On Tuesday, April 15, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted to increase funding for biking… a little bit. As we’ve reported in the past, the agency has historically spent a shocking less than 1% of its budget on biking. The result has been relatively glacial improvements on our streets despite the 96% boom in bicycling since 2006. As anyone can see, no matter how they’re getting around, too many streets remain confusing and chaotic.
On Tuesday, the MTA voted to essentially double funding for biking, from a rounding error to a still tiny fraction of its budget. Unfortunately, the vast majority of this funding is dependent on San Francisco voters approving ballot measures this fall that promises to increase transportation funding. This budget cycle the SFMTA Board actually questioned the Agency’s poor track record of funding biking, for the first time ever. We are heartened that the MTA is moving in the right direction, but concerned that much-needed bike improvements are not budgeted for.
While a small increase in funding, the proposed budget increase will mean some much-needed improvements to the streets you bike on. With this funding, you can expect to see about 6.4 miles of upgraded or new bikeways and 2,163 bike parking spaces on our streets each year for the next two years (assuming that the ballot measures pass). In the next two years, we should see improvements to key biking streets: Market Street, Howard Street, 7th Street, 8th Street and much more. The funding would not be penciled in for these projects were it not for the dedicated members who have written to the MTA Board and Mayor, and spoken up at community meetings and public hearings over the last six months. Your voices made the difference, and we can’t thank you enough.
But rest assured, the SF Bicycle Coalition’s active campaign to fund biking is far from over.
The MTA is submitting its budget to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors for consideration. It will now be up to the Mayor and Board to decide whether this is enough funding for biking. These elected officials still have the power to increase funding for biking. Please take a moment to send a message to Mayor Lee and your Supervisor (find your Supervisor here) to let them know that you want biking funded.
SEND A LETTER OF SUPPORT
Dear Mayor Lee and Supervisor __,
My name is …
I’m writing to urge you to get serious about funding biking in San Francisco.
[A brief description about why you care about better biking.]