Safe Routes to School
The Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) and California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) have succeeded in finding sponsors for a Safe Routes to School Bill of 1999, which will be introduced to the California Assembly this year. The bill would provide much-needed funding to make it safer for thousands of California children to walk and bike to school. The bill raises no new taxes and places no new mandates on local governments. Rather it will direct as much as $20 million a year in federal safety funds currently being spent on highways, into neighborhoods that need it most.
The bill will likely come up for a hearing in April. We need as much support as possible. Contact your Assembly member and ask them to support AB1475: Carole Migden (415-673-5560) and Kevin Shelley (415-885-1212). We will keep you updated on the bill's progress.
Broadening the SFBC
Do you think the SFBC is too white, middle-class, and male-dominated? A new committee is forming to reach out to communities and neighborhoods that are under represented within the Coalition.
Our first meeting on Thursday, April 15th will initiate an ongoing discussion about race, class, gender, and transportation and how the SFBC can better promote the bicycle to lower-income communities and people of color. Meet at 6:30 pm in the SFBC office, 1095 Market @ 7th St., 2nd floor. Call Mary at 431-BIKE, x1 for more information.
Cyclists and Pedestrians Stand up to the City
SFBC activists have joined forces with Walk San Francisco and Rescue Muni to fight the city's proposal on Third Street to convert a parking lane into an inadequate transit-only lane between Folsom and Kearny Streets. While this sounds like a great thing, on Third St. the sidewalks narrow to only 10 feet wide, making the buffer of parked cars a benefit. This is particularly troubling with the area's numerous cultural and children's attractions.
The plan also calls for shaving up to five feet off the Lotta's Fountain island, a crowded pedestrian retreat at Market Street, requiring pedestrians to cross five lanes instead of four at Kearny Street.
Our alternative proposal would create a longer, transit-only lane from Townsend to Market Street in the right-hand travel lane, leaving the parking spaces as a buffer for pedestrians and eliminating the need to reduce the Lotta's Fountain island. The DPT opposed our idea because it would "reduce capacity" (read "automobile capacity"). And they call this a transit-first city? Attend the next Transit-First Market St. Alliance to learn more.
Sting Operation Focuses on Bike Thefts
Finally addressing the epidemic of bike theft in the city, the SF Police Department, under the direction of Officer Jim Miller, is setting up a sting operation. They plan to lock up bikes with insecure locks and catch the thief who attempts to steal them.
Most bikes are stolen by members of large, organized rings. Thieves typically steal several bikes in one trip and transport them to another city or state to sell. Police have done little to stop the practice, but Miller's initiative should change that. He is looking for a bike that is worth at least $1,000 to use as bait.
Miller also encourages cyclists to record their bikes' serial numbers. Most bikes have a unique serial number stamped on the bottom of the bottom bracket (the piece that holds the crank arms that hold the pedals).
City CarShare Builds Grassroots Support
Learn about global car-sharing organizations and San Francisco's own City CarShare's goals at an Earth Day fundraising party Tuesday, April 20th.
Car-sharing is a neighborhood-based, time-share car rental program that allows people to use vehicles when needed and pay based on how much they drive. Car-sharing dramatically reduces the number of cars in an urban area and supports a practical shift away from over-dependency on cars.
The party is co-hosted by SFBC Director Dave Snyder and Sustainable City Director Beryl Magilavy and speakers include Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano. Join us at the Sierra Club, 85 2nd Street. $20 donation is requested. For information, call 415-285-5842.