will hear closing arguments Tuesday to determine whether the city's Bicycle Plan,
which seeks to meet the demands of San Francisco's large and growing
bike constituency, will go forward as planned five years ago.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission
unanimously adopted the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's
Bicycle Plan in 2005. In 2006, however,
opponents, led by blogger and
supervisor candidate Rob
Anderson, successfully filed for an injunction on the project until a
full-scale Environmental Impact Report was conducted, as required by
In the drivers' corner, Anderson is still leading the fight to stop the bike plan in its tracks ... er, lanes. He said he and attorney Mary Miles will file an appeal if the injunction is thrown out
after tomorrow's arguments. He sees the Bicycle Plan as largely
political, and believes the city is
buckling to pressure from progressives and the outspoken cyclist community, despite the obvious and adverse consequences on traffic flow and
pollution. His main argument, now backed by the completed EIR, is that
and cars as a result of additional bike lanes will emit more smog.
"The bicycle is the politics to San Francisco. It's like the crucifix to
Christianity," he told us.
Furthermore, he says that despite his efforts to regularly blog his objections, the issue has by and large stayed out of the
"Until people start taking away lanes, the people in San Francisco won't
know about it. ... This is just nuts. I think if the majority of San
Franciscans had a chance to vote, they would reject it. But we'll never
get a chance to vote, because the bike people and their enablers in City
Hall will make sure of that," Anderson said.
Conversely, the city argues that the need for bike reform outweighs the
environmental impact and is banking that more people will trade in
their Clipper cards for helmets. Anderson called this a "fantasy" that
ignores those who simply cannot ride bikes, such as the disabled.
But when the city came
back with a surprising statistic last
year that the number of San Francisco bike riders had increased by 53
percent since the injunction
began, the court partially lifted the
injunction and gave the city the
green light on 45 of the most
low-impact projects, including the creation of sharrows, or
The project ultimately calls for additional bike lanes, traffic
signal improvements, more bike racks, and painting the pavement to create clearer pathways for cyclists.
Anderson said he will be in court tomorrow to hear the arguments.