Court Ruling Stalls San Francisco Bike Plan

Running afoul of the state's 1970 landmark environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), San Francisco's bike plan must undergo a full environmental review, ruled a superior court judge on Nov. 7.

"A small group calling itself the Coalition for Adequate Review sued the city last year, claiming that the bicycle plan should be subject to environmental review because it makes physical changes to the city's streetscape. They won the preliminary injunction in June. The group cited CEQA, which requires public projects to undergo a review if they might alter the environment.

In order to come into compliance with CEQA, the city must either conduct an environmental impact review (EIR) or become exempt from the process, according to Superior Court Judge Peter Busch.

Under a preliminary injunction that was upheld Tuesday, The City can continue to plan bicycle improvements, but it may not paint bicycle lanes, install bicycle racks or allow bicycles on San Francisco Municipal Railway vehicles until it comes into compliance with state environmental laws."

"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement that he was disappointed by the decision, but, 'I am in no way discouraged from my commitment to making San Francisco a world-class city for bicycling.' Newsom said The City's goal is to make 10 percent of all commute trips in The City bicycle trips by 2010.

"We're frustrated," San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum said Wednesday. "We've got a case here where the environmental laws are being perverted in a way that is not helping the environment and not helping the city of San Francisco."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: SF Examiner: Suit puts brakes on bike plan

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