From the Bike Coalition comes the news that the city does not expect to finish the Environmental Review of its bike plan until 2009. Because of the lawsuit filed by pro-car types (with, unfortunately, sound legal basis), the city is required to complete an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) before implementing any of the recommendations in the plan. This means that the city’s not allowed to create new bike lanes, or even designate new bike routes, until the EIR is completed. Perhaps most egregiously, the city’s not even allowed to put in new bike racks!
It’s not clear what’s holding up the EIR, other than a lack of political will. It’s been over a year since a judge first handed down an injunction against the plan, and initial estimates were that the EIR would be finished by next spring. It seems now that the process will take twice as long as predicted. For those of us who depend on bikes for transportation, that’s unacceptable.
It’s time for the city to step up. It’s becoming more and more clear that global warming is real, and will have effects not just on future generations, but on our own. One of the biggest contributors to global warming is cars. Bikes are not the only alternative to driving everywhere, but they are an important one. And, as the picture above illustrates, bikes cause way less traffic than cars.
Cyclists, along with labor, elected officials, pedestrian advocates, and neighborhood activists, fought together this November to fight for improved public transit. It’s time we all fight together again to insist on the bike plan review being a priority. Call the mayor and your supervisor and insist on a timely review.