Today San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee just announced that the city’s long-awaited Bike Plan will finally begin to be implemented this June. This is incredibly great news for the thousands of bicyclists who commute in our city every day. As you may already know, the city-wide Bike Plan has been held up for nearly three years by a fatuous lawsuit and injunction, which has prevented the city from making any Bike Network improvements whatsoever, even something as basic as installing a simple bike rack.
City Hall Expresses Their Support for the Bike Plan
In a rare demonstration of progressive leadership, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell put the Bike Plan issue on the top of today’s Land Use Committee agenda, in order to update and inform city residents about the status of the Bike Plan and when the injunction will be lifted. The SFMTA gave an enlightening presentation that articulated their continued support for prioritizing safe bike transportation in the city, and explained where the agency is currently at in relation to the Bike Plan. They announced that the Bike Plan EIR should be finalized shortly, the injunction lifted by June, and assured the committee that new bike lanes would finally begin being striped by this summer. The SFMTA also expressed their wholehearted support for implementing colored pavement for bike lanes, a city-wide bike-sharing program, increased bicycle facilities, on-street bike parking, as well as carefully analyzing the big picture, in order to determine what is the best use of San Francisco’s streets.
In San Francisco’s City Hall, the SFMTA Assistant Director of Planning, Timothy Papandreou, addresses Supervisors Eric Mar, Sophie Maxwell and David Chiu on the Land Use and Economic Development Committee regarding the Bike Plan.
City Hall’s conference room was packed with scores of bike advocates and members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, some of whom voiced their concerns regarding the Bike Plan, as well as how long this process has been dragging on. Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the SFBC, informed the Land Use and Economic Development Committee that current bicycling statistics show that during the last two years the number of bicyclists during rush hour traffic has exploded 43% in San Francisco.
There has never before been a greater need for a safe interconnected bike network and improved biking facilites in our city. The committee was very supportive of all of the work and research that has been done to complete the Bike Network, and asked several pointed questions as to how they could help facilitate the process. Supervisor David Chiu enthusiastically remarked that “We can’t wait for June of 2009 for the Bike Plan to finally be adopted.” I could not agree with him more.