SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, May 9, Mayor London Breed revealed that the city of San Francisco will double its pace on developing new bike lanes to create 20 miles of new, protected bike lanes over the next two years to help increase a connected bike lane network throughout the region. According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, Mayor Breed asked for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to increase citations against those who block bike lanes by 10 percent over the next six months, starting immediately.
“Since 2006, bicycling in San Francisco has almost tripled. As our city continues to grow, we know we need more protected bike lanes, not only to keep people safe, but also to encourage more people to bike in the City and reduce congestion. That is why I am directing the SFMTA to double our pace of creating new bike lanes in San Francisco,” said Mayor Breed. “While we work to create the bike infrastructure we need, we also need to make sure that we’re keeping cars and trucks out of the bike lane so that bicyclists are not forced into traffic.”
The SFMTA goal of increasing bike lanes is expected to transpire within the next two years with dedicated bike infrastructure throughout the city and help create a more complete protected bicycle network. The SFMTA built protected bike lanes at a pace of just over 5 miles per year in 2017-2018. The increased production is the result of Mayor Breed’s efforts to streamline the process to deliver safety projects, which she announced in March, and will be heard by the SFMTA Board later this month. The SFMTA reported roughly 27,000 citations for infractions related to blocking bike lanes in the final six months of 2018.
“On San Francisco’s biggest biking day of the year, Mayor Breed has issued a bold challenge to the SFMTA to quickly close the gaps in our citywide protected bike lane network,” said Brian Wiedenmeier, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “Building out our infrastructure is the best way to improve safety and make it easier for people to bike to work, school or wherever they may need to go. We will need more of this kind of leadership moving forward if we want to grow the number of people biking, achieve Vision Zero by 2024 and meet our ambitious climate goals.”
An evaluation of street safety improvements was released last week on street safety improvements. Bicyclists who were surveyed about the new Folsom Street, 83 percent reported increased comfort after the completion of the project. Turk Street saw a 287 percent rise in bike counts following a bike lane being installed. The new projects helped decrease traffic and saw a 18 percent drop in car speeds on Vicente Street following the introduction of new bike lanes and speed humps.