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January 27, 2014

Bicycle Advisory Committee - January 27, 2014


Monday, January 27, 2014

6:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 408

Regular Meeting


1. Roll Call – Determination of Quorum

PRESENT: Kevin Dole - District 1, Richard Tilles - District 2, Marc Brandt - District 3, Morgan Fitzgibbons - District 5, Richard May - District 6, Bert Hill (Chair) - District 7, Timothy Doherty - District 8, Casey Dos Santos-Allen - District 11

The meeting was called to order at 6:36 PM

2. Announcements & Acknowledgments -

Former Committee member Jared Cohen has applied for the District 9 vacancy.

3. Approve Minutes - December 26, 2013 BAC Meeting

● Motion: Tilles

● Second: Dos Santos-Allen

The minutes were approved unanimously.

4. Public Comment: (Discussion Item)

There was no Public Comment.

5. Chair's Report (Information)

● A joint meeting of the SF Police Commission, SFMTA and BoS was held on January 16. Commander Ali of SFPD spoke for 45 minutes. There was a radical increase in pedestrian deaths in December 2013. SFPD will focus on enforcement to reduce collisions.

● Attempts to design a universal system of bicycle signals for Caltrans have been delayed by the difficulty of reconciling competing versions from multiple parties.

6. Committee Member Reports (Information)


● Requested confirmation that the vehicle code prevents SFPD from making accident reports public. The Chair confirmed that this is a matter of State law.

● A hackathon on bike theft will be held in April, with the goal of ending bike theft in the City in 2014. The website will be

● Brandt has attended meetings on the Columbus Ave Streetscape Project: He also recommends the NACTO “Urban Street Design Guide.”

● Dole attended a brainstorming session on improving Arguello Blvd hosted by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

7. Governmental Reports

a. MTA Bicycle Program Report – Ben Jose


● Reported on short-term improvements to King St since the March 2013 death of Diana Sullivan. Longer term improvements, including restriping and a road diet, are being evaluated. Details will be presented to the Committee when they are available.

● The Oak and Fell bikeways are scheduled to be repaved early in 2014.

● The Planning Department is preparing streetscape improvements to Polk St, the details of which will be shared with the public this spring.

● During 2013 426 bike racks and 21 bike corrals were installed. SFMTA expects to install its 50th bike corral at a small business in March or April 2014.

● Bayshore has been completely repaved. The bike lane project is nearing completion, anticipated to be finished early 2014.

● Bay St has been identified for a project between Laguna and Fillmore. Auto traffic will be reduced to one direction in each direction for cars. A bicycle lane will be buffered by back-in auto parking - the first in San Francisco.

● A traffic diverter at will be installed at Scott and Fell extra to prevent auto traffic and increase pedestrian safety. Local auto access will be allowed through a U-turn.


● Expressed appreciation for SFMTA creativity and willingness to “push the envelope” on the Wiggle project. Applauded the raised crosswalks at intersections and storm water improvements.


● SFMTA will host a community meeting on the San Jose Northbound Pilot Project on Monday, February 3, 2014.

● SFMTA will be hosting a workshop with stakeholder to identified projects for “spot improvement” in February or March and would like to include 2 - 3 Committee members.


● Requested online process for public suggestion of spot projects.


● SFMTA already receives lots of emails, conducts online surveys, and has information forwarded to it by the Bike Coalition.


● The new condo and apartment buildings being constructed in the Upper Market are require the reconfiguration of the bike infrastructure. New on street parking spaces for the buildings at Dolores & Castro and Dolores & Noe have put existing sharrows in the door zone and otherwise compromised cyclist safety.


● Madeline Savit advocated for the inclusion of rain gardens and other water infrastructure on Polk St.

b. BART Task Force – Dr. Shirley Johnson

No Report

c. Report on PSAC Joint Initiatives – Morgan Fitzgibbons

● Fitzgibbons requested clarification from the committee as to what specific issues they would like him to work on with PSAC.

● The Chair requested development of joint resolutions and a joint annual report on the Transit First policy.

● Doherty advocated for defusing bicycle and pedestrian tension.

