I appreciate the heads-up from Jane Northrop regarding the prospects for funding improvements to Sharp Park Road (Tribune, July 7), which I use frequently in cyclist and motorist mode.
First, it is hard for local politicians to generate support for changes to a major arterial, simply by holding hearings. Councilmember Mike O’Neill noted that no one openly supported the proposal to reconfigure the road to accommodate emerging modes of transportation, such as electric bikes, and reduce dependency on the products of the automobile industry. Who knew?
Just on the basis of household statistics about bicycle ownership, it is plain that latent demand for additional cycling infrastructure is underestimated. One out of three Americans rode a bike at least once in 2018, according to a survey commissioned by People for Bikes that year. Only half the adult population lacks access to an operational bike at home.
There is clearly a mindset in the United States that bicycles are for recreation. Trails here are some of the best, so the most avid riders are probably mountain bikers. They typically use their cars and trucks to get to recreational areas where they can enjoy their hobbies the most. The point is, we should not jump to the conclusion that cyclists and motorists are mutually exclusive groups.
The Sharp Park Road piece alludes to federal infrastructure legislation, dubbed INVEST in America Act in the House. It has been common practice throughout the country to tie road resurfacing projects to expanding bicycle facilities (i.e. lanes) at least since MAP-21 was signed into law in 2012. That trend is up.
Looking down the road, Pacifica is second from the bottom in the most recent survey of pavement conditions in Bay Area cities, after Petaluma. The council might want to think twice before it puts the cart before the horse.