Overwhelming Support for Fell and Oak Bikeways at SFMTA Hearing

Nearly 100 attendees packed a City Hall room this morning for a hearing on the Fell and Oak bikeways, where supporters of the project overwhelmingly outnumbered detractors.

Photo: Mark Dreger, San Franciscoize

Dozens of speakers, young and old, said the project was vital for improving the safety of people who already bike as well as those who will only feel safe riding with the separated bike lanes.

“The three blocks of terror, as I call them, really have been a big impediment to me biking in San Francisco,” said Julia Uota, who lives in the Richmond. “I am new to biking, and I’m terrified to bike Fell Street on my way home. During rush hour, I make it a point of getting off my bike and walking as a pedestrian on the sidewalk, where it’s not really wide enough to have a bike next to me.”

D5 Supervisor Christina Olague told hearing officers: “My office hears from people who ride bicycles through this area, including parents biking their children to school, people biking to shop on Divisadero, and people of all ages biking to work. We must prioritize this kind of project and safety improvements, I believe, in our district.”

Although SFMTA staff said they couldn’t approve the project for recommendation until the environmental review is finished, it’s expected to go to the SFMTA Board of Directors in the fall or winter. Staff said the project could return for another public hearing for official recommendation to the board, depending on the changes in the finalized designs, which would be informed by the comments at today’s hearing.

This father said he bikes on Fell and Oak, but wants to be able to bring his wife and child along. Photo: Mark Dreger

The relatively few opponents of the project repeated complaints about removing car parking, and called for bicyclists to instead be routed onto neighboring Hayes and Page Streets, despite explanations from agency staff and pro-bikeway speakers that steep grades and extra distances already deter riders from using them.

A few project supporters said the SFMTA went too far trying to mitigate the loss of car parking. They criticized the agency’s proposal to create roughly 60 new parking spaces on other streets to offset the 103 that would be removed to make room for the bike lanes, citing the adverse impacts. Under the current plan, three bus stops on Hayes would be removed, which the agency will help speed up service on the 21 Muni line. However, some complained of having to walk farther to reach their bus stop, and a few speakers said it makes more sense to remove the stop at Lyon Street rather than the adjacent one at Central Street, since Central appears much more heavily used. Staff said it chose to keep the Lyon stop to avoid inconveniencing the residents of a senior housing center it fronts.

About 43 other spaces would be created by converting parallel parking lanes to perpendicular and angled parking on nearby streets, but a few commenters said perpendicular parking is difficult to use and is an eyesore.

Luis Montoya, project manager for the SFMTA, said the details of the final design could be adjusted based on the comments, but that the project is necessary to meet the city’s goal of achieving 20 percent bike mode share by the year 2020.

“The city has a transit-first policy in which we will prioritize transit and bicycle improvements over those of the personal automobile, so with those goals in mind, we’re trying to create a project that minimizes the negative impacts to the community,” he said.

Neal Patel, community planner for the SF Bicycle Coalition, praised the SFMTA’s community outreach and planning process. “I have never participated in a community process that was as well attended and where the community was as engaged as this one,” he said. Handing a thick stack of support letters to the hearing officers, he noted that despite the harrowing conditions on Fell and Oak, there are already 1,500 to 2,000 people biking on Fell Street each day.

“That’s a lot — it’s one of the highest in the city,” said Patel. “I think it’s the responsibility of the MTA to improve safety for those people.”

  • Bernard

    Well put, Mr. Patel.  It really is the responsibility of our city government to do everything possible to make things safer for 2,000 people who are at the greatest risk on this corridor.  Those that oppose the removal of parking have a legitimate concern, but forget that parking in a dense city is a privilege, not a right. 

  • Anonymous

    Great news. As I was riding Fell just the other day and got honked at and then buzzed by a car going 35 mph about 1-2 feet from me, all I could think about was: this is completely nuts, and why do I subject myself to this, and then, they *got* to get this cycle track on the street ASAP. I’m bummed this is taking so long over parking spaces (let alone so few), but I’m glad to see so much support. I truly believe this indeed is a critical piece of the puzzle of getting 20% bike share by 2020.

