BikeLane.jpgFor San Francisco residents and tourists alike who want to ride their bicycles where they like (to paraphrase the words of Queen), the City is readying itself to accommodate you.

Representatives from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) appeared this morning along North Point Street (at the Embarcadero) for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate San Francisco’s first completed bike lane.

The one-mile cyclist-friendly stretch of road, which runs in both directions from Van Ness to the Embarcadero and will connect The Embarcadero to the Ft. Mason waterfront bike path, is part of a bigger plan to bring 30 additional miles of bike lanes to the City’s streets.

“We are thrilled to see the City’s dedication in getting the North Point bike lane striped so quickly and are urging the city to keep up this pace of improving streets for so many people,” said Renée Rivera, Acting Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, in a released statement. “This is the first time in San Francisco’s history that this many bike lane projects are approved and funded and we are urging the City to commit to striping 15 of these projects by December.”

The commemoration comes a few weeks after the San Francisco Superior Court lifted a four-year-old bike plan injunction that would have prevented any bike improvement projects from taking place. Instead, the Court’s decision paved the way for the City’s plans to help accommodate the 34% increase in bicycling since last year and the 53% surge over the past few years.

It also may help to assuage bicyclists and activism organizations (such as Fix Fell, the group who blocked the entrance of a San Francisco ARCO gas station a couple weeks ago) who have been frustrated over a perceived lack of safety for bicyclists.

“In San Francisco, more than 100,000 trips a day are made by bicycle–for shopping and dining as well as commuting,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “I know that with a safer and more robust bike network, more and more San Franciscans will start bicycling.”

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  • Sean

    The fact remains that enforcement will not exist. If all goes as it has with every other bike lane in the city, and it will. Double parking, idling, delivery and any other reason drivers find to use the bike lanes for their convenience will happen unabated to the detriment to cyclists.

    See Fell street and Arco as automobiles line up in the newly painted bike lane waiting to fill up on cheap gas while cyclist meander around the auto maze in and out of the fell street traffic.

    Take a trip to the ferry tale bike lane located in front of the Ferry Plaza a bike lane from hell as the Ace/Ferry Plaza Valet use bike lanes to jockey cars back for the convenience of drivers not wanting to walk to dinner causing cyclists to go head to bumper against the traffic on Embarcadero.

    The list goes on, churches, schools, fed ex, you name it, it is out there preventing bike lanes from being used for what they were intended, cyclists.

    The irony is, If the bike lanes were not there, the Arco and Ferry Plaza death traps would not exist. It is due to the fact that the bike lanes create enough space out of the way of vehicular traffic so as not to hinder traffic that this abuse continues unabated. But as we are well aware, the voices of inconvenienced motorist resonate louder with the MTA and others then the voices of us whining cyclist and our petty grievances.

    Bikes lane are of little use or worse a siren song creating a sense of safety that does not exist if auto abuse of bike lanes are allowed to continue as it has unabated with the silent approval of the SFBC, the SFMTA and City Hall.

    Stencils, signage, fines, education and enforcement need to occur before we can rightfully celebrate the creation of a new bike lane. Until then or in absence of, separated bike lanes are the only viable solution for traffic sewers such as Fell, Embarcadero and Van Ness and others.

    Sean

  • Sean

    The fact remains that enforcement will not exist. If all goes as it has with every other bike lane in the city, and it will. Double parking, idling, delivery and any other reason drivers find to use the bike lanes for their convenience will happen unabated to the detriment to cyclists.

    See Fell street and Arco as automobiles line up in the newly painted bike lane waiting to fill up on cheap gas while cyclist meander around the auto maze in and out of the fell street traffic.

    Take a trip to the ferry tale bike lane located in front of the Ferry Plaza a bike lane from hell as the Ace/Ferry Plaza Valet use bike lanes to jockey cars back for the convenience of drivers not wanting to walk to dinner causing cyclists to go head to bumper against the traffic on Embarcadero.

    The list goes on, churches, schools, fed ex, you name it, it is out there preventing bike lanes from being used for what they were intended, cyclists.

    The irony is, If the bike lanes were not there, the Arco and Ferry Plaza death traps would not exist. It is due to the fact that the bike lanes create enough space out of the way of vehicular traffic so as not to hinder traffic that this abuse continues unabated. But as we are well aware, the voices of inconvenienced motorist resonate louder with the MTA and others then the voices of us whining cyclist and our petty grievances.

    Bikes lane are of little use or worse a siren song creating a sense of safety that does not exist if auto abuse of bike lanes are allowed to continue as it has unabated with the silent approval of the SFBC, the SFMTA and City Hall.

    Stencils, signage, fines, education and enforcement need to occur before we can rightfully celebrate the creation of a new bike lane. Until then or in absence of, separated bike lanes are the only viable solution for traffic sewers such as Fell, Embarcadero and Van Ness and others.

    Sean