San Francisco judge upholds Anderson injunction
against environment-friendly bicycle plan
Bicyclists ride along San Francisco's Market Street on the fourteenth
anniversary of Critical Mass, an organization dedicated to
the promotion of alternative eco-friendly pedal-powered transportation.
An injunction, filed by bicycle plan opponent Rob Anderson, was
sustained yesterday by California Superior Court judge Peter Busch
on the grounds that an environmental impact review is required.
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
November 9, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Proponents of extending San Francisco's
network of bike lanes will have to wait for an environmental impact
report before moving on with an ambitious bike plan, a Superior
Court judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Peter Busch extended a tentative injunction filed by Rob
Anderson in July of 2005 that requires an impact study before
groups such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition can widen lanes,
add signage and install more bike racks.
Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum said the injunction
is the work of only a couple of litigious parties.
"It's very frustrating," Shahum said. "What it
boils down to is that until the environmental review is finished,
no improvements can be made to make bicycling safer in San Francisco."
Anderson filed the injunction because he said a 35-year-old state
law called the California Environmental Quality Act requires that
all major changes undergo scrutiny.
Shahum said using environmental legislation against a plan that
essentially seeks to improve the environment was ironic at best
and even mean spirited.
But she also said that her group was confident that the impact
report, administered by the city's planning department -- which
originally deemed an environmental impact report unnecessary --
would shine favorably on the bike plan.
"It's a general benefit for all," she said. "The
people that have to drive will benefit with less cars on the road
and more parking. For every person that rides a bike, there's
one more parking spot."
She also said she was encouraged that the city attorney's office,
along with city leaders, fully support the plan.
Anderson, who could not be reached today for comment, has said
he was concerned that the city was rushing into an infrastructure
plan without going through the proper planning process.
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