/includes/analytics.js?v=cf34f82" type="text/javascript"> PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE
Bike the Bridge! Coalition
Contact: 
	 
Jason Meggs, BTB!C East Bay Coordinator,  
PAGE: 510-720-2818 ; 
FAX:  510-486-1528 ;  e-mail jmeggs@bikethebridge.org
Web site http://www.bikethebridge.org/


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2001
Page 1 of 2
 
 BICYCLISTS FOR BART STRIKE
  
  Bike the Bridge! Coalition supports workers' strike despite hardships for
  bicyclists 
  
  Demand equal access during the impending BART STRIKE 
  
  OPPOSE AB 1171 which seeks to kill alternative transportation and 
  explode new Bay Bridge costs
  
Despite the hardships that bicyclists who commute along the Bay Bridge
corridor will suffer, the Bike the Bridge! Coalition is in support of the
workers' right to strike.
    
 "Bicyclists in general support the workers' right to strike because they
 understand that alternative transportation interests need to stick
 together," said Jason Meggs, East Bay Coordinator of the Bike the Bridge!
 Coalition.  "Although transbay bicycle commuters rely heavily on BART, and
 will be the most impacted user group by a strike after people with
 disabilities, we support the workers' right to strike just as we support
 our right to BIKE THE BRIDGE.  In general, bicyclists and pedestrians can
 understand the frustration as we don't get our percentage points either."
     
In California, bicyclists and pedestrians are given less than one-half of
one percent of transportation funding, yet make up more than 11% of trips
and suffer over 25% of traffic fatalities.  Furthermore, many people
choose cycling for economic reasons as the cost of living in the Bay Area
skyrockets.  It is economic discrimination to prohibit bicycle access to
the bridge, just as it is unjust to not pay BART workers a living wage for
their important jobs.
      
"BART workers share another interest with transbay bike commuters.  
Future bridge access for bicycles and trains is in jeopardy right now due
to AB 1171.  BART workers have to deal with an overloaded system due to
the lack of options to Bay Area commuters," said Meggs.
       
The California Legislature is pondering Assembly Bill 1171, which
threatens to lock-in exorbitant cost overruns of the proposed new bridge,
while striking language requiring the "promised" bicycle path.  Even more
importantly to Bay Area commuters, the bill eliminates language
guaranteeing the funding of the Transbay Transit terminal, upon which the
future of
        
	Bike the Bridge! Coalition
	For Immediate Release
	September 4, 2001
	 
	 Page 2 of 2
	  
	  transbay transit depends.  The new bridge DOES NOT provide any
	  increased
	  transportation benefit, DOES NOT ensure a lifeline connection nor
	  safety
	  in the event of a large quake, but it DOES block future rail service
	  on
	  the bridge, and--evidently and most alarmingly--it seeks to quietly
	  delete
	  assurance that bicycle and pedestrian access will ever occur.
	   
	   The Bay Bridge used to carry twice as many people daily, on multi-car
	   intercity and commuter trains as well as electric Key System
	   interurbans.  
	   But in the 1950s, at the height of automotive hegemony, rail was
	   stolen
	   from the people by corrupt and powerful "special interests".  
	   Structurally, the existing bridge could again carry that rail, which
	   would
	   allow an effective complement to the BART system which is now at its
	   limits. The proposed new bridge CANNOT carry such rail, however,
	   although
	   Caltrans claims that "light rail" could use the bridge. Caltrans'
	   insincere light rail notion would require sacrificing an automobile
	   lane
	   and a shoulder in each direction of the bridge. Ensuring that even
	   that
	   will not happen, AB 1171 would mandate that the bridge be a ten-lane
	   freeway for cars, with two shoulders (for cars) in each direction.
	   No
	   rail right of way has been allowed for in the current design.  Light
	   rail
	   cannot provide the level of service that the original rail provided.
	    
	    At a time when the Governor has announced the end of expansion of
	    automobile-only infrastructure in California, we encourage Caltrans
	    to
	    make the intelligent choice of MAKING THE BRIDGE WORK by allowing
	    bicycle
	    access and increasing carpool lanes. We ask Caltrans to abandon
	    hopes of
	    turning the Bay Bridge into a pork barrel or a cash cow for its
	    favorite
	    contractors. And we implore the Legislature to reject AB 1171, which
	    would
	    instantly add--to the already high cost (by world standards) of
	    replacing
	    the bridge--more than one thousand million dollars (one followed by
	    nine
	    zeros) with no justification whatsoever. The project, already touted
	    as
	    Caltrans' biggest ever, would double in price, while its safety
	    factor and
	    its capacity would remain nearly identical. Measures should be
	    taken,
	    instead, to ensure that the Bay Bridge becomes a safe and vital link
	    for
	    all modes of transport.
	     
	     If we fail to wake up and begin organizing a rational
	     transportation
	     future, the highwaymen will get all the dollars while bicyclists,
	     pedestrians and carless people will get ZERO--ZERO access across
	     the bay
	     and an unlimited number of ZEROs to be added to the ever-growing
	     billions
	     the new ZERO-option bridge will cost.
	      
	      The Bike the Bridge! Coalition is calling on Bay Bridge commuters
	      who
	      drive to place a large ZERO on their vehicle, symbolizing their
	      role in
	      the bridge process.
	       
	       We are also calling on Caltrans to allow bicyclists to share the
	       right-hand lane in the event of a BART strike.  Many thousands
	       would take
	       advantage of what would then be the most reliable and for many,
	       the
	       quickest way across the bay.  Caltrans has legal authority to
	       make that
	       designation.  The Bay Bridge is not that unlike many San
	       Francisco
	       streets.  The Antioch toll bridge allows bicyclists to share the
	       right-hand lane and the Antioch has the same speed limit of 50
	       MPH.  
	       Caltrans can also reduce the speed limit to 35 MPH during the
	       strike,
	       which would allow more vehicles to use the bridge per hour.
	        
		Finally, we call on Caltrans to designate multiple car-pool/bus
		lanes on
		the bridge during the strike.
		 
		  

	    




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