Happy Holidays and a Look Back at 2019

Significant breakthroughs, more challenges, and a request for help from readers like you

Advocates battle for a safer Market Street during a demonstration in May 2019. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
Advocates battle for a safer Market Street during a demonstration in May 2019. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

When San Francisco advocates look back, Streetsblog suspects they will mark 2019 as a turning point in the battle for safe and livable streets. For starters, the Better Market Street plan, which will get private automobiles off Market Street, was approved, and will take effect at the beginning of next year.

That should prove seminal enough, but there’s more. San Francisco finalized the removal of cars from Octavia at Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley. More protected bike lanes went in on Valencia (although there’s certainly more work to do there). A new protected bike lane opened on Terry Francois Boulevard. And Mayor London Breed ordered the installation of twenty more miles of protected bike lanes in the next two years.

And Jeffrey Tumlin, consultant and long-time advocate for safer streets, is now in charge of the SFMTA.

There’s good news in the rest of the Bay Area too. After a decades-long battle, there’s a cycle path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, for the first time offering a non-motorized alternative for crossing between the East and North Bays. The SMART train now runs to the Larkspur ferry, giving Marin and Sonoma residents their first traffic-free option for reaching the rest of the region in over a half-century. Oakland showed it’s possible to build safe intersections fast and on the cheap. And San Jose, in record time, built an entire network of quality protected bike lanes and intersections throughout its downtown.

Of course, the fight is far from over, with fatal and serious injury numbers still on the rise. The tragedies continue. Many safety projects are still heavily watered down. Others are pure hype. Put simply, Streetsblog, and the incredible, dedicated, fantastic advocates we cover and collaborate with, will have their proverbial plates full in 2020.

If you appreciate what we do, won’t you help us in this fight and donate today?

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Streetsblog will be taking a much-needed hiatus starting tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 20. We’ll be back at the start of 2020, hopefully refreshed and ready for another charge into the breach for better transit and safer, more livable streets.

 

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