In a decision advocates hailed as a victory for bicyclists in San Francisco, the MTA Board of Directors voted uaninmously this afternoon to approve the EIR and adopt the Bike Plan, legislating 45 of the 56 priority projects, which will add about 34 miles of new bike lanes in the city.
A crowd of bicyclists at the meeting erupted into cheers after the final vote was taken. It followed nearly four hours of testimony from a diverse group of 200 bicyclists -- organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition -- who filled an overflow room on the 1st floor of City Hall, and lined up outside the main meeting room on the 4th floor.
A smaller group of people opposed to the 2nd Street bike lanes, as they're currently proposed, was successfull in getting 2nd Street taken off the first wave of projects. The MTA announced that plan would come back in the next round.
The final vote was 5-0, with Directors Tom Nolan and Malcolm Heinicke absent.
"It's a historic day for bicycling in San Francisco," said MTA spokesperson Judson True. "Adopting the CEQA findings, approving the Bike Plan, and legislating 45 projects is an incredible accomplishment. We're very proud of the work that our staff, other city agencies, and the bicycling community has done. It has been a long process."
Mayor Gavin Newsom, the SFBC and MTA staffers were scheduled to attend a press conference and celebration at 3 p.m. on the Polk Street side of City Hall. We're staffing and will post more soon.
Bryan Goebel is a reporter at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. A veteran journalist and writer, he helped launch Streetsblog SF in 2009 and served as editor for three years. He lives car-free in the Castro District.