Quick Releases

Thinking Regionally, Biking Globally

Be a part of the first ever Regional Bicycle Master Plan for the Bay Area. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is creating this extensive study of the current bicycling conditions in the nine-county Bay Area region and proposing actions that will create a safer, more enjoyable cycling environment. The Plan will address regional policies, multi-modal connections, model ordinances, develop a safety index to determine high accident areas, produce a bike map, and create a project evaluation system.

The SFBC has been working closely with the consultants to identify improvements needed in SF. If you are interested, please attend the public meeting on May 3rd at S.F. City Hall (see Chain of Events), where the primary list of bike and trail projects will be presented for commentary.

Bicyclists Take National Stage

The SFBC joined more than 200 bike advocates from around the country at the First National Bike SUmmit in Washington, D.C. in late March. Photo by Scott Mullen
The SFBC was part of an impressive gathering of 200 bicyclists from around the country who came to the nation's Capital with their bicycling messages during the first National Bike Summit, organized by the League of American Bicyclists. Along with addresses from EPA administrator Christine Whitman and the Mayor of Washington D.C., we heard from the two strongest bike supporters in Congress: Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chairman of the Congressional Bike Caucus and Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

And then we took our message to the Hill, visiting the offices of more than 100 House members and more than a third of the Senate. The SFBC's Leah Shahum, along with other California bicyclists, met with staff members of Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. We talked up the need for federal funding of Market Street improvements for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit. And, on the national level, we urged Congress to co-sponsor bicycle commuting tax legislation, join the Congressional Bike Caucus, maintain and enhance bicycling provisions during reauthorization of TEA-21, and support Safe Routes to Schools programs.

Bikes Belong

The Department of Parking & Traffic kicks off an unprecedented traffic safety campaign for bicycling this month. New permanent signs at some of the entrances to the city declaring this a bike-friendly town and signs reminding motorists of bicyclists' right to use a full traffic lane will be unveiled by Mayor Brown this month. In June, the DPT's message will appear on 60 Muni buses, including full "wraps" of the tail end of 10 buses, and posters on the tail end of 50 buses. Radio announcements, street pole banners and campaign posters - like those signs that are taped to poles supporting various candidates - round out the mass media elements of the campaign. For bicycle-friendly car owners, the DPT will produce bumper stickers and small clear stickers for side view mirrors that say "Look For Bikes." For bicyclists, the DPT is giving away reflective leg bands to keep the grease off our clothing.

To complement the DPT's campaign, the SFBC will promote bicycling on 45 transit shelters, thanks to a donation from Infinity Outdoor. All design is being produced thanks to the pro bono work of Publicis Dialog, part of the largest international advertising agency on Earth. Publicis wants to help the Bicycle Coalition improve its image with the public, too many of whom confuses our organization with Critical Mass. "Bicycle Coalition equals bicycle safety equals livable city" - that's the direction we want to go. Watch for the message!

Don't Ditch Bridge Path

Rising costs of the Bay Bridge retrofit are causing politicians to seek opportunities to cut costs, and the shore-to-shore bicycle path is being threatened as an unnecessary amenity, even though the cost of both the east span and west span bike paths is less than two percent of the total cost of the retrofit. Supporters of the Bay Bridge bike path should write the editors of the San Francisco newspapers to express their support, mentioning the small fraction of total cost represented by the bike path. They accept letters via email (chronletters@sfgate.com, letters@examiner.com) and via fax (Chronicle: 543-7708, Examiner: 512-1264).

We're Staying Put

After much speculation and anxiety, the SFBC still has a home. We signed a five-year lease, with annual escape clauses, at our current home at the Grant Building at Market and Seventh Streets, on the busiest bike street in the city, a mere 20 steps from the Civic Center BART/Muni Metro transit stop. The SFBC will expand to four offices at a rate which is double our old rent, but still affordable. Many thanks to the San Francisco Foundation for its $15,000 grant to defray the costs of staying in our excellent location. We have no plans to raise membership dues to respond to our increased occupancy costs, but donations are always welcome. And thanks to everyone who helped in our search, joined our rallies, and expressed concern. We were successful! Come visit our digs some time to help celebrate.

Thanks to Fabulous Volunteers!

In addition to thanking the scores of Bike to Work Day volunteers, and the ever-fantastic Wednesday Night Volunteers, this month we extend special thanks to the following folks for donating so many hours to the SFBC: Amanda Eaken • Anna Sojourner • Brett Lutz • Licia Corio • Drew Johnson • Gernot Huber • Jeff Byers • Karen Vardeman • Keith Ferris • Kenny Egan • Liam Casey • Matt Hoover • Nicole McMorrow • Rob Bregoff • Carla Laser • Jeff Swenerton • Scott White • Also, thanks to Pedal Revolution and American Cyclery for assisting with our newsletter distribution.