Golden Gate bike speed-limit plan delayed 

The Golden Gate Bridge district opted to delay action Thursday on a proposed 10 mph bike speed limit on the span, following backlash from cyclists.

Although a yearlong study on bike and pedestrian patterns on the bridge found no significant safety concerns, district officials recommended imposing the speed limit with a $100 fine for violators that is likely to be much higher when other fees are imposed.

However, after hearing feedback from cycling training groups, bike coalitions, and rental companies about the flaws of the plan, a committee of the bridge district opted to table the speed limit plan until a later, unspecified, date.

Originally, the speed limit was set for final authorization at the district’s May 13 meeting, and could have been implemented by the end of the summer, but that timeline is now unlikely to be met due to
Thursday’s action.

A wide array of cycling backers found fault with the district’s plan, complaining of a lack of outreach to the bike community while the one-year study was being conducted. Most of the cyclists who showed up at Thursday’s meeting weren’t informed about the speed limit plan until Tuesday. The cyclists also questioned the feasibility of enforcing the plan and the wisdom of slapping fines on bikers who might be unaware of their speeds.

“This proposal is poorly prepared and unlikely to meaningfully address safety on the bridge,” said Andy Thornley, policy director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, which represents 12,000 cyclists.

Per the bridge district’s plan, a speeding cyclist would be issued a $100 base fine for the violation, but that cost would increase significantly after various fees are attached.

To compare, a motorist travelling 16-25 mph over the speed limit in San Francisco faces a $50 base fine, but once all the state, local, and court fees are tacked on, that total increases to $225.

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Will Reisman

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