Monkey-wrenching Bike Plans in San Fran
Image source: SFCitizen
The San Diego Union Tribune reports this morning that, while most cities are seeing a huge growth in bicycle-ridership, San Francisco has a bit of a cog in the wheel. 65-year old Rob Anderson thinks bikes might actually be more harmful for the environment and has demanded an environmental impact assessment from the city, ultimately halting the city's massive pro-bike plan rollout.
New bike lanes, bike racks and even a possible bike sharing program with an aim to increase ridership 10% by 2010 are all on halt until the city can quantify the environmental impact such a change might have. Bike riders, on the other hand, are furious, but nothing has worked, from protesting outside of City Hall to threatening to bring the issue to local voters.Anderson's beef: that cars will always outnumber bikes, and by squeezing streets to allow for bikes, you just make traffic congestion worse - thus increasing pollution. The city's bike-friendly plan included 527 pages of "maps, traffic analyses and a list of roughly 240 locations where the city hoped to make cycling easier."
Cycling has supporters across the US, with ridership up 70% over the last 7 years, according to the Union Tribune and in San Francisco in particular with a 10,00 strong San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who are actively fighting the block on the bike plan.
Anderson, by the way, has not owned a car in 20 years and first showed up on this issue at a planning commission meeting in February 2005 and has not left the issue since - taking the city to court to force an environmental review. In the meantime, the city is proceeding slowly with the review in order to not incur further protest from Anderson, and expects the review will take at least a year, with the first draft out this November for review.
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