Quick Releases

Does Howard Work?
Howard Street has been partially re-striped in an attempt to improve safety for cyclists. The Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) is narrowing most traffic lanes on the one-way thoroughfare to 9.5 feet to make room for a 22.5-foot wide right lane. The re-striping is complete between 6th and 10th Streets, with the remainder to be finished in a few months.

The SFBC opposed this plan when it first surfaced in 1997, favoring a true bike lane instead. The current compromise put forth by DPT shows a willingness by that agency to be flexible on standards about car lane width but may force cyclists to ride in the door zone, especially between 1st and 6th Sts. where the re-striping will result in a 12.5-foot wide tow-away curb lane. If you have feedback on how Howard Street works, please call the city's bike hotline at 585-BIKE and the SFBC at 431-BIKE, x2.

Save the Trees
Help the SFBC save reams of paper, valuable volunteer time, and lots of postage by renewing your membership early or on time! We now send out the first (of five) renewal pitches/SFBC updates about a month before memberships expire. If you intend to continue supporting the SFBC, take a moment then to renew even if your membership is still current. Your membership will be updated another full year from when it was set to expire even if you renew months in advance! The less time and money the SFBC spends retaining a strong membership base, the more resources we have to organize for a more bicycle-friendly city.

Major Changes on GG Bridge, Busses
The good news: By September bicyclists should be able to use front-mounted bike racks on all Golden Gate Transit busses. Each rack will hold up to two bikes and will be available for use 24 hours a day. Bike riders pay the same fare as other bus riders. Once the racks are installed, bikes will no longer be allowed inside the busses.

The mixed news: The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has concluded that the addition of a safety railing between the road and pathway of the GG Bridge will make it necessary to reroute some bike traffic on the west path. Because the railing is expected to dangerously reduce southbound motorists' sight distance, the railing will not be installed along the 1,200-foot stretch on the northwest side of the Bridge. A northbound, one-way bicycle path would be created along this west side approaching Marin. And southbound cyclists will be re-routed onto the Conzelman Road route onto the Bridge.

While the new situation will be less than ideal, the need for the safety railing is understandable. Thanks to SFBC members' involvement and that of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, we avoided an even worse situation in which this stretch would have been closed to cyclists in both directions. The change is expected to happen Fall 2000.

Organizing Works at City Hall
Once again, we have proved that organizing works. Thanks largely to the efforts of the SFBC and Walk SF, several new pedestrian and bike safety staff positions will be added to the city's budget for next year. When the proposed positions were threatened, we acted quickly to urge members to contact Supervisors and attend public hearings, worked with the PTA, and organized a moving demonstration at City Hall to commemorate the recent death of a 10-month-old boy hit by a car while crossing the street.

Three important, new positions will be added to the DPT next year: a traffic calming engineer, a school traffic safety coordinator, and a pedestrian coordinator (yes, believe it or not, there is no full-time, dedicated pedestrian safety staff at DPT yet), as well as steady funding for the current bike/pedestrian safety coordinator. Thanks to everyone who helped with this effort.