Most S.F. bicycle routes for expert riders only 

click to enlarge bike routes
  • Mike Koozmin/2012 S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Most of The City's most popular bike routes are for "strong and fearless riders," according to a city survey; fixing the issue would cost $600 million.

Less than 10 percent of The City's bike network is considered safe for cyclists of all ages, and meeting the needs of all those bicyclists would cost about $600 million over the next half-decade.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency recently evaluated all the various bike routes in The City, scoring each path based on comfort, terrain, speed of nearby cars and other factors. Each segment was rated on a scale of 1 to 4 based on traffic-level stress. A Level 4 bike path was deemed appropriate only for the most "strong and fearless riders."

Unfortunately for cyclists, that Level 4 rating includes nearly all of Market Street, The City's most-traveled bike corridor. Only smaller, protected pathways in areas such as Golden Gate Park and the Presidio garnered Level 1 ratings, which indicate that conditions are safe for cyclists between the ages of 8 and 80.

The transit agency, which manages bike policies in The City, has pledged $30 million in cycling improvements over the next five years, but that will only upgrade a fraction of The City's bike network. To achieve its goal of having 8 percent to 9 percent of all in-city trips taken by cyclists by 2018, it would require a $200 million investment. Making the bike network safe for all cyclists would entail $600 million, according to the transit agency.

Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said his agency would review potential funding opportunities for building out the bike network.

"In any case, we all agree we need to make more investments in our network," Reiskin said at a board of directors meeting Tuesday.

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Will Reisman

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Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016


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