Wow! A New Bike Lane in San Francisco!

They say it’s one step forward, two steps back, right? Well, having just posted about the two steps back in the world of Bay Area bike lanes, it’s time to write about that one step forward.

San Francisco got a new bike lane! It’s the first new bike lane in the city in three years, and it’s green! SF Streetsblog has a great video of the press conference about it. In it, Mayor Newsom informs us that we currently have 45 miles of bike lanes in the city, and over the next six months want to stripe six more miles. The city will also be installing five bike racks per day. ¬†And they’re painting the pavement different colors so everyone can see it’s a bike only zone. Some of those painted areas will be in front of the cars at stop lights, so that cyclists can be easily seen by cars at lights, and will get to go first when the light changes green. On top of that, they’re changing the timing of traffic lights so that bikes have enough time to get through.

Maybe it’s more like twelve steps forward, two steps back? Wow. Good job, San Francisco!

By why the sudden increase? As it turns out there was an injunction in place that prevented the city from making cycling improvements. Since that injunction, there has been a 53% increase in cycling. Mayor Newsom asks us to imagine what the increase could look like if we had bike lanes everywhere. He states that our goal is to increase the percentage of bike commutes in the city from the current 6% to 10% of commutes.

The lifting of the injunction is for sure yet, and the Mayor warns us that we may have to undo our improvements if the injunction isn’t permanently lifted. But there’s an air of optimism around the event–I think we’ll be seeing a total lifting of the injunction, and a lot more bicycle advocacy in San Francisco.

You can also read more about the new bike improvements at the San Francisco Citizen blog.

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