Why Prop L is Bad for Biking

This article is part of an ongoing series on why Proposition L is bad for everyone. To get involved, go to www.sfbike.org/vote. Help us get the word out!

This November, a ballot measure will attempt to undo our work to make San Francisco a safer, more bikeable city. Proponents call Proposition L the “Restore Transportation Balance” measure, but it is, in fact, a staunchly anti-bike, anti-transit and anti-pedestrian safety measure that will further unbalance San Francisco’s transportation system.

Proposition L supporters are so blatant about their goals that when the San Francisco Bay Guardian asked Prop L proponent David Looman what he wanted to see in transportation policy, he aimed squarely at biking, saying, “Let’s go back 10 years, before the proliferation of bike lanes.”

If Prop L wins, people who bike (and walk, and take transit, and drive) lose. Here’s why it’s especially bad for the growing number of us on two wheels:

Prop L Means Fewer Bikeways: Proposition L requires that the City prioritize fast-moving auto traffic as highly as human safety when designing our streets. This means that any project that includes traffic calming or road diets in order to build safer bikeways (and safer streets in general!) will likely be stalled or stopped. If Prop L was in effect, the new bikeways on Folsom, Fell, Oak, Cesar Chavez, San Jose and Lower Polk streets may not have gone in the ground. Can you imagine your commute without them? All future projects that include traffic calming – such as Masonic, Potrero, 2nd Street and Polk Street – will be in jeopardy if L passes.

Prop L Makes Your Bike Ride Less Safe: Four people were killed biking in San Francisco last year. Each fatality occurred on fast-moving, multi-lane arterial streets. Proposition L results in more of these unsavory streets by requiring the City to prioritize fast-moving auto traffic as highly as safety. The City is making great strides in calming our most dangerous streets; Prop L puts all of us – and the progress we’re making with Vision Zero – at risk.

Prop L Cuts Funding for Bike Projects: Despite the huge growth in bicycling, bike projects still receive less than 2% of the City’s transportation funding. If Proposition L passes, it will further decrease funding for bike projects, subsidizing more free parking over street safety improvements. Prop L proponents want the City to use transportation funds to build parking garages instead of better bikeways or pedestrian infrastructure or transit space.

Proposition L is a well-funded campaign, bankrolled by the local Republican Party. We need your help in ensuring this anti-bike measure loses at the ballot and does not send the wrong message to our decision-makers.

Here’s how you can join the grassroots efforts:

  1. Vote No on Prop L
  2. Share this article with your friends
  3. Donate to the No on L campaign
  4. Volunteer to Bike the Vote!
  5. Join the SF Bicycle Coalition and help support better biking throughout the city

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