Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From the San Francisco Biker Bulletin

"I'm envisioning it as a public park on the street."

- Barbara Randall, the Executive Director of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, The New York Times, July 11, 2008, (in reference to New York City's plan to create a public esplanade by transforming Broadway from a four-lane to two-lane boulevard with a physically protected bicycle lane and added space for pedestrians, cafe tables and benches.)

Bike Plan hearing at City Hall Monday

As we mark the two-year anniversary of the Bike Plan injunction, we've just received truly appalling news -- the Bike Plan EIR has slipped even further behind its already-too-long schedule, putting the City even further away from lifting the injunction and getting back to striping bike lanes and installing bike racks. We are infuriated that the City has failed again in its promise to make this critical work a top priority, infuriated that commonsense bicycle safety improvements wait for a wasteful bureaucratic knot to untangle...

The Bike Plan injunction freezes all physical improvements for bicycle traffic in San Francisco until a Judge is satisfied that adequate environmental review of the Plan has been conducted. While imaginary impacts are studied in a massive transportation analysis, real cyclists are victims of real impacts riding the city's streets right now. Why is safer, everyday bicycling being held hostage to imaginary impacts of perceived motorist convenience? And what is the City doing to fix this insane inversion of public interest?

Come out to an important public hearing at the Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee, Monday, July 21 (1:00 pm, City Hall, Room 263), called by Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval. If you've been hit and hurt while riding your bike in SF, if you've been discouraged from biking while waiting for the City to get back to making safety improvements for bicycling, or if you're just fed up with the insanity of San Francisco's execution on its promise of better streets for bicycling, please come out. The Bike Plan item is expected to come up at about 2pm or later, so if you'd like to be notified when things get close, contact Andy and we'll be happy to give you a call. Even if you can't make it to the hearing, please send a message about your displeasure with the slipping Bike Plan timeline via email to Mayor Gavin Newsom, Planning Director John Rahaim, MTA Executive Director Nat Ford, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera. And stand by for more news soon...

Bikes! Beer! Costumes and More! Tour de Fat is Saturday, July 19

Bring on the beer drinking and feather boa-wearing in the name of better biking in the Bay Area! Tour de Fat rolls into Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadows this Saturday, July 19, kicking off with a 9am costumed Bike Parade through Golden Gate Park and beyond. (Download parade waiver and map now.)

The bike-fun doesn't stop there! The beer starts a-flowin' and the show starts a-goin' at 11:30am with Mucca Pazza, PAPERBIRD and more! There will be crazy bikes to try out, a full day of great music on the solar powered stage, and beer, beer and more beer! Must be 21+ to drink, but this is an all ages show.

The ballyhoo of bikes and beer, sponsored by our friends at New Belgium Brewery, is an all-green, all-day FUNdraiser benefiting the SFBC and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Come on out, and have a good time for a great cause. Don't forget to ride yer bike to the show. Valet bike parking provided (of course).

In order to make it a day to remember--we need YOU! It takes over 150 volunteers to make it happen--parking bikes, pouring beer, checking IDs, selling tees--don't miss out! Sign up at sfbike.org/?vol_sign_up_tdf today. Volunteers receive a 2008 Tour de Fat tee + a beer. Thanks folks, we couldn't do it without ya.

SFBC's Facebook fans, let all your friends know you're coming in your RSVP to this FB event .

Ding! Ding! Get your FREE bike bell this Wednesday

Get a free bike bell when you pedal your bike by the fabulous SFBC Streetside Outreach Team at Fox Plaza (Market near 9th) this Wednesday from 5-7pm. (Thanks to the SFMTA for donating 800 bells!) It's a great time to chat with fellow cyclists and catch up on the latest SFBC advocacy work. Have a bike bell, but know someone else who needs one? Pass it on! Are you an SFBC member who wants to help? Email kate@sfbike.org.

The SFBC is proud to partner with the SFMTA and help install these bells and add safety and cheer to bike rides across San Francisco. Find out how a polite little ding can add cheer to your ride in this Tube Times article (page 4).

Save the Date: Southwest Bike Network Tour!

Join your southwest cycling compatriots on a July 26th Bike-A-Bout in the southwest corner of town. We'll be taking a look at several major bicycling corridors and discussing plans and next steps to improve them with bike lanes, traffic calming, and other infrastructure changes. Bike lanes on Ocean? Phelan? Better connections to SFSU? This ride is for you. We'll start at the Balboa Park BART (lower level by the concession truck) and finish up with a picnic in a grassy park along the way. Bring lunch or something to share. Everyone is welcome! Email Rachel to be added to our Southwest Cycling Committee list.

