Headlands Pilot Update We’ve Heard You… Has GGNRA / NPS?

Hundreds of you have written the Golden Gate National Recreation Area / National Park Service (NPS) asking them to undo a traffic pilot that, by all accounts, compromises the safety and enjoyment of those visiting the Headlands by bike.

NPS staff responded to MCBC and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition by saying they will remove several delineator posts to create room for cyclists to leave the bike lane to pass other cyclists or avoid debris. They are also considering whether they have the capacity to regularly sweep the bike lane.

We haven’t, however, received any indication as to whether the following unpopular elements will be eliminated or changed when the pilot expires this Sunday, July 15:

– Presence of parking along the former downhill lane of Conzelman Road and, subsequently, the routing of downhill traffic in the former uphill travel lane (directly adjacent the the uphill bike lane).

– Ability to ride the Baker-Barry Tunnel eastbound with same-direction traffic.

NPS’ plans beyond July 15 remain unclear. Both MCBC and the SF Bicycle Coalition have pressed NPS to involve us as they move forward.

Parks for People… Or Cars?

In addition to voicing concerns about your ability to safely enjoy cycling in the Headlands, many of you have questioned NPS’ priorities:

– This pilot, whether deliberately intended or not, caters exclusively to people driving into the Marin Headlands at the expense of those who use other means to access the area, particularly cyclists. The best way to improve traffic flow through the area would be to target the largest source of traffic in the Headlands: vehicles. (Jason A.)

Our parks are for people, not for cars. Allowing more auto traffic and more parking will simply increase auto congestion in the park. We need to come up with better alternatives which do not degrade the experience for non-motorized users. (Tom H.)

– For the last 12 years I’ve enjoyed the bicycling opportunities in the Marin Headlands… Over the past few years, it seems that each ride has become less enjoyable as the area becomes more jammed with private autos, including many rideshare vehicles. I’ve been thinking, why don’t they limit the number of cars that come into a National Recreation Area, by charging an entrance fee or at least charging for parking.

Last Friday morning I was greeted with the new protected “bike lane” that makes cycling up Hawk Hill more dangerous and less enjoyable. I’ve since come to learn, that this change happened in an attempt to better accommodate private autos entering the area. In 2018, how could we possibly be changing National Recreation Areas to benefit autos while disadvantaging cyclists? (Brad T.)

Many have suggested that GGNRA should instead work to limit congestion by charging for parking, limiting the number of cars allowed to enter the area, offering a shuttle service, and, yes–improving safety for those on foot and bike.

Share Your Thoughts With NPS

Cyclists are encouraged to share feedback on this pilot project. Email goga_public_affairs@nps.gov, or simply use the form below:

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