Mayor Newsom a “Yes and No” On More Bicycle Riding

22051834_8e879acf07.jpgFlickr photo from 2005: snikolhaus

Considering all the new bicycle infrastructure that’ll hopefully start going in at the end of the summer, or early fall, I asked Mayor Newsom outside City Hall today after a press conference celebrating the passage of the Bike Plan if he’s planning to do any more bicycling. His response?

"Yes and no. I’m about to have a baby so you’ll see me getting training wheels out, and I’ve got a couple of years. But I grew up like so many, on a bike. But it was a very different town when I was growing up in San Francisco. We didn’t have any bike lanes when I was growing up."

He touted his meager pilot bike share program, something he’ll be able to implement once the injunction is lifted, saying that he hopes it will get infrequent bicyclists like himself to ride more. "That’s actually something I would legitimately use, especially on weekends, when I’m not running to 13 events and I’m late everywhere I’m going."

On another note, Newsom said he hopes to push for federal stimulus dollars to help fund the Bicycle Plan, which would speed up its implementation. The MTA has so far identified about $6 million of the $15 million it would take to put the plan into action, but lots of questions remain about where the remaining funds will come from.

“We’ll continue to advocate for more federal funding, stimulus dollars, and we’ve got a lot of competitive grants out there," he said. "We are very blessed to have Speaker Pelosi and other friends in Congress, and I’m confident that these are in line with the administration’s environmental goals and alternative transit goals and I think there’ll be plenty of categories of funding."

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