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San Francisco Supervisors Chan and Stefani Demand Protected Bike Lanes for Arguello Boulevard

10:29 AM PDT on May 3, 2023

Photo by Streetsblog/Rudick

Supervisors Connie Chan and Catherine Stefani called on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to immediately install protected bicycle lanes on Arguello. A coalition of community members and sustainable transportation advocates submitted a petition with over 2,000 signatures in support of the Protected Arguello campaign, which calls for protected bike lanes and protected intersections to be installed on Arguello Boulevard immediately.

Supervisor Chan issued a press release on April 7, calling for the installation of protected bike lanes on Arguello following the collision that killed USA Cycling champion Ethan Boyes. “Arguello is a critical route for people on bikes going to and from homes, schools, and businesses throughout District 1 and it needs protected bike lanes and intersections installed on it immediately,” said a spokesperson for District 1 Supervisor Chan’s Office at a press conference on April 18. “Supervisor Chan is committed to pushing SFMTA to install protected bike lanes on Arguello immediately. No one should be injured or killed on our streets. We are grateful for the support of the Protected Arguello advocates in demanding protected bike lanes on Arguello immediately to keep our residents safe.”

“Arguello Boulevard is a high-injury corridor and we should consider every possible intervention to protect all those who are using it,” District 2 Supervisor Stefani said. “Installing protected bike lanes on Arguello is a quick, simple, and effective improvement that the SFMTA can make to keep cyclists safe. I urge them to get this done as soon as possible.”

Supervisor Myrna Melgar has also called for protected bike lanes to be installed immediately on Arguello. Melgar spoke at the Protected Arguello rally at San Francisco City Hall, calling for a citywide network of protected bike lanes to help more switch trips to bikes and address the City’s roadway safety crisis and the climate crisis, “I’m sick of losing lives. I’m sick of people being injured. I’m sick of our inaction. So to the SFMTA: Let’s do it, let’s get it done. And I commit to you that there is a majority of us on the Board of Supervisors who will usher it through and make it real. Because we need it, and we need it now.”

Specifically, Supervisors Melgar, Chan, and Stefani are calling on SFMTA to work with the Protected Arguello coalition to create the design, then present the design for necessary approvals and install the approved design within four weeks to deliver on much-needed action following the death of Ethan Boyes and the overwhelming demand for protected bike infrastructure in San Francisco. “Ethan was an incredible person who had a profound impact on the world and the people around him,” Boyes’ friend, James Grady, said. “Ethan’s death was preventable with protected bike infrastructure, and our city needs to be taking immediate action to build a connected network of protected bike lanes to make it safe for people to bike in San Francisco. Ethan’s death has left a huge hole in the community. We need change now.”

In addition, the San Francisco Youth Commission unanimously approved a resolution urging SFMTA to install protected bike lanes and intersections on Arguello, joining a growing number of City commissions/committees demanding immediate action by SFMTA and City officials.

Meanwhile, SFMTA officials met with a leader of the Protected Arguello coalition alongside staff from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and have committed to creating a design for protected bike lanes and intersections on Arguello Boulevard by May 4th. The commitment after the Protected Arguello coalition hosted a rally at San Francisco City Hall to memorialize USA Cycling champion Ethan Boyes who was killed on Arguello and raise awareness about the grassroots campaign to get protected bike lanes installed on Arguello immediately.

The coalition behind the Protected Arguello campaign continues to call for protected bike lanes and fully protected intersections on Arguello Boulevard following Boyes’ death and the critical injury of a 16-year-old boy on a bike in November 2022. “Ethan’s death and the 16-year-old’s critical injury are a reminder of the urgent need for protected bike lanes and protected intersections on Arguello and throughout our city,” San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee Vice Chair Kristin Tieche said. “Protected bike lanes save lives. We have proof and data. We need to immediately install safe bike infrastructure on Arguello to prevent future tragedies in our community.”

The Protected Arguello coalition has gathered over 2,000 petition signatures and its supporters have sent over 3,000 emails to SFMTA, Supervisors Chan and Stefani, and other policymakers calling on them to have protected bike lanes and protected intersections installed immediately. “People across San Francisco are demanding our city take immediate action to install protected bike lanes and protected intersections — built with concrete or steel — throughout our city, including on Arguello,” sustainable transportation advocate Luke Bornheimer said. “SFMTA continues to take too long to install protected bike infrastructure and the result is more people getting killed and injured and people feeling unsafe riding bikes for transportation, which is critical for increasing sustainable mode share and reducing pollution and car traffic.”

The coalition of advocates and community members is asking San Franciscans to show their support for protected bike lanes and intersections on Arguello by sending an email to policymakers by going to the group's website at ProtectedArguello.com.

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