Quick Releases

Bike Improvements for Broadway Tunnel

For anyone who has braved a ride through the Broadway Tunnel - the official, city-recommended bike route through this hilly area linking the Chinatown and Nob Hill neighborhoods - you'll be relieved to hear that bike improvements are on the way.

The SFBC has been working closely with Supervisor Aaron Peskin's office, the Department of Parking & Traffic (DPT), and the city's Fire Department to facilitate safer bike travel, including collaborating on a grant proposal to the state for funding tunnel improvements. Until now, the problem had been getting approval to modify fire equipment in the tunnel. But thanks to commitments from the Fire Department and the Public Utilities Commission, a plan is being devised to modify tunnel fire hydrants to allow more room for bikes on the north sidewalk, along with moving the railing to make more space.

The goal is to encourage bikes to use the sidewalk on the north side (westbound), which is slightly uphill, and the roadway on the south side, since bikes can more easily take the lane in the downhill direction. The SFBC is encouraging the city to find funds to build a button-activated sign warning drivers when bikes are using the eastbound tunnel.

Many thanks to Supervisor Peskin, Dan Sullivan of the Fire Dept., and the DPT, PUC, and DPW for their dedication to improving bike conditions in the Broadway Tunnel.

Howard St. Bike Lanes Creeping Forward

Getting bike lanes on Howard Street is one of the SFBC's top priorities. The good news is that Supervisor Chris Daly introduced legislation for Howard St. bike lanes at our urging in May.

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as that - more traffic analysis "needs" to be done (for state-mandated environmental reasons... as if bike lanes could be bad for the environment!?!).

The DPT has committed to doing the traffic counts by August 15 and completing the preliminary analysis by September 14. Then Supervisor Daly should be able to bring it back to the Board of Supervisors and get a vote on this.

In the meantime, contact the following two people and urge them to make sure there is a DPT recommendation by mid-September and a Board vote on Howard St. bike lanes by October 1.

Keeping Pressure on for 7th Ave. Improvements

For the past 18 months, tireless volunteers have been working on reconfiguring 7th Avenue and Laguna Honda Blvd. We have discovered that it is very difficult for most people to visualize a safe, sane, and multimodal 7th Ave. Whether you bike, walk, or drive a car down this road, you most likely find it horrible.

However, we've met with Supervisor Matt Gonzalez and with Supervisor Tony Hall's aides, all of whom have been receptive to our ideas, and we've also met with DPT staff. Some wonderful ideas are out there for 7th Ave. and Laguna Honda, including bike lanes that continue rather than vanishing into thin air and a pedestrian-friendly area around the Forest Hill MUNI station.

If you are interested in helping with this effort, please call Jason Friedman of the Inner Sunset Safety Coalition at 566-6046, or Peggy da Silva with the SFBC at 759-6702.

Still Working on Saturdays in GG Park

The initiative to extend Sunday's popular car-free JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to Saturday may have been beaten by a deceptive counter-initiative last fall, but hope is in the air nearly a year later. Since the election, the SFBC and Walk SF have been meeting with interested Supervisors and other supporters, including neighborhood groups, environmental organizations, and skaters, to revive the efforts. In informal discussions with a majority of Supervisors, we are hearing strong support.

Many thanks to Supervisor Matt Gonzalez and his staff for leading the issue. (You can thank him at 554-7630 or matt_gonzalez@ci.sf.ca.us.) A key Supervisor to convince is Jake McGoldrick, who supported Saturday closure last fall. We urge you to contact his office to notify him of your interest in Saturday closure: 554-7410 or jake_mcgoldrick@ci.sf.ca.us.

Safe Routes to School Sails through Committee

On June 25, California Senate Bill 10 (Soto), the Safe Routes to School Bill of 2001, co-sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC) and Surface Transportation Policy Project, passed the Assembly Transportation Committee by a 14-1 vote. SB10 would extend the popular California Department of Transportation program that provides $20 million annually to cities and counties for bike lanes, sidewalks, trails, traffic calming, and other construction projects intended to get more kids walking and bicycling safely to school. "What makes this vote special is that three Republicans joined the Democrats in support of the bill," said CBC President Stephan Vance. "Maybe this is a sign that Safe Routes to School has become a truly bipartisan cause." As of press time, SB10 is headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

We Love Our Volunteers!

Thank you to the following extra-fabulous volunteers, and the members who responded to our wish list with donations!

Paul Forbes, John Klima, Michael Rauner, Dave Mahoney, Ted White, Joe Steinberger, Allison Lange, Daryl Neely, Brandon Fine, RenŽe Rivera, Rufus Davis, Gernot Huber, Steven Bodzin, Josh Hart, Mary Wings, Joe Speaks, and Russell Reagan.

Regarding our article "Shortacuts: MUNI Cut-Thru Hill Cheat" (May 2001): We've learned that MUNI is making a new effort to discourage both bikers and peds from using the J-Church right-of-way between 20th and 22nd Sts., for safety reasons. Small signs now declare "Active Railroad - No Trespassing."