  • Peter M

     When will the 21 Hayes stop reductions happen? Will it have to wait a year for the bikeways to be built, or will it happen sooner?

  • ubringliten

    I couldn’t show up because I had surgical procedure done later that day.  Great reporting.  I am glad that overwhelming majority there were cyclists.  I bike to GGP once or twice a month from Mission Bay.  By the time I get there I start to lose confidence because I get tired and having cars sweeping by at that speed scares me too.  My wife comes with me many times and she feels the same.  

  • Dave Moore

    The net here seems to be a win, but there are a bunch of downsides. Perhaps there’s some way to abate them.
    – The folks that live on Oak are going to have a tough time getting to their houses if they don’t have a garage and a tougher time getting out of their garages if they have one. 
    – The perpendicular parking on Baker is going to make that street uglier and more of a magnet for people trolling for spaces.
    – The loss of a lane on Baker between Oak and Fell is going to make it harder to get through that as people going straight are going to be blocked by a backup of people waiting to take a left. 

  • Timothy W Hilton

     I’m confused — how will the proposed bicycle lane block anyone from getting to their house?

  • mikesonn

    It won’t. It’ll just require drivers to *gasp* pay attention. The horror.

  • It should actually be easier to see passing traffic when pulling out of garages without the parked cars.

  • Dave Moore

    Maybe it will be easier in some ways, because cars won’t be blocking your sight, but the sidewalk there is very narrow. I think that if you back up so the rear of your car is at the edge of the sidewalk your head will still be in your garage. So you may not have a good line of visibility to the oncoming bikes. I could be wrong, or it might not be true for all garages / cars.

  • Jakewegmann

    This project will be great. But it is beyond absurd that environmental review is required for a project that will obviously have tremendous environmental benefits. 

    Every single project that takes roadway space away from automobiles and reallocates it to bikes or  transit or pedestrians should be categorically exempt from complying with CEQA. Period. We can’t wait for two or three years for each one of these important projects to be implemented.

    State-level reform, anyone? 

  • Ok, but are we seriously talking about people having trouble backing out of their garages as something we need to mitigate. C’mon people. Like Fell and Oak were ever fun to back out onto. Perhaps when they were two-way residential streets.

  • Bad, dumb project, which may not be politically sustainable. Simply untrue that Hayes and Page are not reasonable alternatives. Of course the bike people—a small minority in SF—pack these meetings to give the impression of overwhelming support but that’s illusory. The city should really put this on the ballot to let voters citywide decide the issue, since the project is of citywide significance, not just a district or city issue. Naturally, City Hall resists real democracy on the issue, since it’s likely their PC, anti-car push would lose at the ballot box.

    More than 50,000 motor vehicles use Fell and Oak every day, dwarfing the number of cyclists.

  • Has the design changed?  The last I saw it, there are still left turn lanes on Baker both to turn on Fell and to turn on Oak.

    I agree that the angled (not perpendicular) parking will make that block of Baker look uglier, but all the neighborhood has to do is implement a residential parking permit program and the two-thirds of the non-resident cars currently parking in neighborhood will go away, rendering the whole need to create extra parking spaces unnecessary.

    As others have said below, eliminating the row of parked cars will make it much easier visually to get in and out of driveways on Oak, not harder. I can’t imagine backing out of a garage onto that hyper-busy stretch of Oak has ever been an easy task.

  • Anonymous

    I highly suggest you read about the concept of the “tyranny of the majority”:

    “The phrase ‘tyranny of the majority’, used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule, envisions a scenario in which decisions made by a majority place its interests so far above those of an individual or minority group as to constitute active oppression, comparable to that of tyrants and despots. In many cases an disliked ethnic, religious or racial group is deliberately penalized by the majority element acting through the democratic process. Limits on the decisions that can be made by majorities, as through supermajority rules, constitutional limits on the powers of a legislative body, or the introduction of a Bill of Rights, have been used to counter the problem. A separation of powers has also been implemented to limit the force of the majority in a single legislative chamber.”

