San Francisco bike projects get green light

June 26, 2009 6:58:39 PM PDT
San Francisco cyclists had a big victory Friday. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency gave the green light for dozens of bike projects throughout the city. The plan is expected to significantly add to the number of bike plans aimed at making biking safer and to encourage people to get out of their cars.

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Bicyclists in San Francisco have a lot to be excited about. Coming soon -- 34 miles of new bike lanes.

"Huge, huge victory for bicyclists in San Francisco; I mean we've been waiting for this day for like three years, I'm getting choked up," San Francisco Bicycle Coalition spokesperson Kate McCarthy said.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted unanimously to make the city more bike friendly than it already is by approving 45 projects that would nearly double the number of bike lines.

"Even those of us who are not bicyclists will get the benefit of this because of the air we breathe and the benefit of the example we will leave to our children to get more physically active as well," Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

But the approved bike plan means roughly 800 street parking spots will be wiped out, lanes for cars will become narrower and several left hand turn lanes will be eliminated.

"Yeah, evidently they're determined to screw up our traffic," bike plan opponent Rob Anderson said.

Anderson plans to appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors. He successfully delayed the bike project in 2006 when he sued the city for trying to create bike lanes without conducting an environmental review.

"More than 90 percent of the public is not going to benefit from this, in fact they are going to be harmed because traffic is going to be screwed up, Muni is going to be slowed down all for a politically correct minority," Anderson said.

But by most accounts, the Board of Supervisors is expected to live up to the city's "transit first" policy and support the plan which means, once a judge gives the go ahead, new bike lanes could begin to appear as early as the end of summer.

"I think of my bicycle as my best friend and I have a great time exploring the city that way and it's a great way to get around, so I hope more people will make that choice," cyclist Patricia Decker said.

LINK: SFMTA bike plan information

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