Bike Plan Update... What's Up? by Mary Brown

Hey, I keep hearing about this bike plan update--what's all the fuss about?

The citywide bike plan update is a really big deal--potentially the biggest transformation of city streets since the roads were paved 100 years ago! The Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT) Bicycle Program and the SFBC have both received major grants for the outreach, planning, and technical engineering needed to update the city's Bike Plan. We're going neighborhood by neighborhood to find important bike routes and connectors that need to be improved upon. The end result is to have a citywide network of streets to get you from here to there, all in the comfort of connecting bike lanes, paths, and slow, traffic-calmed streets.

Wow. What else is involved?

Citywide design standard policies like colored bike lanes, bike boxes, bike signal lights and arrows will also be studied and considered. While these may just sound like tedious engineering concepts, they could have a major impact on your bicycle commute every day. Imagine the joy of riding to work or school in a bike lane that is covered with a layer of brick-red colored asphalt!

Gosh, sounds like a lot of work.

Indeed. Luckily we will hire several part-time community planners to help coordinate the planning outreach process. But we're still going to rely heavily on our fantastic membership base to get the word out. Let us know if you're interested in becoming the Bike Captain for your neighborhood or if you can help with phone-tree calling, flyering, getting Bike Network brochures distributed, promoting meetings, etc..

Hmmm. I want to get involved but don't have much time...

Don't fret! You can help influence the future of your neighborhood streets simply by letting us know where you want to see bike improvements. We're launching an online survey at www.sfbike.org in October, plus we'll be sending out thousands of survey postcards, so you can spend just a few minutes to let us know what you want fixed in your neck of the woods.

Great! When does this all start?

Right now! The DPT's consultants will spend the next month studying design standards (arrows, colored bike lanes, etc.) then get ready for the big planning process. The goal is to have all the outreach, planning, technical analysis, and hunting and gathering of support completed by next summer. That means the consultants will have plans drawn up and the SFBC will have petitions and letters of support in hand from bicyclists, neighbors, and merchants. We'll immediately bring the updated plan to the Board of Supervisors for approval, then watch our streets transform! For more details and to help out, contact Bike Network Director Mary Brown at mary@sfbike.org or 431-BIKE, ext. 4.