The people of San Francisco deserve leadership and vision from those entrusted to manage our transportation systems, which may explain broad disappointment with recent plans proposed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).
On Friday, your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition joined Sup. Jane Kim and local residents in unanimously opposing the SFMTA’s plans to build an unprotected, paint-only bike lane on Turk Street. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s opposition to the SFMTA’s deficient proposal for Turk Street marks the first time we have opposed a bike lane in our 46-year history.
The SFMTA initially proposed a physically protected bike lane on Turk Street, following Mayor Ed Lee’s Executive Directive issued in August 2016. This required that high-injury corridors see the highest achievable quality improvements and directed the SFMTA to fast track three protected bike lane projects. Yet on Friday, the SFMTA watered down their plans and turned their back on street safety.
The SFMTA was created with a 1999 amendment to the City Charter. There, the people of San Francisco empowered the SFMTA to provide transportation planning that enhances our “quality of life, environmental sustainability, public health, social justice, and economic growth.”
The SFMTA’s leadership is falling down on that job by advancing compromised designs for Turk Street. If you are with us and believe that the Tenderloin deserves better than this, use this email template to write SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin to remind him of his responsibility to deliver protected bike lanes.
Not only did the SFMTA backpedal from a protected bike lane on a high-injury corridor, but they proposed to replicate a failed design. Just one block from Turk Street, on Golden Gate Avenue, the paint-only bike lane delivered last year is overrun with double parking and/or auto traffic, depending on the time of day. See the photo above for a common sight on Golden Gate Avenue’s “bike lane,” captured by Twitter-user @R27D.
San Francisco is at its best when we’re a model for the country. The SFMTA’s leadership is pulling the agency farther and farther away from that lofty goal by refusing to learn from recent mistakes and presenting failed designs with a straight face.
The Tenderloin is SF’s only neighborhood where every single street is officially a high-injury corridor. Do we want to live in a city where the SFMTA’s failure to address that is controversial or one where protected bike lanes stir controversy?