Losing Patience, Gaining Determination by Dave Snyder, SFBC Executive Director

I'm trying to maintain good spirits since returning from Amsterdam, but it's a challenge.

My re-entry started badly, and my mood hasn't been much better since. On the bus from SFO, I growled at the new roads without bike lanes. Brand new roads, completely redesigned at the cost of millions of dollars. Not a single bike lane. There are people in the world who like to ride bicycles, you know, and some of them might like to ride their bicycle upon arrival at San Francisco Airport. What kind of welcome are they getting? Who signed off on the plan to build brand new roads and make them dangerous for bicycle riding? Did I mention I had to let the express bus pass me by because passengers with luggage are not allowed on the Samtrans express airport bus ? That makes sense. Did I mention that the shuttle to the Colma BART was not timed with the trains, and I had to wait a long time for the next train home? Good transit planning! Did I mention the bus had a convenient bike rack that was the easiest and most affordable way to get between here and the airport with a bicycle? Thank you SamTrans! See, I can be positive.

Seriously, the Amsterdam trip has raised all of our expectations. It's a powerful motivator to experience the discrepancy between what can be and what actually is. It's made me impatient.

Our January 1999 plan to build the bicycle network within five years is already 21 months old, which gives us just over three years. We will keep to that schedule if we have to go out and paint the lanes ourselves! We cannot wait 30 months, the time that elapsed from the first public hearing about the Arguello bike lanes in February of 1998 to the date they were striped in August of 2000.

Speaking of impatience, 11 years ago the SFBC and park advocates asked to extend the successful Sunday GG Park Car-free Day to Saturday, and finally, thanks to the typically herculean effort of this city's livable city activists, we have the chance this November. If you get a call to help volunteer for the Prop.F campaign, I hope you can help. In my good moods I respect the paranoid fears of car addicts who want to preserve all 5,230 of the car parking spaces in the vicinity of the eastern end of the park (1,660 within the park itself) for their anti-social driving habit. But like I said, I'm not in a good mood. The DeYoung Museum is closing this year for reconstruction. The Academy of Sciences, too, is closing soon for reconstruction. The remaining institutions do not need all 5,230+ parking spaces at the expense of car-free recreation for the denizens of this otherwise car-infested great, wonderful, city.