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SFBC Agenda 2001: Thinking Big by Dave Snyder
The SFBC's stronger-than-expected majority on the Board of Supervisors presents an opportunity that we cannot let slip through our fingers. We can only fail by not thinking big enough, or by not moving fast enough. Our focus should be on substantial changes, the kinds of things that will make San Francisco the Amsterdam of the U.S. when it comes to bike accommodations.
- Complete the citywide Bike Network. Every single neighborhood should be connected to a system of bike routes which provide car-free space or shared space with speed limits of 15 mph or less. Remember, 72% of voters said they support more bike lanes, and nearly half of all adults already own bicycles.
- Institute an immediate parking moratorium in SoMa and the Financial District. Proposals to expand parking garages on Mission Street and downtown must be stopped. Proposals to build new parking garages must be prevented. The moratorium should last until a study is completed to determine where we should widen sidewalks and build bus-only and bike-only lanes, and what impact such changes would have on traffic and transportation choices.
- Replace San Francisco's 1950s-era zoning codes. Requiring parking with every residential development drives up housing costs and exacerbates the traffic problem. Modern zoning should encourage car-free development, not car dependence.
- Create car-free zones. Several places in Golden Gate Park should be closed to cars, starting with JFK Drive on Saturdays. Muni Director Michael Burns has advocated restricting cars from the easternmost portions of Market Street. Converting Jefferson Street near Fisherman's Wharf to a pedestrian and bicycle zone would enhance that tourist destination and complete a gap in the bicycle network.
- Strengthen the rights of victims of aggressive or reckless driving. Motorists who endanger the lives of bicyclists and pedestrians should not have complete impunity, the message currently sent by the Police Department's lax enforcement of violence against bicyclists and peds.
- Launch a PR campaign to promote bicycling as safe, healthy, and good for the city.
We will also work to build public support for our agenda, so that the Supervisors who want to support us will in fact be responding to public demand. Our grassroots organizing and pressure will be more important than ever. To get involved in any of these, or other, initiatives, call 431-BIKE, x-1.