What: Southwest Cycling Committee Bike-a-Bout
When: Saturday, July 26th, 11am-1pm
Starting Point: Balboa Park BART Station - Lower Level, next to the Concession Truck

Fix Masonic Meeting Next Tuesday

Fix Masonic will be holding a mid-summer meeting: Tuesday, July 22nd, 6:30pm at Coffee to the People, 1206 Masonic Avenue @ Haight. We'll be discussing timeline and support for the Panhandle Path improvements at Fell/Masonic, next steps for Fix Masonic's corridor design concepts, and we may start putting on our thinking caps for PARKing Day plans for 2008. We'd love to have you join us in our efforts to make one of SF's most notorious traffic sewers safe, dignified, and delightful for all modes of transportation -- pedestrians, bikes, buses, and, yes, cars too. (They'll have to drive slower though! In response to our traffic calming petition, the Municipal Transportation Agency recently voted to lower the speed limit on Masonic to 25 mph.) To learn more about Fix Masonic, click here.

SFBC Volunteers Have More Fun!

Get in on the action:

  • Streetside Outreach: Ding! Ding! The Streetside Outreach team will be hosting another Free Bike Bell station for commuters to feel the SFBC's bike love and learn about the SFBC's important bike work. To join us on July 16 from 5-7pm at Fox Plaza (Market near 9th/Larkin) and get in on the fun, contact kate@sfbike.org.

  • Tour de Fat, the ballyhoo of bikes and beer--and a SFBC volunteer favorite--is coming this Saturday, July 19 to Golden Gate Park! Over 150 SFBC member-volunteers make it happen as wristband-its, bike valets, and more! Volunteer now to ensure your choice spot under the big tent.

  • Bicycle Film Festival: Four days of bike-themed movies, parties, races, art and music July 23-26! The SFBC is proud to provide a volunteer staff of nearly 100 people for the festival. SFBC member-volunteers get a free ticket to the film screening of their choice. Volunteer now to ensure you get your free ticket!

  • Choose GOOD Block Party: The SFBC's Bike Valet will be parking bikes this Sunday, July 20 at GOOD Magazine's Block Party at 111 Minna from 1-8 PM. Music by DJ Franki Chan, The Morning Benders, The Mumlers, DJ Vin Sol and more. Bike valet volunteers will receive an event pass. To volunteer email vbpvolunteer@sfbike.org

Caltrain Bike Master Plan -- ask your mayor to speak up

What's the most energy-efficient, least-congesting, and healthiest way to commute up and down the Peninsula? Caltrain-plus-bike is our answer, as it has been for many years. Riding to and from the station and bringing your bike along on Caltrain places the least burden on the whole system, but Caltrain's work on a Bicycle Master Plan has totally missed that point and ignores the obvious need to maintain and grow "bikes on board". Read the SFBC's comments on the Caltrain Bicycle Master Plan, then consider sending a letter to your mayor (San Mateo, San Francisco, San Jose, etc.) to ask for her/his support for a true Master Plan for Bikes and Caltrain -- download our template, fill in the blanks, and send it along (or make a phone call if you can't spare the time). For more information on the SFBC's Caltrain campaign, see our Bikes ONBoard page.

Join the Campaign for bike lanes on 17th St.

Longing for a cross-town bike lane to get you from the Castro to the Bay? Now is the time to join our newly re-energized 17th St. Committee as we work on strategies and outreach for the coming year. We will need to build a strong coalition of support for this exciting project to happen and need your help! Come to our first group meeting on Wednesday July 23rd, from 6:30-8pm. We will talk about previous outreach efforts, design options, and map outreach strategies for the coming months. Join us to make sure 17th becomes one of San Francisco's newest bike lanes!
What: 17th St. Committee Meeting
When: Wednesday, July 23, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: A friendly neighbor's house on the 17th St. Corridor
Contact: neal@sfbike.org for more information and meeting location.

Bay Area Bicycle Coalition seeks Executive Director

The Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC), which represents the nine Bay Area county bicycle coalitions on regional issues, seeks applicants for the position of Executive Director to work on a range of exciting issues to improve bicycling in the San Francisco Bay Area including: Working with government agencies, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans, cities, counties, and transit agencies to develop improved bicycle policies and facilities; Improving bicycle access to transit systems throughout the Bay Area; Securing direct bicycle access on all trans-Bay bridges; Promoting cycling via public information, education, and advocacy; Coordinating the regional Bike to Work Day promotional event. Applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three writing samples to apply -- see the BABC website for details and instructions; no phone calls please.

