News MCBC Members Speak Out at Bridge District Board Meeting
Increased wind on the Golden Gate Bridge bike path has been on MCBC’s radar for a while now. In June, we distributed a survey asking, “How has the new railing affected your ride?” A lot, it turns out.
Five respondents in six said that riding the bridge is worse than it was before, with two in three saying it was “much worse.” Additionally, a large number of people reported crashing on the bridge due to wind impacts, far more than the Bridge District states in their monthly General Manager reports. (For more information on both the survey results and the crash testimonies, see our previous coverage here)
At the June 25th Bridge District Board Meeting, MCBC staff submitted a letter and provided spoken comment, reiterating the issues described above. Several other people also called in to share their harrowing experiences of getting knocked off their bike while riding the bridge, one woman while riding with her child on the back of her cargo bike.
While we do not expect to win significant concessions from the Golden Gate Bridge leadership immediately, we did receive a positive response from staff, who were compelled to address the concerns we and the other commenters raised. On the call they mentioned that they would investigate the possibility of improving the system by which crashes can be reported, including a self-reporting system.
While such a change would not actually make the bridge any safer to ride on, the first step of convincing the Bridge District leadership that they have a problem is by gathering more data. Currently, by their own count (which we believe to be a significant understatement of the number of bike crashes), a person is 5 times as likely to crash and 21 times as likely to be injured if they choose to cross the bridge on a bike rather than drive a car. This disparity alone would be unacceptable, and we believe it is much greater.
We are following up individually with Bridge District board members to hear their reaction to our findings, and judge their willingness to push for safety and crash reporting improvements on the Bridge.
Keep an eye out for future opportunities to make your voice heard and improve safety on the Golden Gate Bridge.
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