    The point here is that we discuss topics on their own merit, not whether they are the most popular. After all, all new ideas by definition start out from a very small minority of people and then eventually grow, so if your criteria was that something has to be the most popular to be valid was true, then we would never change anything.

  • mikesonn

    @jd_x:disqus Not worth it. @ea1809617b00430091318d0e92a6ef00:disqus isn’t your target market, but he’s (at an increasingly accelerating pace) being left behind. The more behind the times he gets, the louder and more often he will shout into the internets.

    I do find it interesting that a guy who hates bikes / never been on a bike is offering the Hayes/Page “alternative” as gospel. And how is this project anti-car? All 3 travel lanes will remain intact. Actually, not having parking will actually speed traffic as you won’t have drivers blocking a lane while trying to parallel park. Also, this has started a discussion about RPP which will go a long way to making parking EASIER for the neighborhood.

  • Dave Moore

    There will be a shared left turn lane so each direction only gets it for half a block. It might be fine, or it might back up so that people who wanted to go straight will get blocked.

    The new parking on Baker is only angled for the block between Oak and Fell. It’s perpendicular for the other 2 blocks.
    I like the residential parking program, but it’s separate from the rest so could fall through. Also it’s currently slated to stop at Page, not Haight meaning that last block could have the worst of both worlds.

    As I said before, I wonder what it will be like to back out across that small sidewalk into bikes. Your view might be blocked by your garage if you have a narrow one. I’m sure it’s always been tricky but I expect there to be a bunch of problems. Maybe some mirrors will help people see what’s coming.

    And I do think that when you change the lanes / parking right in front of people’s houses you should try to mitigate the impact it has on them. People purchased or rented their houses based on lots of factors, including aesthetics, parking and access. They deserve some consideration.

    Done right I think this program can help not only the relatively small number of cyclists (2000 a day?) using Oak but also the large number of motorists who currently have to deal with them. That stretch blocks up because cyclists are going relatively slowly as they approach Scott and there’s always lots of aggro from both sides. A dedicated lane would help a lot.

  • Gneiss

    Hayes and Page are not reasonable alternatives.  As one who rides up Page from Divisadero every day (I live in upper Haight) I can tell you that car drivers pass me just as aggressively as on other streets, regardless of the sharrows that run down the middle of it.  Putting in defined bike lanes on Oak and Fell, which are the most reasonable grade in the neightborhood will go a long way towards connecting downtown with the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park for cyclists who aren’t as strong as I am.

    Only if MTA restricted traffic to local only on Page and Hayes (with bollards every block to prevent rat-running) would it become a preferred alternative to the current plan. 

    I think you’d find even less support for that over losing parking on Fell and Oak.

  • Dave Moore

    It’s entirely possible to take away roadway space from cars and have a net environmental loss. You can mess up traffic, causing more delays and more exhaust for example, in excess of any benefit from potentially changing drivers into riders. Reviewing that seems totally reasonable.

  • mikesonn

    LOS = status quo. There is no accounting for mode shift or changes to travel habits. If X number of cars travel through said intersection, X number of cars will always travel through said intersection. Also, no way to account for public transit vehicle carrying more passengers (1 bus = 1 private auto). This leads to arguments like Dave’s – messing up traffic will cause delays and more exhaust.

  • Anonymous

    @google-333a3c6be8253ca72913510f16918446:disqus Also, I think it should be pointed out that temporarily increasing traffic and hence pollution can sometimes be worth it if, in the long-term, it decreases the number the trips by car. In other words, if you make driving less convenient (and ideally other forms of transit more convenient), there is a transition period where people haven’t yet adjusted, where, for example, drivers keep sitting in traffic. But then one day they realize they could take public transit or even decide to move closer to work and their life would be better. I’m a firm believer that sometimes you might need a temporary setback to ultimately move forward. Right now, we are stuck in a rut with our urban design where the almighty car is sacred and you can’t do anything to affect its ability to move. But I think sometimes people have to wait until things get really bad to change their behavior, and letting traffic get so bad that people finally come around to realizing that it is unsustainable can sometimes work. I’m not saying this should always be the approach and the only factor considered, but I simply want to point out that it should not be overlooked and that it’s not so simply as saying “more traffic is a net less”.

