Bike plan: Review to go on until 2008 

New lanes, dedicated routes and more racks for bicycles will not appear on city streets until late 2008 at the earliest, after The City completes the extensive, court-ordered review process on its plan to manage bicycle traffic.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will spend an estimated $615,000 over 17 to 20 months to complete an environmental impact report on its bicycle master plan, MTA officials said in a noontime forum at the San Francisco Policy and Urban Research Association Tuesday.

The review process began this month, MTA deputy director of planning Peter Albert and bicycle program manager Oliver Gajda said at the forum. Private consulting firm Wilbur-Smith Associates will conduct the review under the supervision of the MTA.

After a small advocacy group called the Coalition for Adequate Review sued The City over the 2005 plan, the San Francisco Superior Court ordered that a full environmental impact report be completed. The court found that, under the California Environmental Quality Act, the bicycle plan should be subject to environmental review because it changes the streetscape by adding bicycle lanes and racks and removing parking in some instances.

The City had considered the plan exempt from review on the grounds that bicycles do not have adverse environmental effects. Once the environmental impact report on the master plan is completed and any changes to the plan are applied, the plan will be subject to public comment, then must be re-approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed by the mayor.

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