Supervisors, cyclists urge City to fast-track
Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Gerardo Sandoval, Ross Mirkarimi, Tom
College Board Trustee John Rizzo and BART Director Tom Radulovich
join San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum
during a press conference Tuesday calling on the city to fast-track
the San Francisco Bike Plan. Photos by Adam Aufdencamp,
special to Fog City Journal
Bicycle advocates gathered at City Hall Tuesday to urge the
city to fast-track its preparation of an Environemental Impact
Review (EIR), a report necessary for the implementation of San
Francisco's environmentally-friendly Bike Plan.
According to the San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion (SFBC), the city
has pushed back the expected completion date of the environmental
review to mid-2009, one year later than expected.
The coalition warns that because of the City's backpeddling,
bicyle improvement projects will not be implemented until 2010,
four years after the City's Bike Plan was initially held up by
"The delay in action on the bicycle plan is unacceptable
for a City that calls itself a green leader," said Leah Shahum,
Executive Director of the 8,000-member strong San Francisco Bicycle
Coalition. "With more than 50 percent of carbon emissions
coming from vehicles, you would hope that the City would make
it a higher priority to advance sustainable transportation."
"We urge the Mayor and City leaders to commit every available
resource toward getting this Bike Plan back on track," Shahum
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum
The San Francisco Bike Plan, which was approved in mid-2005 with
unanimous support from Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors,
was unexpectedly stopped in its tracks after an injunction order
was granted in mid-2006.
Following the injunction, the City committed publicly to complete
the environmental review by the end of the first quarter of 2008.
But since then, that schedule has slipped by a year to mid-2009,
calling into question City leaders' commitment to the importance
of green transportation.
"At this rate, it is unlikely that we will see any new bike
lanes or even bike parking racks in San Francisco until well into
2010," Shahum said, referring to the months it is expected
to take between the completion of the environmental review and
the actual implementation of projects. "We're looking at
four years of total standstill on bicycle improvement projects.
That would be an embarrassment for San Francisco, and we think
our City leaders can do better."
An overwhelming majority of San Franciscans support bike improvements:
75 percent of voters say "City government should do more
to encourage bicycling as a routine form of transportation in
San Francisco," according to a poll conducted by David Binder
Research in November 2007.
According to the poll, more than 100,000 people - or 16 percent
of San Francisco's population - use a bicycle more than once a