“Green Connections” Meeting, Feb 15 2012

If you’re interested to know what the city is doing with bike lanes, pedestrian traffic and such, they’re holding some public meetings to discuss their plans. The first “Green Connections” meeting is on Feb 15th. Here’s what the email I got said:

Join us for the Green Connections kick-off event to help improve the paths to the City’s parks!

When & Where:
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012
5:30 to 7:30 PM
@ the LGBTCommunity Center, Rainbow Room
1800 Market Street, San Francisco.

Green Connections will increase pedestrian and bicycle access to parks, open space and the waterfront, by re-envisioning City streets and paths as ‘green connectors’that can be built over time.In the first year of the project, the focus will be to map a citywide network. The second year will build on this framework to design green connections in the following six neighborhoods: Bayview-Hunters Point, Chinatown, Potrero Hill, Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley and Western Addition.

Get involved! We will host many public events to engage communities in developing Green Connections. Visit the project web site below for project information, events and meetings. Also, sign up for the Green Connections mailing list to keep receiving future e-mail announcements.

http://greenconnections.sfplanning.org

It was signed by the SF Planning Department, the SF MTA, and the SF Department of Public Health.

Thanks, Mr Rider-in-the-Fog

Lest anyone think that all I do here is grumble about bicycle riders who don’t stay safe… especially in the fog — I’d like to talk about one I saw this evening.

The sunny afternoon turned to a gray foggy evening. The mist was already wrapping itself around the hillside and trees. And there was this cyclist, working his way up the steep Twin Peaks Boulevard.

  • Wearing a yellow safety vest and a light-colored helmet.
  • With front and rear lights.
  • Staying to the side of the road, and clearly conscious of traffic.

From a grateful motorist: Thank you thank you thank you. May the wind be ever at your back.

Notes: SFMTA 16 Aug 2011 Meeting about Bike Tracks on JFK Drive

These are a neighbor’s (slightly edited) notes from an SFMTA meeting about adding a cycle track in JFK Drive. They are published here with permission, and for purposes of discussion.

Comments are welcome (but please, everyone, keep it polite? Discussions are great, flame wars not so much.)

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NEIGHBOR’S NOTES FROM AUG 16TH SFMTA MEETING

SFMTA, Park and Rec., other city agency staff were present; and about 20-25 people.

Antonio Piccagli (of SFMTA) gave a presentation showing the current plan and survey results. That presentation is on their website as a PDF.

There will be a “cycle track” on JFK Drive, which differs from a bike lane. A cycle track is a bike lane separated from cars by a barrier (posts, buffer zone). The one cycle and two cycle  track designs and definitions from the June meeting are at the SFMTA website here.  [The June meeting presented two options: A 2-way bicycle track on one side of the road, or two one-way tracks on either side of the road.]

People who attended the first community meeting on 13 June 2011 could fill out a questionnaire about the Plan. (Apparently the questionnaire was also available online.) There were about 500 responses. From the survey,  the majority of respondents didn’t feel safe bicycling next to cars, preferred the one cycle track; want a continuous buffer zone; want to remove curbside parking…

Antonio said they decided on the one cycle track design. On each side of JFK Drive will be a 6.5 ft bike lane, then at least 5 ft buffer zone, then a car lane. The 6.5 ft wide bike lane allows two bikes to ride side by side; or for one bicyclist to pass another bicyclist.

Diagram from SFMTA website

SFMTA is introducing a novelty “floating parking lane”. About 11.5 ft from the curb will be places for vehicle parking. A big challenge will be intersection design.

This would remove 153 (32%) of the current 482 surface parking spaces along JFK Drive.

Q & A session
————————

Q:  Will there be a workshop for drivers to educate them of the new traffic design?

A:  SFMTA: No, we didn’t have that in mind.

Q:  The existing car lanes are too wide, offer too much visibility, making drivers go too fast. Will the new design provide traffic calming?

A:  SFMTA: Narrowing the road should reduce vehicle speeds.

Q:  There are no signs, notices along JFK Drive about the new design or this meeting. How are people using JFK Drive going to know about these major changes? Only 20 people showed up tonight. You must like flying under the radar to get the plan through.

A:  SFMTA: We posted information on our website, and told neighborhood groups.

Q:  The plan is skewed and heavily favors bicyclists. Residents, visitors require parking to see the many places of interest. Why the need to remove 153 parking places?

A:  SFMTA: It is a trade off.

Q:  When will the plan be implemented?

A:  SFMTA: We need to finalize the plan,  show it to Park and Rec., and the Board of Supervisors. [We’re] hoping to get started in Dec. [2011]

Note from Webmaster: The SFMTA site gives the following timeline:

Project Timeline:
• June 13: 1st Community Workshop
• June-July: Review Public Feedback
• July-August: Refine Concept Designs
• August 16: 2nd Community Workshop
• August-September: Complete Final Design
• September: Present to Concourse Authority
• October: Present to Recreation and Parks Commission
• December: Implement Project

———————-

Comments from the neighbor who took the notes:

  • SFMTA wants to provide a safe environment for bicyclists. That is fine. However they are bending over backwards to accommodate one party.
  • 90% of respondents like the one cycle track plan, 50% of respondents like the two cycle track plan.
  • If there are only two choices, why does their total add up to 140% of respondents? Haven’t seen the survey, not sure if people could submit multiple entries. The way data was gathered is highly questionable.

WHO TO CALL

From Webmaster: This note is also from the SFMTA website.

If you wish to comment on the plan but are unable to attend our meetings, please contact Miriam Sorell at miriam.sorell@sfmta.com or 415.701.4770.

Death-wish on Two Wheels

I want to start this piece by saying I like cyclists. They do their bit for the city by using an unpolluting form of transport, by being out there and visible rather than floating by in anonymous steel objects, by setting a good example.

Hence this article. Last night, driving downtown, I passed a cyclist on Polk Street. He was dressed in black. He had no light or reflector. He swayed as he zoomed through what is still a fairly busy street, on some occasions swinging far out of the bike lane. He didn’t stop at red lights or Stop signs.

He was surviving on the alertness of strangers. We’ve all been there once in a while, the “oops” moments when other people’s good driving saves us from our mistakes. This guy seems to be making it a life-style.

(I also saw several other cyclists go through red lights, but they were dressed more brightly and rode less fast.)

I like cyclists. Alive and unhurt. Stay that way, okay?