Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My letter to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the Office of Sustainability at SFSU where I teach.

Hi Janice,
Thanks for reaching out to SFSU. Any program that addresses mobility in this part of the city has to address the campus there. With a school of this size the potential for reducing auto traffic is huge however students traveling here are faced with cumbersome, indirect transit choices, harrowing pedestrian accommodation and even worse bicycle infrastructure in the adjacent areas. The high level of student car traffic, ( a huge segment of which is students searching for parking by in the surrounding neighborhoods) overlaying the already overburdened 19th St. corridor is appalling but holds many promising potential areas for improvement. 
For example, Holloway Avenue is my commute route to the Fine Art Dept. at SFSU but when I travel there or leave my night class I battle car traffic using the street as a short cut to 280 and the City College area. I also see scores of students hiking from Balboa Park Bart along this route, students who could be on bikes but are most likely put off by the unsafe conditions. Currently the route has sharrows and speed humps but it is not enough. Many times cars have accelerated unsafely past me in the dark against oncoming traffic over the speed humps to make time. Holloway is designed as a quasi-bike boulevard but is actually a very unsafe auto shortcut.
I have proposed at the August meeting of the San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Commitee that this route have traffic diversion at a key point, Ashton Avenue. This would make the street a true bike boulevard, the area would only be open to local residential traffic and bicyclists would feel much safer traveling there. 
Furthermore this would provide a crucial bicycle link between City College and SFSU, it is frankly a no-brainer. 
The success of such a diversion and the resulting bike-friendly boulevard would increase bicycling to SFSU from the eastern parts of the city and BART exponentially. The success of such a diversion could also lead to similar improvements in other parts of the city. It could be a watershed bike improvement project in the history of San Francisco's move towards a low-carbon sustainable future. 
I would be happy to lead any interested parties on a tour of the street and point out the obstacles to safe bicycling there.  
Anthony Ryan 
Lecturer, Fine Arts Department 

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San Francisco, CA, United States
I am an artist and teacher in San Francisco, CA.