Golden Gate Bridge Tables Consideration of Bicycle Speed Limits For Now

Update 12:20 p.m. Discussion of the Golden Gate Bridge bike speed limits proposal has been tabled for now. Bay City News reports.

Golden Gate Bridge officials agreed today to put off deciding on a proposal to set a 10 mph speed limit for bicyclists on the bridge until more input can be gathered from the Bay Area cycling community.

Several people who spoke at the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District board’s Building and Operating Committee meeting today expressed surprise and resentment that they hadn’t been consulted earlier, even though the concept has been considered for about a year.

The goal of the proposal is to reduce accidents on the bridge.

Earlier post The Golden Gate Bridge’s Building and Operating Committee is discussing a proposal to impose a speed limit for bicycles on the bridge, along with accompanying fines. The committee will decide whether to forward the proposal to the full board for consideration at its May 13 meeting.

You can read the full proposal here. The three components that are attracting the most attention:

1. Adopt a 10 mile per hour speed limit for bicyclists on the east and west sidewalks, with a 5 mile per hour speed limit around the Bridge towers and in construction and maintenance zones on the sidewalks

2. Adopt a 10 mile per hour bicycle speed limit on all pathways used by bicyclists to access the Bridge sidewalks

3. Implement a fine schedule for the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) use that provides that a violation of the bicycle speed limits results in a $100 fine per offense for the infraction, and continue to work with CHP regarding the mechanism of enforcement through the Superior Courts in both Marin and San Francisco counties.

KQED News intern Becky Palmstrom yesterday spoke to Hunter Ziesing, executive director of the cycling group Z teaM, and Mary Currie, a spokesman for the Golden Gate Bridge about the proposal.

Ziesling said he supports the plan, as “cyclists go way too fast across the bridge.” But he thinks the proposed speed limits are too slow and is opposed to the imposition of fines.

Listen to ZteaM’s Hunter Ziesing on the bike speed limit proposal:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/GGBikesBiker.mp3|titles=GGBikesBiker

Bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie said that the proposal grew out of a study that showed speed as a factor in 39% of biking accidents on the span. She said any fine money would go to San Francisco or Marin, not the bridge.

Listen to GG Bridge’s Mary Currie on the proposal :http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/GGBikesSpokesperson.mp3|titles=GGBikesSpokesperson

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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