  • Dave Moore

    That wasn’t my intent. There are changes that can take a while to have positive impact and they should be considered. But you can’t be saying that every change that adds more bike space is automatically beneficial overall. There must be *some* changes that are bad. The downside of bad decisions can be much worse than the upside of good ones, so delaying things for a bit to try to get them right doesn’t seem wrong to me.

    Or are you saying that you believe that in the limit we should close the City to personal automobiles? If so, I think it’s pointless to continue to try to have a rational discussion.

  • mikesonn

    “Or are you saying that you believe that in the limit we should close the City to personal automobiles? If so, I think it’s pointless to continue to try to have a rational discussion.”

    Straw man argument to push the extreme that no one is even remotely hinting at. Why even say something like that?

  • peternatural

    Riding up Page St. is fine for some (e.g., spandex-clad racers who are getting their workout), but normal people often have cargo and/or passengers and prefer to avoid hills when they can. Heading west on Page St. from Divisadero isn’t a great option for them. Fell St. is much better!

  • Dave Moore

    My point was that there should be some review as there can be negative consequences and that just because there are times that the benefits can take some time to appear that we shouldn’t assume that all changes that increase bicycling lanes or remove cars are necessarily net environmental wins.

  • mikesonn

    “we shouldn’t assume that all changes that increase bicycling lanes or remove cars are necessarily net environmental wins.”

    Is not:

    “Or are you saying that you believe that in the limit we should close the City to personal automobiles? If so, I think it’s pointless to continue to try to have a rational discussion.”

  • I like the hills. This makes me abnormal? 


  • There are so many worries, so many reasons not to install the Fell/Oak separated bike lanes. The fact that they challenge three short blocks of the car-dominant paradigm is just the tip of a very, very large iceberg. There’s so much that hasn’t been considered, much less studied, documented, and a report written on it. For instance,
    –Will eliminating parked cars on Fell and Oak allow surging water to travel further east from the ocean in the event of a tsunami?
    –As people replace car trips with bicycle trips, will reduced levels of car exhaust and correspondingly higher intake of oxygen cause pedestrian giddiness, even fainting?
    –Will exposing more asphalt (due to elimination of parked cars) will cause more heat absorption in the NOPA/Lower Haight area, resulting higher neighborhood temperatures which will in turn reduce purchases of coffee products?
    –Could a reduced number of cars in San Francisco lessen the actual weight of the city and cause unwonted seismic activity?
    –Since historical traffic patterns in the area were foot-based (there is no evidence that the Ohlone used bicycles to traverse this corridor) does a bike lane of any kind make sense here? Indeed, based on precedent, should there be any use of bicycles allowed in San Francisco at all?
    –Protected bicycle lanes may result in fewer bicyclist injuries, creating a negative economic impact to our city hospitals. In the event that a SOMA biotech company develops an anti-fat drug, encouraging bicycling could also result in substantial reduction in profits and future tax income to San Francisco.
    –Though scores of other cities have found that creating a network of protected, separated bicycle infrastructure is the key to a dramatic increase bicycling mode share (with corresponding reduced vehicle pollution and oil consumption), such information is irrelevant to San Francisco. A traffic and/or environmental study based purely on projections is more valuable than data from other cities or instituting a project on a trial basis and examining the results. So, without resorting to any real data, we must categorically demand these answers whether or not the report generated actually matches the eventual result:  What will the effect of the bike lanes on traffic be? If one person who currently drives is inconvenienced, is that too much? What will the environmental impact be? Should this impact be measured after one week, one year, one decade? Even more important, what is the environmental impact of delaying a bike-lane project in order to assess the environmental impact?
    –Since decreased car traffic increases neighborhood desirability and property values, rents will likely rise as the Fell/Oak corridor becomes a more pleasant place to live. Current residents moved in with an expectation that the neighborhood was noisy and polluted; their rents are based on their proximity to a traffic sewer. By changing noise and pollution patterns, are we being fair to current residents (some of whom may be unprotected by rent control), and are noisy and polluted neighborhoods the only way to provide low cost housing in San Francisco?
    –Will the additional (and unusual) paint striping on the street attract extraterrestrial traffic to San Francisco, causing additional LOS? (Note: there are no conclusive studies that bike lanes do not attract extraterrestrial traffic.)
    –By making San Francisco more convenient for those interested in a car-free lifestyle, aren’t we just attracting impoverished (if creative and energetic) twenty-somethings and encouraging their low-debt, low consumer-consumption lifestyle that has economically-destabilizing implications?
    –If San Francisco succeeds in reducing per capita car use and creating walkable, bikeable, livable neighborhoods with a healthier, happier citizenry, how will we protect the rights of people who want to live a car-based way of life? Will funds be set aside to provide new sources of stress and new ways to be unhealthy? Might San Francisco’s example affect the rest of the country and federal dollars be required to provide stress and poor health opportunities nation-wide?
    –Could the contrasting electromagnetic fingerprints of automobiles and bicycles passing each other side by side reverse the polarity of the subtle electromagnetic current running along Fell and Oak and result in traffic actually *reversing* itself along these important traffic corridors? (Though the probability is admittedly low, can we be absolutely *sure* this won’t happen?)
    –Will the jingle of additional bicycle bells cause neurosis in Panhandle

    I doubt that any of these issues have been sufficiently studied. The approval process for these lanes may take decades.

  • Dave Moore

    As far as I can tell, jd_x and I are both saying the same thing….that there should be some reasonableness applied to decide if improvements are worth it and that should include things that take time to develop. The initial post said “Every single project that takes roadway space away from automobiles and reallocates it to bikes or  transit or pedestrians should be categorically exempt from complying with CEQA” I disagree with that. Do you?

  • The Greasybear

    If most cyclists felt Page were a reasonable alternative to Oak/Fell then many more of us would already be riding Page. Yet relatively few opt for that street’s steep hill and poor connection to the Panhandle bike route, preferring instead the flattest and most direct path–Oak and Fell–despite the danger posed by speeding motorists. It is entirely reasonable to make this natural bike route safer for current and future cyclists, and the life-and-death safety benefits for cyclists absolutely outweigh the minor inconvenience private motorists might experience if they aren’t allowed exclusive domination of the entire public roadway. 

  • Gregski

    Yes, Jake, it surely is better for the environment to eliminate parking spaces in a congested city because, as we all know, cars circling around the neighborhood seeking sparse parking spaces emit fewer pollutants than cars that are parked with their engines off. And as we cyclists can attest, motorists in search of a parking space are the safest, alertest, most attentive drivers with which bikes can share the road.

  • Gregski

    Yo Rob, the cyclist responses to your post are very telling. Many of them discuss the difficulty of climbing a hill on Page Street as a reason why they just have to endure the terror of Fell and Oak Streets. Could there be any clearer evidence that what these cyclists value (and what this bike path project is REALLY about) is ease, not safety? Relative serenity is already available to cyclists on Page Street. Cyclists who really want safety and serenity can be found there already. One poster says the cars pass him or her dangerously on Page. That has not been the experience of this poster; not at all. But then this poster tries to ride his bike 30 inches to the left of the parked cars, leaving adequate passing room for most motor vehicles.
    One thing that I notice the ease-über-alles cyclists are pretty silent about is why they need a bike path on OAK Street when Page Street is flat to downhill in the eastbound direction.  If the MTA were to limit the scope of this project to Fell Street only and execute their perpendicular parking scheme they could realistically claim to have ADDED parking spaces to the neighborhood while still constructing the westbound cycle track to please all those cyclists who object to physical exertion. I suppose eventually they will lobby the MTA to mount the entire city on a fulcrum which can be tilted at the start of rush hour so that San Francisco cyclists can always coast downhill.

