SFBC Biker Bulletin
November 30, 2004
TELL DPT NOT to WATER DOWN POTRERO ST PLAN
We need SFBC Members' support this Thursday to make sure plans for Potrero traffic calming are not derailed.
DPT's 'Livable Streets Program' recently brought forth a traffic-calming proposal for Potrero Ave. between 17th and 25th that included removing one auto travel lane in each direction to slow speeding cars, creating striped bike lanes to increase safety for bicyclists, adding crosswalk countdown signals and pedestrian 'refuge' islands in the crosswalk medians to improve pedestrian safety, and lengthening bus zones and bulbs-out at Muni stops to improve transit operations.
Many community and advocacy groups (including the SFBC) also supported this original proposal (for more info on the original proposal that we supported, and to compare 'before' and 'after' images to see how these changes would all work together, go to http://www.sfgov.org/site/dpt_index.asp?id =26843.)
However, in response to concerns from Muni, DPT has brought forward a new proposal that appears to scale back or eliminate many of the traffic-calming improvements. Pedestrian refuges would be narrowed, only one lane of moving traffic would be eliminated, and crossing distances would not be narrowed significantly. This seems to have happened because of Muni's concerns about potential bus delay, even though Muni admits that these concerns are not based on actual studies or data that suggest that buses would be delayed.
The safety of pedestrians and cyclists should not be sacrificed, especially when there is no data to show that transit would be adversely impacted.
For more information contact Josh Hart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 431-2453x23.
IT's BIGGER THAN BIKE ART: SAVE TONs on GEAR at WINTERFEST!
Last week we told you about the SFBC's annual auction of dozens of pieces of colorful locally produced art, with many works featuring bike subjects. But there's more- in addition to our bigger-than-ever art show, you can also save a huge pile of money on great bike gear during our live & silent auction at Winterfest 2005.
You can bid on everything from folding bikes to glowing under-bike lights from Fossil Fool, along with almost every bike accessory you could imagine... and the best news is that most people win at prices much, much lower than retail. Check out a sampling of what's available in our brief online auction catalog: http://www.sfbike.org/?catalog
There truly is much to enjoy at Winterfest this year, including circus troupe "Circo Zero" which features flying dancers, extreme acrobatic feats and colorful shamanic clowns. And of course there's the free Fat Tire Ale, Fizze Soda and finger food galore. This is one Sunday night you won't want to miss - and it's coming up soon! Join us on Sunday, December 5th, from 6-10pm at the SomArts Center (934 Brannan @ 8th). Admission is $5-10 for SFBC Members, or $20 for non-members (which includes membership, a great deal).
In our final week of preparation, we have plenty of volunteer opportunities, from picking up donated items at bike shops all around town, to distributing flyers and helping at the party itself (the most fun of all). If you can lend a hand contact Michael at email@example.com or 431-2453x21.
DOUBLE TURN LANES DO DAMAGE to BIKEs & PEDESTRIANS
Double turn lanes are notoriously dangerous for bicyclists to negotiate because many drivers don't signal their intention to turn, and they make it more difficult for pedestrians to anticipate vehicle movements, especially when cars run yellow or red lights. In light of these dangers, the Department of Parking and Traffic has brought forward a very good proposal to remove the double turn lanes on Turk Street (westbound) at Gough Street. Specifically, the proposal would remove the option to turn left from the middle auto travel lane, but still require the left auto travel lane to turn left.
Even though this is a relatively small proposal, it's important to support DPT's efforts to repair the damage that their predecessors did in previous decades: "engineering" our city streets into dangerous and inhospitable mini-freeways for the exclusive use of cars. Creating a more livable city happens block-by-block, so we support DPT's attempts to 'reverse engineer' city streets to make them safe for all people, even if progress occurs one intersection at a time.
For more information about this proposal, contact Josh at 431-2453x23.
AMUSEMENT PARKS of the PAST LIVE AGAIN
Did you know that at the corners of Duboce and Folsom there was a vast garden complex that included a train, a zoo and a giant turreted mosque? Or that at the corners of Stanyan and Haight Street there was a sandy beach with water slides and entertainment that included a diving horse?
These attractions and many more will be seen in their current state on a special SFBC cultural history bike tour this Saturday, December 4th, starting from the UN Plaza in Civic Center at 10am. Our leader will bring pictures and describe the past glories of these unique places at each stop on this free tour, which proceeds at a leisurely, non-athletic pace. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Rain date: 12/11
At our next free cultural history bike tour (Dec 19th) you can admire the flying reindeer, glowing icicles, and blinking trees we'll find on this evening ride past some of the most fanciful decorations in town. Check out our calendar of events for more info: http://www.sfbike.org/?chain
REC and PARK COMMISSION APPROVES MLK WIDENING
This evening, Monday, November 29th, despite over 600 letters opposing the plan from SFBC members, the Recreation and Park Commission voted unanimously to widen MLK Drive from 9th Avenue to the Music Concourse from two lanes to four lanes for a second entrance to the underground garage under construction in Golden Gate Park. This plan was opposed by a diverse array of groups and individuals, including the SFBC, Transportation for a Livable City, WalkSF, Senior Action Network, Sierra Club, SF Greens, HANC, CVIA, Inner Sunset Merchants, SPEAK, the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, Transportation for a Livable City, the SF Bay Guardian, San Francisco Tomorrow, and many residents and local business owners near the park.
TAKE ACTION: Send an email to Mayor Gavin Newsom and ask him to use whatever means at his disposal to intervene to stop this road widening proposal. Mayor Newsom's e-mail address is email@example.com
Here's some good sample language: "I am very disappointed at the Recreation and Park Commission's decision to widen MLK at 9th & Lincoln in order to create a second entrance to the new parking garage in Golden Gate Park (Option #1). A second entrance isn't required by law, and expanding roadway capacity in the park isn't necessary to manage traffic flow. Please do what you can to stop this plan from increasing traffic and pollution in Golden Gate Park."
TAKE TIME to ELECT SFBC BOARD LEADERSHIP
We are asking all SFBC members to contribute to one of the most important organizational decisions we make each year by selecting the SFBC's Board of Directors. (This year, 7 of the 15 seats are up for election, and we have many more candidates than positions.)
To encourage more membership participation in this important process, we're trying to make it easier than ever to vote. SFBC Members will receive a personalized email later this week with Board candidates' statements and easy online voting instructions. (For members without email, we have sent paper ballots.) The voting period will last between December 1st and 15th. And, new this year, members can vote in person at the Winterfest party this Sunday night! Thanks in advance for your contribution to the SFBC's future!
If you're not a member yet, or need to renew, get that simple task done online at http://www.sfbike.org/membershi
FOUR WAYS to HELP BIKING KIDS
The Presidio YMCA and Everett Middle School Beacon Center have teamed up with the SFBC to get youth riding bikes! With an emphasis on traffic safety, nutrition, environmental awareness and advocacy, the SFBC's After School Program has kids learning about bikes at four different San Francisco schools.
Interested in helping out with the program? Here's four easy ways you can lend a hand:
If you can help with any of the above, please contact Susan Silber (sus_si@Yahoo.com) or 510-558-0821.
THIS WEEK's UPCOMING EVENTS
Check out our online calendar of events at http://www.sfbike.org/?chain
Add your bike event to our calendar by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Events not sponsored by the SFBC are marked with an *)
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