● Fitzgibbons identified reconfiguring the Panhandle for both bicycles and pedestrians would be a good joint initiative to start with.

d. SFPD Report on Safety and Security Issues – Officer Matthew Friedman, Park Station

No report

e. Polk Street Progress – Madeleine Savit, Folks for Polk


● Folks for Polk is adopting a less adversarial strategy and is looking to collaborate with groups with whom it has had difference of opinion.

● Outreach has been emphasized to Chinese American property owners on Polk.

● The results of the Middle Polk survey have been released and show strong support for bicyclists and pedestrians.

● Merchants primary interest is encouraging economic vitality. Currently retails vacancies on Polk are 8 - 9 %

● Doherty expressed concerns about gentrification subsequent to bike infrastructure, citing the example of Valencia


● Polk differs from Valencia in that it is the only commercial corridor that provides essential services in the neighborhood,

● The Middle Polk Neighborhood Association received a grant from city for banners.

● SFMTA will be presenting on the Polk St project in late-February/early March 2014.

8. 2012-2013 Civil Grand Jury Report, “Are the Wheels Moving Forward? A Follow-Up to the 2009-2010 Civil Grand Jury Report: Sharing the Roadway – From Confrontation to Conversation”

Commander Michael Ali, SFPD Traffic Division, addressed the Committee.


● Commander Ali is a 22 year veteran of SFPD. He was assigned to MTA in July 2012 to handle and transit issues including bicycles.

● In 2013 there were 21 pedestrian fatalities, 7 of which were in December

● hoping for combination of exhange private and govt entities on same page with information sharing.

● SFPD had critically low staff levels in 2013 but has 3 academy classes scheduled per year over the next 5 years which will hopefully allow for increased enforcement.

● Tilles asked how many officers are in the Traffic Division. There are 47.

● Brandt requested information on the death of Diana Sullivan at 3rd & King. Cmdr. Ali said the cyclist was determined to be at fault.

● May asked how this conclusion was determined. The conclusion was based on witness statements. Cmdr. Ali declined to answer further questions since he was not involved in the investigation.

Chair Hill:

● Asked how the Committee can get access to fatality reports to for purposes of education. Ali stated that collision reports are confidential except o involved parties as per the California Vehicle Code.

● Asked about SFPD’s video training materials on cycling. Ali said tha SFPD has been meeting with SFBC and WalkSF to inform the production of a series of training videos.

● Doherty asked if SFPD had officers who were dedicated solely to riding bikes. Ali: SFPD officers are trained but are not dedicated to bicycles full-time, especially not when the department is understaffed.

Chair Hill:

● Asked if SFPD video materials were currently oriented toward safety or suspect pursuit. Ali said that videos were safety oriented when he took the training but that her could not comment on any changes since.

● Discussed the merits and drawbacks of a dedicated bicycle-mounted SFPD unit with Cmdr Ali.

● Asked about the modified citation ticket. Ali: there is a check box for both bikes and pedestrians.

● Advocated that the SFPD extend community engagement beyond the Bicycle Coalition and include the Committee and PSAC as well.

● Tilles advocated for SFPD discretion in enforcement, going with the “spirit” of the law if not “the letter” by prioritizing egregious behaviors that pose a threat to safety. Ali said that officers already exercise discretion and pointed to the low representation of cyclists among traffic citations as evidence.

● Discussion of SFPD citation data and reporting. The recent introduction of electronic citation machines can lead to more radily available data but cannot control for its accuracy at the time of entry. SFPD Chief Suhr has called for the development of a smartphone citation app.


● Madeline Savit spoke on the issue of “relative risk” and reframing the conversation around safety since bicycles are far less dangerous in collisions than automobiles.

9. Change to Meeting Schedule Revision for 2014

Committee members decided to reschedule the May 2014 meeting and combine the November and December 2014 meetings.


● Aaron Bialick spoke in favor of conducting Committee meetings in a more timely manner.

10. Sharing Lanes with MUNI Vehicles

Discussion tabled.


● Aaron Bialick asked the Committee to advocate changing the rule to allow for bicycles to use transit only lanes.

11. Continuing Status Review on Spot Project Requests

No action taken.

12. Adjournment

● Motion: Dole

● Second: Dos Santos-Allen

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.



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