  • The Greasybear

    Even if what Gregski claims were true–the motive for installing separated bikeways on the route chosen by the vast majority of cyclists for crosstown travel is merely about making bicycling “easier” rather than safer–it is still true cycle tracks have a record of increasing safety and inducing more to start riding. Regardless of purported motive, easier (and safer) bike travel on the busiest bike corridors certainly trumps the autocentric idea that there’s no place for cycle tracks on even the widest roads because, without exclusive domination of the entire public roadway, some private motorists might be slightly inconvenienced in some inconsequential way. If this really were just about making cycling “easier” it would still make cycling safer and more appealing to future bike riders, and that is what this city–officially–intends to do.

  • mikesonn

    Gregski, fail. But you are a “cyclist”, right? And I totally own a car elevator.

  • “That has not been the experience of this poster; not at all. But then this poster tries to ride his bike 30 inches to the left of the parked cars”

    There are old cyclists. There are cyclists who ride 30 inches to the left of parked pars.

    But there are no old cyclists who ride 30 inches to the left of parked cars.

  • Gneiss

    Gregski – You can’t get from the Panhandle to Page without climbing a hill, or alternatively, doing street jujitsu – left on Baker, right on Hayes, right on Scott.  As for safe let me ask you a simple question: Would you let an 10 year old ride those routes by themselvs?  If not, then it’s not safe.  Just watch some videos from Hollands and you’ll see what the Dutch call ‘safe’.

    The only way those routes could be made safe is if they were turned into bike boulevards with bollards to restrict traffic to local only.  I doubt MTA or the residents would go for that.  So – bike lanes along the lowest grade on Fell and Oak with safer separated bike lanes would seem to make the most sense right now.

  • Anonymous

    @7a0662dc8954176f323a500ece150844:disqus A motorist complaining that cyclists are “lazy” because they don’t want to take the really hilly route instead of the flat route is the very definition of hypocritical. (Not necessarily saying you are that motorist, but this is directed at all those motorists out there criticizing cyclists for not taking the hilly route.)

    That being said, let’s talk convenience. If it’s okay to make cyclists life inconvenient by design (by making them take the hilly route instead of the flat route), then it should be okay to make motorists’ lives inconvenient. That means, for example, that just like a cyclist could be forced to ride hills unnecessarily, the motorists might have to lose a lane of traffic for a cycle track. Sure, it takes the motorist longer to travel down Fell, but hey, that’s just an inconvenience.

    Further, let’s add another layer onto this: bicyclists are a more efficient form of transport, are more healthy for people and the environment, make the roads safer for all road users, and it is the stated goal of this city to achieve 20% of trips by bicycle by 2020 (not to mention that it is, in theory, a “transit first” city). And we all know that a mode of travel that is the most convenient will have the most users. Therefore, the city should be doing everything possible to make cycling more convenient (not just safer).

