Bike_Lane.jpgThe San Francisco Superior Court lifted a four-year-old bike plan injunction today, allowing a planned 45 bike lane projects to move forward.

The court found that the city is in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, dissolving a 2006 injunction that prohibited city engineers from moving forward on planned bicycle planned improvements intended to enhance street safety and usability for bicycles, according to the city attorney’s office.

The original bike plan was adopted in May 2005, but the Superior Court forbid the city to implement any projects until it completed a full environmental impact report and re-adopted the plan, according to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

A Nov. 2009 order lifted significant portions of the injunction, but left limited restrictions intact while environmental reviews for a few of the projects were under review.

Since that modification, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has completed nine new bike lane projects, installed 1,600 shared roadway markings, installed more than 402 sidewalk bike racks and five on-street “bike corrals,” and created a green bikeway on Fell Street and one on Market Street, according to the Mayor’s office.

“With this decision, better bicycling in San Francisco starts now,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom in a prepared statement. “From today on, our efforts to promote bicycling as a healthy and environmentally sustainable transportation alternative will surge.”

He added that bicycling has increased 34 percent since last year. The first post-injunction project will include significant bike improvements on Townsend Street, Laguna Honda Boulevard, and North Point Street.

“Today is the beginning of a new era for bicycling in San Francisco,” said SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford in a prepared statement.

Renie Rivera, acting executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, said that this is the first time in the city’s history that this many bike lane projects have been approved and ready to be striped.

“These long-awaited improvements will help growing numbers of people feel more confident, comfortable and safe when they bike to shop, to work and to play,” she said in a prepared statement.

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