Not a good idea if you were actually planning to get anywhere on your bike.
From: Mike Fogel <mike … at … fogel.ca>
Subject: proposed golden gate bicycle speed limit – too low
Dear Golden Gate Bridge district,
I’m a San Francisco resident and a common Marin county weekender. I live on two wheels. I use my bicycle for nearly all my transportation needs and I find myself riding across the golden gate every few weekends.
I’m concerned about the proposed 10mph speed limit for bicycles across the golden gate. I don’t know if you’ve ever ridden a bike at 10mph – it’s not a speed where you actually _get_ anywhere. It’s a speed akin to a lazy stroll.
For comparison, the city of SF recently set up a ‘green wave’ of timed signals along Valencia st. These lights were timed at 13mph. This speed is intended for the “8-80″ crowd – meaning that most anyone, from 8 to 80 years old, can safely and comfortably navigate a bicycle at 13mph. This would suggest an appropriate speed limit for the bridge to be more like 17mph – a speed most healthy adults, while riding a bike for general transportation, will find themselves safely cruising at.
The “average” bicycle speeds published by the “Bicycle Safety Study for the GG Bridge” are painfully misleading. Half the riders on the golden gate are tourists not actually trying to get anywhere. A closer analysis would reveal a bi-modal distribution of speeds – one peak for those not actually trying to get anywhere, another one for those of us using the bridge for its original utilitarian purpose – get my rear end from one side of the water to the other.
For those of us who are using a bicycle for real transportation the issue of 10mph versus 17mph is huge. That’s the difference between biking being competitive with driving – and not.
Thanks for your time.
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