State Bill Offers Millions for Bike Safety
The California Bicycle Coalition's Senate Bill 1555--which would tack a $5 penalty onto the driver's license renewal fee for those motorists with two or more points on their record and create a $3.25 illion walking and bicycling promotion fund--has passed policy committees in both the State Assembly and Senate in funded form. The bill, sponsored by Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) who is a bicyclist, passed despite the opposition of AAA.
Studies show that drivers with a history of driving infractions represent a high-risk source of danger to child pedestrians. Drivers who hit a child pedestrian were 3.9 times more likely to have a history of citations. Yet, currently none of the approximately $145 million the state receives annually from moving violations is directly applied to improving pedestrian or bicyclist safety.
The funding would be used by the state Department of Health Services to fund programs that increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility and to educate motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians about road safety.
Check www.calbike.org for updates and more information.
Mission Creek Bikeway Plan Unveiled
Thanks to funding from the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission and SF Department of Parking & Traffic (DPT), as well as support from the SF Board of Supervisors and the SF Tranposrtation Authority, a yearlong planning process was completed in June showing how the Bikeway could be built. The effort was led by Josh Hart of Rails to Trails Conservancy and Judy West of the Madrina Group, with help from the SFBC and DPT. The groups looked at the opportunities and constraints along the corridor, ultimately devising a plan that combines off-street bike paths, on-street bike lanes, and a "bicycle boulevard." The next steps are to work out important land acquisition issues and find funding to build the Bikeway.
To view the Mission Creek Bikeway and Greenbelt Concept Plan, see www.missioncreek.org. To get involved, contact Leah at 431-BIKE, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gearing Up for November Elections
We led an amazingly successful effort to help elect a majority of pro-bicycle candidates to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in November 2000. Now we are gearing up for the November 2002 elections in which five Supervisor seats will be decided--Marina (District 2), Sunset (4), SOMA/Tenderloin (6), Noe/Castro (8), and Bayview/Potrero (10). Just like last time, the key to our success will be SFBC members' energy and motivation to help the best candidates get elected.
We will send a survey to candidates in early August, athen review their responses later that month. Interested SFBC members are invited to join the process. To take part in the members' meetings between August 22 and 28 to analyze the candidates' surveys, contact 431-BIKE, ext. 0 for details. The survey responses will also go on our web site at www.sfbike.org (thanks to our friends at digipop!). Members can vote online between September 5th and 18th. Members without web access will be mailed a ballot. Members' votes will be tallied--with the final ratification by the SFBC Board of Directors--and the SFBC's endorsements announced at the end of September and in the October Tube Times.
Then the real fun begins as we ask for members' help in mobilizing for the best candidates. Thanks to members' dedication in the last Supervisors' election, the SFBC became one of the most sought-after endorsements in the city. Let's do it again and make sure we have bike-friendly city leaders.
Breathing Room On Fell Street
Fell Street was recently resurfaced and you may have noticed that there is now more space for bikes in the far left-hand lane--an extra 18 inches to be exact! During the resurfacing, three traffic lanes were narrowed in order to make more room for bikes. The DPT is considering striping this extra space as a bike lane on the three blocks between Scott and the entrance to the Panhandle at Baker St. Their proposal calls for rescinding the 4pm-6pm tow-away zone to create permanent full-time parking and a (substandard) bike lane to the far left. DPT is conducting engineering tests in July to determine the feasibility of removing the rush hour lane.
This is a great improvement, but the SFBC thinks that on such a busy street, which is also a critical link in the citywide Bike Network, there needs to be the safest width of bicycle lane possible. We're advocating narrowing the moving car lanes by a combined six more inches to create a safer, wider bicycle lane.
For the nitty-gritty of the SFBC's proposal, see www.sfbike.org/campaigns/bicycle_network. If you're interested in lobbying for wider bike lanes, contact Mary Brown at email@example.com. While you're at it, send an email to the Mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org, strongly recommending increasing the proposed widty of the bike lane.
Cabrillo St. Lanes
At press time legislation was headed to the Board of Supervisors to add bike lanes the length of Cabrillo Street in the Richmond. A huge thanks to the SFBC's Richmond Committee volunteers! Check www.sfbike.org for an update.
Bike Hut Reopens
The Bike Hut at South Beach, a youth training and job creating site in operation since 1996, is reopening in affiliation with the SFBC. Owner Victor Veysey teaches business and life skills lessons to at-risk youth from around the Bay Area. Income to support the Hut comes from rental, sale and repair of bikes, including used parts. Your patronage and donations of time, skills, and bicycles are always appreciated. To find out how you can get involved, please call 543-4335 or visit The Bike Hut at Pier 40 on the Embarcadero at Townsend (www.thebikehut.com).