Golden Gate Bridge safety proposals anger cyclists

April 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Safety consultants for the Golden Gate Bridge Thursday presented recommendations to bridge directors that have shocked and angered bicycle groups. One proposal is to limit bicycle speeds on the bridge to 10 miles per hour. What really concerns advocates is that they were not consulted for the report.

Dangerous congestion with cyclists and pedestrians on the Golden Gate Bridge leads to accidents and has drawn concern.

Cyclist Herb Boll thinks a bicycle speed limit is a good idea.

"I think it's probably not a bad idea to slow things down a little bit and make is a little safer for everybody," Boll said.

The Golden Gate Bridge Safety Committee got a report Thursday on bicycle-pedestrian safety problems and recommendations on how to fix them. The proposed fix includes a 10 mile an hour speed limit for the estimated 6,000 bikes that cross the bridge daily, a $100 fine for speeding, new lanes that would separate pedestrians and bicyclists as well as new signs that would warn foreign tourists as well as the locals.

But directors questioned how these new rules would work

"Some of the other proposals like the signage and the crosswalks and directional arrows are a good idea, but the speed limit is the controversial issue," Golden Gate Bridge Director Richard Grosboll said.

Director David Snyder thinks the proposed fine is too high.

"Where a $100 fine would be punishment without leading to safety improvements really," he said.

The committee got an earful from bicycle groups and bike rental companies. They had no input and only two days notice of the meeting.

"The Marin Bicycle Coalition was shocked to see that document come forth as it did, as we expected fully we would be a robust stakeholder in the preparation of this document," group spokesperson Andy Perry said.

Bike rental business like San Francisco's Blazing Saddles already hands out safety brochures and advice to their bike renters.

While the bicycle coalitions do not believe there is a safety issue the CHP says it is ready to enforce a speed limit if it is passed.

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