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Release date: 8/31/10

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni) and all surface transportation in San Francisco, today joined community members and the San Francisco Bike Coalition (SFBC) to celebrate the completion of a pair of bike lanes on North Point Street, the first of 20 new bike lanes that the SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets team will complete by summer 2011.

“In San Francisco, more than 100,000 trips a day are made by bicycle—for shopping and dining as well as commuting,” said Mayor Newsom. “I know that with a safer and more robust bike network, more and more San Franciscans will start bicycling.”

“This set of bike lanes closes a gap in the network, yielding a nearly continuous chain of paths and lanes between the Golden Gate Bridge and AT&T Park,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO of the SFMTA. “These lanes will attract regular commuters as well as visitors and casual bicyclists.”

“We are eager to celebrate even more bike lanes that will be added to streets all across the city creating connections and making it easier and safer for San Franciscans to live, shop, play and do business,” says Renée Rivera, Acting Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The North Point bike lanes run in both directions and cover the one mile stretch between The Embarcadero and Van Ness Avenue, connecting The Embarcadero to the popular Ft. Mason waterfront bike path and the bike lanes on Polk Street. These lanes provide a vital east-west connection in the northeastern part of the City. As part of this project, the SFMTA also reconfigured the traffic lanes to better accommodate current traffic volumes and improved the bus zones so that Muni buses can more easily pull in and out of them.

On August 6, the San Francisco Superior Court issued an order that lifted a four-year-long injunction against such bike network improvements. The SFMTA began the bike lane project on Townsend Street the following Monday. In addition to the upcoming bike lane projects, the SFMTA has set installation schedules to install all remaining shared roadway markings or “sharrows” (an increase of 300% in one year) and all previously requested bike racks by the end of 2010.

The expansion of the bike network is the first goal of the Bicycle Plan. The City’s Bicycle Plan outlines eight main goals: 1) increasing bike lanes and shared roadway markings or “sharrows” (the stencils of bikers with directional arrows painted on the streets, which were pioneered in San Francisco); 2) expanding bike parking; 3) extending accessibility of bikes on local transit; 4) furthering bike safety education; 5) improving bicycle safety through targeted enforcement; 6) promoting and encourage safe bicycling; 7) adopting bicycle-friendly practices and policies; and 8) prioritizing and increasing bicycle funding as well as series of more than 80 actions to make bicycling more attractive.

Even while the Bicycle Plan has been under the injunction, bicycling has increased dramatically in San Francisco. On May 13, Bike to Work Day, Bike Program staff counted more than 1,000 bicyclists, making up nearly 75 percent of the total vehicles. In 2006, bicycles accounted for a mere 44 percent.

Since November when Judge Peter J. Busch modified the 2006 injunction on the Bicycle Plan in to allow a limited number of bike lane projects and other improvements, the SFMTA has completed nine new bike lane projects, installed 1,600 sharrows, installed more than 400 sidewalk bike racks and five on-street “bike corrals”, and created a green bikeway on Fell Street and one on Market Street that is fully separated from motor vehicle traffic.

As part of the SFMTA’s balanced approach to transportation in San Francisco, the Bicycle Program, which oversees the Bicycle Plan, ensures education and safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. More information on the San Francisco Bicycle Plan, including specific projects, can be found at

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