  • Gregski

    Jd_X: You need to stray away from matches and lighters because you are surrounding yourself with straw men and I don’t want to see you become a self-immolation martyr to your religious cause. I don’t see anybody here calling cyclists lazy. And nobody has by design modified the landscape to make cycling more inconvenient, or is proposing to do so. (Yes, the new JFK bike lanes make cycling less convenient for my companions and me and so we no longer cycle there. But it would be giving the MTA too much credit to say that it was their design’s intent). Haight-Panhandle cyclists have in fact been generously provided with three alternative routes two of which are more serene and less convenient than the third, which is apparently the most popular because cyclists value ease over serenity. Nothing wrong with that. Just please remember that non-cyclists value their ease and convenience too, and they notice it when they are called upon to sacrifice said ease and convenience on behalf of cyclists who could make the same sacrifice on their own behalf and choose not to do so. If 2,000 cyclists a day were regularly commuting on Page Street then their request for a Fell cycle track would have a lot more credibility because they would then not be asking others to value their safety more than they themselves do.And I love the argument (also advanced by Greasybear) that we have to screw over the motorists because the Board of Supervisors decreed that we shall all take 20% of our trips by bicycle or else…or else what? Sheesh, if the Board of Supervisors decreed that 20% of our skin must be covered with tattoos by 2020 would you be exhorting us to all get inked because, hey, THE BOARD OF SUPERVISER SAID SO? I give Greasybear credit because his post best describes the truth of what is taking place here: A political struggle between two special interests both of whom want the same space. Indians versus settlers. Zionists versus Arabs. Serbs versus Croats. Cyclists versus motorists.
    As for making cycling the more convenient method of travel: Please explain to us how building cycle tracks is going to reduce the sweat, exertion, dirt and weather experience of cycling to equal or better than that of enclosed, climate-controlled, motorized transport and how building cycle tracks is going to enhance the cargo-carrying convenience of bicycles to that of motorized transport. I mean, I really want to know, is there ANYTHING we can’t accomplish on this earth by just building more cycle tracks? Cure cancer, become immortal, guide the Cubs to a World Series championship?
    Murphstahoe: I’ve been cycling 6-to-8,000 road miles per year in the Bay Area for 23 years and at least 3,000 miles per year for a decade previously. Never been doored, although car passengers try every day. I bet you’re disappointed.
    Gneiss: Your statement is so wrong I’m embarrassed to take the trouble to respond. One can navigate between Page and the Panhandle corridor on Stanyan, Schrader, Cole and Clayton, all quite flat. To my knowledge there are now laws prohibiting cyclists from pedaling the entire distance of Page Street from one end to the other which, in the eastbound direction, is a very low-effort spin. I love the presupposition that you can somehow make cycling “safe” by changing the street environment. I don’t care what you do to the landscape, it won’t make cycling safe in comparison to most other everyday activities. Cycling involves moving at speed on a hard surface on a device with protrusions, sharp edges and rapidly rotating, sharp metal parts. You can topple over at 2mph and break your collar bone. Not safe. Never will be. And I most definitely would let any 10-year old pedal on Page Street because I am neither a parent nor a peace officer and I would join Ross Mirkarimi in the pantheon of false imprisoners if I were to restrain any 10-year-old from doing so. If I WERE the parent of a 10-year old I would strap on his or her helmet, hand him or her a cell phone and wish him or her bon voyage and don’t be late for dinner. It’s how I was reared, except for the helmet and cell phone.

  •  I’ve been cycling 6-to-8,000 road miles per year in the Bay Area for 23 years.

    Actual cyclists in that range use KMs.

    Never been doored, although car passengers try every day. I bet you’re disappointed.

    That’s what you get for riding on the sidewalk. The rest of us are fending off the drivers.

  • @7a0662dc8954176f323a500ece150844:disqus done ranting? Feel all better now?

  • The Greasybear

    Under the autocentric status quo, motorists dominate virtually every inch of pavement in this city. Converting pavement from car storage into safe cycling infrastructure on the busy Oak/Fell bike route may indeed have motorists, as Gregski puts it, “sacrifice…ease and convenience on behalf of cyclists,” but considering motorists will still retain 80% of the roadway for their own exclusive use, it hardly seems like an unreasonable change. Only if we believe motorists have a right to exclusive use of 100% of our roadways can we assert that a cycle track alongside three travel lanes for cars (and another lane for car storage) is some sort of oppressive usurpation that “screws over the motorists.” Bias, bias, bias. Motorists do not have any legitimate claim to every single inch of Oak and Fell, nor to any other street for that matter.

  • Guest

    20% of roadway for 4% of vehicles?

