SFBC Biker Bulletin
March 20, 2005
BRIDGE BIKING RESOLUTIONS HEAD TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Two resolutions that defend our right to get around the Bay Area freely under human power go to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday (3/22/05) afternoon for approval. Working with the SFBC and others, Supervisor Ammiano has introduced a resolution calling upon the state legislature and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to fund a cantilever pathway on the West Span of the Bay Bridge out of any increase in auto tolls. The resolution has been co-sponsored by Supervisors Dufty, Daly, Alioto-Pier, and Mirkarimi. You can find out more about our campaign for a shore to shore pathway to Oakland by visiting www.sfbike/baybridge. Also (if you haven't already), send a quick and free fax to the MTC supporting this project by visiting www.sfbike.org/baybridge_fax
Also, Supervisor Mirkarimi has introduced a resolution calling on the Golden Gate Bridge Board to cease consideration of the much maligned $1 bike/ ped toll on the Golden Gate Bridge. Find out more about this campaign at www.sfbike.org/ggb
Thanks to all these Supervisors who are putting the City's "transit first" policies into action! Please come and speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting where these important resolutions will be voted on. The Board meeting begins at 2pm, but public comment is number 39 on the agenda, and will probably be heard after 4:30. If you would like to be called before public comments comes up (so you don't have to wait around), please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number.
POTRERO IMPROVEMENTS PASS MTA BOARD
Thanks to all those who wrote letters, made phone calls, and especially to those who showed up last Tuesday to speak at the Municipal Transportation Agency meeting in support of the Potrero traffic calming improvements. The proposal passed unanimously, 6-0. The public testimony was heavily weighted in favor of the proposal, with the most emotional moments coming from the principal of Buena Vista Elementary, who testified about having to visit the morgue to identify the body of Elizabeth Dominguez, who was killed by a Muni maintenance truck driver. He also said that students often arrive at school having wet their pants because they were almost hit by a car.
A nurse from General Hospital testified that his fellow nurses have returned to the hospital in an ambulance after getting hit by a car within a few blocks of Potrero on foot or bike. Clearly it is an understatement to say that Potrero is overdue for safety improvements.
Next steps: The project will now head to the Planning Department to receive environmental clearance. Then it will be on to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. The goal is still to have the project implemented by May 19th, Bike to Work Day.
What you can do: Please contact your Supervisor to ask that they support the compromise project, and to do what they can to facilitate the project being implemented as soon as possible. Please contact your Supervisor, especially if they are Maxwell, Ammiano, or Daly. Contact info can be found at www.sfbike.org/leaders
TUBE TIMES FOLDING PARTY--THIS WEDNESDAY
Folding, folding, folding! Tube Times folding party this Wednesday, March 23rd at the new SFBC offices. Come help fold, staple and label the Tube Times and help us get the Bike to Work Day issue out the door! All hands needed. As always, we'll provide tasty treats and dinner. Good people, great conversation & a whole lot of Tube Times! Starting at 5pm til the work is complete at the new SFBC Office: 995 Market Street Suite 1550. For more info, contact Jodie at email@example.com or at 415-431-BIKE x 305 (new extension).
YOUR CALLS MAKING A DIFFERENCE ON CALTRAIN CRISIS
Just one day after we put out the Action Alert in last week's Biker Bulletin about the threat to the planned Caltrain bike station at 4th & King, more than 50 of you had already called decisonmakers to urge them to protect and proceed with the project. Thank you! Your action helped win the station, at least, a one-week reprieve.
At the Municipal Transportation Agency meeting last week, many SFBC members and allies spoke during open public comment on this issue. Director Michael Burns reported that this appears to be a staff-led decision, and no official action has been taken by the Joint Powers Board, yet Burns indicated that if it came to a vote now, the JPB would shoot down the Bikestation. Caltrain, facing a major budget deficit, is reluctant to take responsibility for the facility without an operator being identified.We have a meeting set up with key stakeholders this week, including Caltrain, the Mayor's Office, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, and the SF Co. Transportation Authority. Stay tuned for what's next -- we anticipate needing more of your help down the road to make sure this fully funded bike parking station actually gets built.
You can express support for the Bikestation by calling 650-508-6200 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE BIKE IMPROVEMENTS IMMINENT: 14TH/FOLSOM BIKE BOX, SJ-GUERRERO BIKE LANES
Late breaking news: The Department of Parking and Traffic is striping San Francisco's first "bike box" at the intersection of 14th and Folsom today. This innovative bike facility allows cyclists a space to wait ahead of the cars, to get into position for a turn, or just to avoid breathing car exhaust. Also, work has started on the San Jose Guerrero Bike Lanes that will run from Randall to Cesar Chavez. Thanks to the DPT for their work on these important safety improvements.
SAVE THE DATE: BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE -HEARING ON LEVEL OF SERVICE, APRIL 6TH
The Potrero hearing was yet another reminder of the groundswell of dissatisfaction and outrage over the City's policies of prioritizing automobile convenience over public safety and multi-modal development. Many of these policies are codified in the Planning Department's method of analyzing the environmental impact of pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. In a nutshell, they consider the impacts on motorist delay (through the Level of Service, or LOS measure) to be more "significant" than pedestrians and bicyclists being injured and killed, and the continued degradation of our environment through auto dependence. It sounds crazy, and it is!
Thankfully, a growing coalition of citizens, supervisors, and nonprofit groups is taking this issue to the next level, and demanding that the City change its administrative procedures to be more in line with our adopted Transit First Policy.
Save the date for this important hearing:
BIKE LOBBY TAKES ON CAPITOL HILL
More than 350 bike advocates and bike industry representatives flexed our political muscle at the federal level last week at the annual National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. Highlights of the conference included addresses from Senator (and bicyclist) John Kerry and Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta. The SFBC's Executive Director Leah Shahum met with aides from the offices of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, urging them to pass a federal transportation reauthorization bill that supports and encourages bicycling and walking.
The House version of the bill, which passed a week ago, includes a new Safe Routes to School program, which bike and pedestrian advocates worked hard for, as well as other good bike provisions. We are now trying to get an important addition to the Senate version of the bill -- "Fair Share for Safety" would require that a percentage of each state's highway safety funds be spent addressing bicycle and pedestrian safety, an amount equivalent to the problem in that state. For instance, 20% of California's traffic fatalities are pedestrians and bicyclists, yet only 4% of our state traffic safety funding is spent on pedestrians and bicyclists. The Fair Share for Safety provision would raise that spending level to a 20% minimum.
DAYTIME VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Desperation is setting in...SFBC really NEEDS daytime volunteer help! With Bike to Work Day around the corner, projects are piling up and we need member help to get it all done in time! Projects can be as easy as envelope stuffing to simple data entry. Come on by our *new*office at 995 Market St. Suite 1550. If you have an hour, we have a project! Remember, barter memberships are always available. For more info, contact Jodie at 431-BIKE x305 or email@example.com.
BIKE HEROS FEATURED WEDNESDAY
Let's try this again...THIS Wednesday, March 23rd, check out an article about four Bike Heroes - all SFBC members! - at sfgate.com. According to author Lawrence Gallagher, the profiles address "some of the existential questions that arise for me as a biker wending his way through a world of cars..."
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