It has been nearly one year since Heather Miller was killed on her Bicycle in Golden Gate Park by a speeding car. Since then, the city has moved ever so cautiously to make improvements in the park. To the city's credit, they have installed 5 removable posts and 10 speed bumps.
But safety in parks is not being improved quickly enough or substantially enough. We can't help but notice the speeding cars still cutting through Golden Gate Park. And there is an epidemic of cars blocking the city's showcase "protected" bike lane:
We make reports to Recreation and Parks, to the SFPD, and to the SFMTA. And yet the cars remain, un-towed and un-ticketed. We wonder - why cars are given such deference in a city park?
We have some ideas about how to improve this situation. But before we take action, we'd like to make some suggestions to city officials. Consider it a challenge, before our patience wears out.
1. More clearly mark parking information in Golden Gate Park. We sympathize with drivers who don't understand this confusing street design. We note that curb paint is faded and there are few labels on the street surface about where cars are allowed and prohibited.
2. Enforce parking (and speeding!) regulations in Golden Gate Park. Initially issue warnings and distribute informational materials to inform drivers that they are parked illegally. But then move on to ticketing and towing to keep space clear for pedestrians and bicyclists.
3. Install posts and curbs to protect the bike lanes. We are well aware that the department of Recreation and Parks Department wants to preserve a wide, unencumbered roadway for special events like the Bay to Breakers and the San Francisco Marathon. But we believe that removable posts (like those that were installed at Stanyan and JFK Drive on the edge of the park) should be used much more widely in the park to keep bicyclists safe and keep the bikeway clear of cars. Every other city is doing this better than San Francisco.
Can the city of San Francisco make bikes and pedestrians first priority in Golden Gate Park? If they can't, we have some ideas too. Donate to the SFMTrA.