    – I know…it’s only 3 blocks, not the full street (fair point)
    – I know…if we build it they will ride (unproven, except for Europe where everything is supposedly better)
    – I know…it makes it better for the remaining drivers (unproven and likely hogwash)

    Face it, you want it because it’s better for *you* because *you* ride a bike. Stop trying to frame it as some sort of act of conscious and admit it’s an act of selfishness.

  • mikesonn

    “Face it, you want it because it’s better for *you* because *you* ride a bike. Stop trying to frame it as some sort of act of conscious and admit it’s an act of selfishness.”

    Then what do you call fighting to save 50 parking spots in a neighborhood that doesn’t have RPP?

    “20% of roadway for 4% of vehicles?”

    3 lanes will remain open for actual vehicle travel. Let’s look at using the lane as parking vs travel: 50 parking spaces vs (Rob’s number) 50,000 moving vehicles, that puts us at .1%. I’d say using that space to move 4% is still a better deal.

  • Gregski

    Greasybear: C’mon, man, where’s your nerve? What’s with all this wimpy “hardly seems unreasonable” stuff?
    President Polk (to Mexico): “It hardly seems unreasonable for you to cede California to us; it’s only 10% of your country.”
    Hitler (to Stalin): “It’s only reasonable that we should have the Ukraine instead of you. Hey, you’ve still got Siberia!”
    General Sherman (to Georgia): “Oh, be reasonable, I hardly burned down more than 2% of your farms. It’ll all grow back.”
    Grease, baby, face it, you and your fellow cyclepath crusaders are engaged in a political war of territorial conquest. And have you noticed? YOU’RE WINNING. Your opponents have at times succeeded in delaying your progress into their territory but they’ve never succeeded in denying you what you want and I doubt very much that they will this time either. Your successes haven’t been due to reasonableness, they’ve been due to your superior political effectiveness. You’ve won by scaring the politicians more than your opponents have. I tip my hat to you, really. You’re outnumbered by at least 5-to-1 after all.
    So, please, when your army of cylepath believers occupies what was formerly your enemy’s 88 parking spaces, do yourself and everyone else a favor and treat yourself to some well-earned gloating. Trust me, it’s more becoming of who you really are and what you really do.

  • mikesonn

    This @7a0662dc8954176f323a500ece150844:disqus for real? And isn’t there some sort of rule against Godwin’s Law around these parts?

  • @Gregski Except this isn’t motorists versus bicyclists. It’s about providing transportation options on a public street we’re all free to use (and will all continue to be able to use). No one is taking anything away from anyone.

    That’s what a lot of people are having trouble with – getting over this car vs. bike thing. It’s not a battle, and the faster we all realize this, the better. And for those of us who decide they would prefer to continue to drive, they lost 30 measly spots so that a major crosstown bike route can finally be connected. C’mon, get real.

  •  For someone who rides 100,000 miles a year, gregski seems to use “you” when referring to “the cyclists” a lot…

  • Gregski

    Mark, thank you for the terrific display of the denial and delusion that disables you from even acknowledging a compliment when you receive it. You just go on believing that 88 parking spaces are of no value to drivers and won’t be missed. I suppose it serves to soothe your self-image. But it must be quite a mystery to you why this bike path project has been delayed so much, given that it “isn’t motorists versus bicyclists”.
    Murph: I note your efforts to transform the discussion from a debate about bike path politics to a forum for discrediting Gregski. Predictable. If these tired, old Saul Alinsky tactics are the best you’ve got then my work here is done.

  • The spots are of value as spots, but they are of more value as a bike lane.

    “My work here is done” – the artist formerly known as Logan T Huge.

  • mikesonn

    I’ll reiterate, @7a0662dc8954176f323a500ece150844:disqus :

    “20% of roadway for 4% of vehicles?”

    3 lanes will remain open for actual vehicle travel. Let’s look at using the lane as parking vs travel: 50 parking spaces vs (Rob’s number) 50,000 moving vehicles, that puts us at .1%. I’d say using that space to move 4% is still a better deal.

  • Congrats @7a0662dc8954176f323a500ece150844:disqus , on Godwining yourself out of relevance.


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