Five Wins For Better Biking in 2013

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San Francisco Magazine proclaimed 2013 the “Year of the Bicycle,” and with good reason! Thanks to our tenacious members, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition won huge victories for better biking, opening up more safe bikeways, secure bike parking and lifting restrictions on regional travel by bike. Thanks to our members, we were also able to respond to unexpected and critical campaigns — like our work in response to the fatal crash on Folsom Street and holding the police accountable for fair and equal enforcement. Here are five key wins for better biking last year:

1. Removing Bikes on BART Restrictions

For decades, your SF Bicycle Coalition has been opening up more bike access on BART. We won bikes on board in the ‘70s, removed the pesky bike permit in the ‘90s and this year our work helped remove the bike blackout period for five months, opening up unlimited, all day access for you and your bike. In October, our advocacy helped lift the final restriction and bikes are now allowed on BART at all times of day! sfbike.org/bart

2. Improving SoMa Streets

In response to the four fatalities in or around SoMa this year, we launched our Safe SoMa Streets campaign. We organized thousands to sign our letter to the Mayor, calling for a redesign of Folsom Street. Thanks to this advocacy, a pilot green, buffered bike­way is already on the ground. We are now working to expand the pilot to the waterfront and have a mirror design on Howard Street and other key areas.

3. Attention to Police Response to Bike/Ped Cases

For years, we have seen systematic problems with how the police investigate bike and pedestrian crashes, revealing a deep-rooted bias against people who bike. The SFPD’s mishandling of the crash that killed Amelie Le Moulac, where they failed to look for evidence (the SF Bicycle Coalition found it), and then publicly and dangerously blamed the victims at a memorial, revealing a deeply rooted bias that many officers hold. We are proud to say that our quick advocacy on this resulted in a public hearing into the SFPD’s response and another hearing with the Police Commission and Board of Supervisors is scheduled for January 16, 2014. Let us know if you can attend at sfbike.org/enforcement

4. Progress on Big Campaigns

This year we made progress on big Connecting the City projects. We worked with com­munity champions to win approval for Masonic Avenue redesign, complete with raised bikeways, wider sidewalks and more than 100 trees. The long-awaited Cesar Chavez bikeway is on the ground. Safer redesigns and pilot plans for Polk and Market Streets moved forward.

5. Smooth Pavement on Market Street

Our city’s busiest bikeway got fresh pavement and green paint, making for a smoother, safer ride for the more than 3,000 people who bike this route every day. The City’s plan was to repave in 2017, but we knew you couldn’t wait that long for a smoother ride. Next up, more pilots on Market Street and separated bikeways from Van Ness Avenue to the waterfront!

Want to support more improvements like this? BECOME A MEMBER of the SF Bicycle Coalition, and ensure that 2014 is an even better year for biking!

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