San Francycle: City Responds to Bike Coalition's 2011 Hopes/Dreams
Last week, we spoke to the SF Bike Coalition's Renée Rivera about her plans and predictions for 2011. We asked her what New Year's resolutions she hopes the city has.
"Commit to completing all of the bike plan projects in 2011," she said. So we put it to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. Can it be done?
"No, is basically the answer," he said.
"There are a number of projects that are construction and fund intensive," he said, citing streetscape work that requires tearing up physical infrastructure. For example, the city wants to add a "counterflow lane" to Polk Street, allowing cyclists to travel north on what is now a southbound-only street. That will take some time to engineer in a way that's safe, Rose said, adding, "the construction and funding for those projects are going to push us into additional years."
But there's good news, too: Rose reported that feedback has been positive regarding mandatory back-in parking on Townsend. About 90 percent of drivers are in compliance, he said. (See someone parked unsafely? Call 311 to report 'em before they back out and kill someone.)
The Cycletracks iPhone app continues to slurp up data from cyclists, helping the city figure out where bike infrastructure is needed most.
And of course, the city's going gangbusters on bike lanes. "Implementation is one month ahead of schedule," Rose said. They only have one striping crew, so they can only work on one project at a time. "It's something that we're committed to working on as fast as we can."
And progress is being made on bike sharing as well. This spring, the SFMTA will issue a Request for Proposals from vendors, and in the fall they'll have a vendor selected.
"By this time next year, we'll be well on track to at least planning to develop some of the infrastructure," Rose said. "If not construction, you'll definitely see some movement towards it."
That's still a long time to wait, so if you need a friendly bike fix right now, why not head out on this evening's inaugural Bike Party ride? The group meets at the baseball park at 7:30 and departs at 8 p.m., circling around to the Marina and then up Russian Hill (God help us) and then down toward Golden Gate Park before heading back to City Hall. And unlike Critical Mass, they'll be stopping for lights and pausing to let stragglers stay with the pack.
Hope we see you there! And if you can't make it, don't worry -- we'll be livetweeting, so you can follow along from home. That's just as good. Sure it is.