for your break room, favorite cafe and bar!
SFBC Volunteers Make The Wheels Go Round
Make a resolution to volunteer in 2009 with the SFBC and see your impact every time you ride. The SFBC is proud to be a grassroots organization supported by our member volunteers. Our volunteers keep us running and we love them so. Be a part of the bike love!
Tonight: SF Streetsblog, Regional Bike Visions, and more
Tonight's TransForm regional meeting is packed
with powerful ideas for great streets. First, meet the Streetsblog SF team and
hear them talk about their blog featuring tales of placemaking and sustainable transportation in the Bay Area. Then learn about
and add your voice to a regional vision for bicycling as the Bay Area Bicycle
Coalition leads an exercise to get your ideas for regional goals and advocacy to make the Bay Area a model bikeable region.
Finally, join a discussion of what Obama's economic recovery plan and the California state budget situation mean for Bay
Area transportation more highways, or more bikeways?
Details: TransForm regional meeting
Video: SFBC Rally at Octavia and Market
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