Monday, November 13, 2006

The public wants to know

Hi Rob -

I read your response to the MTA on PROSF and am very interested in learning more about your position. I believe you stated that you are one of the petitioners in the suit. I agree that it is grossly unfair that the CEQA requirements, which have been in place in CA since 1971, have totally been circumvented here. Surely this project deserves a full Environmental Impact Review (EIR) as it makes tremendous physical changes to our City Streets (think San Jose Ave from Army/Caesar Chavez to Randall) and all this done without public notice or hearings? Unbelievable. The bicycle coalition has 5,000 members, and yet they tell the other 800,000 people in SF what to do?

Is there anyway you could forward me some information regarding your case? If not, can you point me in the right direction on where to look? Even a court assigned case number would be helpful.

Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006
From: Rob Anderson
Subject: The Ruling on the Bicycle Plan
To: Mayor's Office

My Dear Jennifer:

I'm one of the Petitioners in the Bicycle Plan litigation, and this is a response to your PROSF post:
As Judge Busch said in his decision, the litigation was not about the merits of the Bicycle Plan but about how the city violated CEQA by not doing any environmental study before passing both the Framework Document and the Network Document. We have no quarrel with making the streets safer for cyclists, but we have to do it within the law, which has specific legal requirements before governments can implement major projects like this. And, at the very least, the people in the neighborhoods have a right to know what the city is planning to do to their streets, which includes taking away street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes. Mayor Newsom also doesn't seem to understand that the bike people do not really respect him or his political perspective. They didn't vote for him in 2003, and they won't vote for him in 2007. They are in fact more anti-car than they are pro-bike; they want to make it as hard and as expensive as possible for people to drive in San Francisco. In a city that, according to the DMV, has 452,813 registered motor vehicles, that is bad policy, not to mention the harm it can do to the city's tourist industry, which also requires a drivable city.
Rob Anderson

Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006
From: "Rob Anderson"
Subject: The Bike Ruling
To: Maggie Lynch (MTA)

My Dear Maggie:

As one of the Petitioners in this litigation, I don't necessarily disagree about making the streets safer for cyclists in SF, but not at the expense of everyone else who uses the streets, like Muni and motor vehicles. In a city that, according to the DMV, has 452,813 registered motor vehicles, not to mention 1000 Muni vehicles, along with 25,000 people driving in from out of town every weekday, completely redesigning city streets for 1% of the population (SFCTA's estimate) who commute by bicycle is unacceptable. The city needs to do an EIR so that, at the very least, people in the neighborhoods can know what the city and the SFBC want to do to their streets, which includes taking away street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes. As Judge Busch says in the decision, this litigation was not about the contents of the Bicycle Plan, but the city's rather flagrant violation of CEQA. The city has done no environmental study on the 460-page Bicycle Plan.

Rob Anderson

From: Lynch, Maggie]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08
Subject: SFMTA Response to Bicycle Plan Ruling
Media Contact: Maggie Lynch

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
Responds to Bicycle Plan Ruling

The SFMTA today expressed disappointment in the November 7 ruling by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Busch on the implementation of the City's bicycle plan. The ruling states that "the Court may continue in effect the existing injunction against project activities until such time as compliance with CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] is fully achieved." The agency is currently reviewing the decision in order to determine next steps and will partner with all interested stakeholders to ensure the future success of the Bicycle Program.

"I want to emphasize that the Bicycle Program is an integral part of the SFMTA's multi-modal vision of moving people and goods around the City and County of San Francisco," said Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., the SFMTA's Executive Director/CEO. "We will continue to strive to make San Francisco streets better and safer for bicyclists."

As part of the SFMTA's balanced approach to transportation in San Francisco, the Bicycle Program, which oversees the plan, ensures education and safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.

Since its inception in 1992, the Bicycle Program has installed 40 miles of bike lanes, 23 miles of bicycle paths, and provided signs for 82 miles of bicycle routes. The Bicycle Program does much more than create bike lanes. The program supports bicycle education for adults and youth, installs bike racks at popular destinations and central locations, identifies locations for better signs, improves off-street trails, and provides outreach, including safety gear and information (such as maps) to encourage safe and courteous cycling.

In April of this year, the League of American Bicyclists gave San Francisco a Bicycle Friendly Community Gold Level ranking, making San Francisco one of only seven cities nationwide to achieve this status.

From: Jennifer Petrucione]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Subject: *** PRESS RELEASE ***


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 Contact: Mayor's Office of Communications, 415-554-6131

Mayor Newsom today reaffirmed his support for significant improvement to bicycling conditions in San Francisco, following a Superior Court ruling that sends the City's 2005 Bicycle Plan back to the environmental review process and slows the implementation of the city's goal to create a citywide bicycle network. "I am disappointed by the court's ruling on the city's Bicycle Plan, but I am in no way discouraged from my commitment to making San Francisco a world class city for bicycling," said Mayor Newsom. "Better, safer bicycling is good for San Franciscans and good for our environment." I remain committed to realizing our goal of a citywide bicycle network, that unites the current patchwork of bike lanes into a unified, comprehensive system." San Francisco has set an ambitious goal to make 10% of all commute trips in the City bicycle trips within the next 3 and a half years. Additionally, San Francisco was recently designated a Gold level Bike-Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, one of the only 7 cities in the nation to receive the honor.

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