Video: Tour De Fat

Tour de Fat rolls into town this Saturday, wondering what to wear? Watch the festivities in Fort Collins and get excited!

Upcoming Events

** Wednesday, July 16th **

SFBC Streetside Outreach: Free Bike Bells!
5-7pm | Fox Plaza (Market near 9th/Larkin)

Ding! Ding! Get a classy FREE bike bell when you roll on by the fabulous SFBC Streetside Outreach Team. (Thanks to SFMTA for donating 800 bells!) While you wait, catch up on the latest SFBC advocacy work and enjoy the good company of your fellow cyclist! Want to be a Streetside Outreach Team Volunteer? Contact kate@sfbike.org.

** Thursday, July 17th **

Noon Bike Movie: Triplets of Belleville *
12:00 noon, Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St. (bike parking on Grove)

The SF Public Library is celebrating the 2008 Tour de France with "Les Bicyclettes", a series of free films every Thursday in July. This week, enjoy Triplets of Belleville (2002, 81 min.). When a cyclist is kidnapped from the Tour de France, a grandmother, her dog and a trio of jazz-era stars set out on a journey to rescue him. Weird, beautiful, silly fun; in French with English subtitles. Free!

SF Mess at LaborFest *
5-7pm, Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th St.

This locally produced documentary by SFBC member Greg Rodgers looks at the union organizing effort in the San Francisco bike messenger world. Learn about the lives and conditions of bike messenger workers. The International Working Class Film and Video Festival is part of LaborFest, established in 1994 to institutionalize the history and culture of working people in an annual labor cultural, film and arts festival. $7.

** Friday, July 18th **

Tour de Fat Happy Hour
5:30-8pm; The Knock Out 3223 Mission St. @ 29th St.

Gear up and head out to the Knock Out for a Tour de Fat happy hour before the ballyhoo of festivities the next day in Golden Gate Park. Join the Guardian and the SFBC at this no cover event. Live bands and specially priced New Belgium brews. Ride yer bike, because Valet Bike Parking provided by the SFBC.

** Saturday, July 19th **

Tour de Fat
9am-4pm | Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park

Oil your bike chain and don your capes, crowns, tutus and tuxedos! Tour de Fat is back for a ballyhoo of bikes and beer sponsored by the New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of the acclaimed Fat Tire Ale. Of course, valet bike parking provided, so ride yer bike!

Over 150 SFBC member-volunteers make it happen as beer pourers, wristband-its, bike valets, and more! Volunteer now to ensure your choice spot under the big tent.

Bike Ed - Day One: Street Skills
10am-2pm, Port of San Francisco, Pier 1 Bayside Conference Room, Embarcadero @ Washington

This four hour in-classroom courses teach the basics of safe and enjoyable cycling, including riding in traffic, necessary equipment, crash avoidance, and legal rights and responsibilities. Open to adults 14 and over. Bicycle not required, but please bring your lunch. Note: this is the "day 1" course for League of American Bicyclists' Bike Ed Road I certification. Each class is free, but you must register.

** Sunday, July 20th **

Choose GOOD Block Party *
1-8pm, 111 Minna Gallery

Join GOOD Magazine and 111 Minna Gallery for the 2nd Annual explosion of booth vendors, live music, great food, and drinks. Music by DJ Franki Chan, The Morning Benders, The Mumlers, DJ Vin Sol and more. For subscribers only - so subscribe before you RSVP at www.goodmagazine.com/events/sf08. Free valet bike parking provided. To volunteer as a bike valet email vbpvolunteer@sfbike.org.

Night Ride: Black Point Battery
7:30pm Panhandle statue, Fell and Baker Sts.

This Fort Mason destination feels as secret and mysterious as its name. Bring hors d'oeuvres to share, blinky lights, and fog-appropriate clothing. Info: nancy@nancybotkin.com.

** Monday, July 21st **

Hearing on Bike Plan Injunction at Board of Supervisors*
1pm, City Hall, Room 263

Frustrated by the freeze on bike improvements in SF because of the injunction against the city's official Bike Plan? Share your concerns with our city leaders at this hearing of the SF Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee.