Quick Releases

Howard Street - Halfway There!

Supervisor Chris Daly re-introduced legislation in November to put bike lanes on Howard Street, and this time the Department of Parking & Traffic has prepared an analysis showing the traffic impact to be insignificant. Bike lanes will be installed shortly!

Daly's revised proposal calls for bike lanes from 5th Street to 11th Street. The rest of the street will require more analysis before bike lanes can be installed, according to the Department of Parking & Traffic. It was at the insistence of the Planning Department that traffic analysis was required and delayed Daly's first proposal to install bike lanes the entire length of Howard Street. The SFBC will work with the Department of Parking & Traffic to make sure bike lanes are installed along the rest of Howard Street in early 2002.

Safer San Jose Ave. Coming Soon

You already know of our success on Valencia Street - now we're moving south! We're finally making progress for safer bicycling on San Jose Avenue, a crucial bike route to the southern part of the city. Supervisor Mark Leno is introducing legislation to create and extend bike lanes along San Jose Avenue, providing a safe, fast, flat route connecting the Mission District to City College, SFSU, Glen Park, Outer Mission and more. With Leno's support we expect to have bike lanes along this important cross-town route within months and priority placement of the "Bikes Allowed Full Use of the Lane, Use Left Lane to Pass" signs. The San Jose Avenue bike lanes link up with proposed bike improvements in District 11, including bike lanes on Alemany Boulevard. If you'd like to join our committee for these projects, contact Mary Brown at 431-BIKE, ext. 4 or marybrown@sfbike.org.

Signage Added at Deadly Intersection

New bike signs and stencils at 13th and South Van Ness
Department of Parking & Traffic engineers have installed signs and stencils on South Van Ness Ave. and 13th St. to alert bicyclists and motorists as to where bicyclists should ride to navigate this intersection most safely. This is where bicyclist Carmen Murillo was killed in September. At this and other locations with double turn lanes, bicyclists are forced to use the center of a middle traffic lane. The improvements at S. Van Ness and 13th are a good start to increasing safety at such intersections, and the SFBC would like to see these improvements extended to all double turn lanes. The SFBC also favors eliminating all such double turn lanes on bike routes (which this is not). The DPT's Tom Folks says the DPT primarily considers traffic needs in deciding whether to install double turn lanes.

Caltrain Improvements Steam Ahead

Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga …whoo-whooooo! Recent Caltrain service improvements are cause to pack your panniers and take a day trip to parts south. With the delivery of new rolling stock, Caltrain increased its weekday service to half-hourly in September 2000 and added two bonus trains in April 2001. This increases capacity for cyclists, as each run has at least one car fitted for bicycles (an assured capacity of 24 bikes). Some refurbished cars are hitting the tracks, outfitted for 32 bikes. By next March, all bike cars will accommodate 32 bikes—increasing bicycle capacity by 56.8% since September 2000. Caltrain's viability as a transit option for San Francisco's cycling community rolls onward.

There are still areas for improvement, of course:

CarShare Courts Local Businesses

City CarShare already has 1,000 members sharing a fleet of 35 cars parked in 13 San Francisco locations and will soon open in the East Bay. That means fewer cars on the streets already.

Now City CarShare is working to reduce the number of car commuters by offering its services to Bay Area businesses.

It doesn't make sense for employees to drive their personal cars to work and pay the exorbitant cost of parking only to drive them for an hour or so to get to a meeting. It also contributes to traffic congestion and the city's parking problems. Not to mention the angst of driving.

Here's how the program works. Ask your employer to join City CarShare as a business member. The costs are minimal when compared to rentals, taxis, and parking. There's a one-time, fully refundable $500 deposit to join (the deposit is equivalent to the insurance deductible), plus a $30 application fee to check the driving record of every employee who signs up. City CarShare will come to your office to give a private orientation and distribute key fobs and member handbooks after each employee's application is received. Then your employer simply pays for the use of the cars: $2.50 an hour (capped at $25 per day) and $0.45/mile. These rates include comprehensive insurance, gas, car cleanings, and repairs.

If Bay Area businesses join the program, more employees can bike, walk, and take public transit to work and leave their cars at home.

For more information, visit City CarShare's website at www.citycarshare.org.