FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joshua Hart, joshuanoahhart[at]gmail[dot]com
August 3, 2010
GRASSROOTS GROUP WINS GREEN BIKE LANE ON FELL STREET
Weekly direct action protests by ‘Fix Fell’ get City’s attention
SAN FRANCISCO- Responding to weeks of protests and direct action by the grassroots group Fix Fell, as well as lobbying efforts by other community groups, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday painted the bike lane on Fell Street between Scott and Baker Streets green. This is just one more small improvement that is being made to this stretch of Fell Street to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and improve clarity for motorists.
The protests by Fix Fell have occurred on seven consecutive Fridays and have garnered significant press coverage including in the New York Times. There have been two arrests and four citations of protestors, who have been peacefully blocking the Fell St. entrances to the Arco (BP) station to highlight the connection between unsafe conditions for cyclists and society’s addiction to oil, leading to the recent catastrophic Gulf oil spill.
Fix Fell maintains its position that while these changes are welcome, they are not enough. Because these three blocks of Fell are the only level, cross town route for cyclists to use, what is needed is a complete re-engineering of this section of Fell Street putting safety for all street users first. According to one of the protest organizers Stuart Matthews, “for sixty years, the priority has been to move motor vehicles at a high rate of speed through the heart of our city. It’s time to move Fell St. into the 21st century.” Some examples of what this kind of re-engineering would look like include:
– Returning Fell and Oak Streets to their original two-way configuration.
– Closing the Fell Street entrance and exit to the Arco/BP gas station, which is a constant danger to pedestrians and cyclists.
– Creating a separated bikeway in the current location of the Fell Street bike lane, which would enable anyone 8 to 80 years old to safely ride their bicycle to the Panhandle and on to Golden Gate Park.
Fix Fell is currently planning an event on August 20 at 6pm at the Arco/BP station at Fell and Divisadero that will focus attention on this ongoing issue. The protest, called “A 20” will express outrage over the BP oil spill, draw attention to this dangerous stretch of Fell Street, and encourage a change in our society which will allow healthier lifestyles and a healthier planet. A 20 will include direct action, protest, and live music.