What Nov. 8 Means for People Who Bike

Watching the presidential election results come in Tuesday night, I was overwhelmed and heartbroken. Two days later, the pain is no less real or powerful.

Our country’s best qualities — pluralism, acceptance, decency — are under attack. These values are core to who the United States is, at our best, and they’re central to everyone working to make the world a better place.

The mission of the SF Bicycle Coalition is “promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.” But if we pursue that goal without respect for everyone who lives, works or plays in our beloved city, we do ourselves and our mission a great disservice.

It was with an eye towards improving the lives of people navigating our streets that we worked to advance a handful of local measures and candidates in the 2016 elections. Many of our members volunteered their time and energy to help win those campaigns. In recognition of that effort and passion, I wanted to update you on the results.

In every race in which we endorsed a candidate this year, a candidate whom we endorsed won. We want to congratulate the following on their victories: Assemblymembers David Chiu and Phil Ting, Supervisors London Breed and Norman Yee, Supervisor-elect Sandra Lee Fewer, and BART Board Member-elect Lateefah Simon.

On local ballot initiatives, San Francisco voted for safe and reliable transportation options, passing both Proposition J for livable streets and Measure RR for safe and reliable BART service.

SF voters really carried Measure RR regionally, with an overwhelming 81 percent voting in favor. A transit-friendly city is a bike-friendly city, and passage of RR is a huge victory for affordable and accessible BART service.

While SF voters supported setting aside new investments in public transit and physically protected bike lanes through Proposition J, the related revenue measure to fund those investments — Proposition K — failed to garner majority support. These were two of the 42 measures San Franciscan voters considered, wading through a ballot and voter guide bursting at the seams. This City’s inability to secure support for this investment makes it a top priority that we see a vehicle license fee passed at our next opportunity in 2018.

I know that this may not be the biggest concern for many of us at this time, but I felt that I owed you an update and my gratitude for the hope and resources you invest in our work.

If there’s one thing that brings me comfort during difficult times, it is the act of coming together with other people and putting our beliefs into action. Join me: volunteer to distribute lights to those biking without, come out for a ride at Sunday Streets this weekend, add your voice of support for the new plans for physically protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero, or come to our member meeting next week and get an update on our work and hear from candidates for the Board of Directors. Whatever may help provide you an opportunity for concrete action during difficult times, please see our events calendar, and I hope you can take part. Once again, people across our country will look to San Francisco to lead the way through what may be dark times ahead. Let’s not let them down.

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