In 2001, the Regional Bicycle Plan was developed as a component of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) 2001 Regional Transportation Plan. The Plan provides resources for agencies, planners and transit agencies and defines planning goals and objectives for bicycle transportation in the Bay Area.
The primary purpose, however, of the Regional Bicycle Plan (RBP) was to designate a system of bicycle routes that would connect counties, access business districts, and connect to transit nodes. These routes are considered to be of “regional significance” and together comprise the Bay Area’s Regional Bicycle Network (RBN).
According to an analysis of the Network MTC conducted in 2004, “this network can be seen as providing connectivity between communities to nearly everyone (6 out of 7 people, if connectivity is defined as living within a mile of a portion of the Regional Bike Network).”
So the Network as it is defined is a wonderfully comprehensive transportation system which once finished will no doubt increase the numbers of bicycle trips dramatically. The original Regional Bicycle Plan, published in 2001, documented the region’s bicycling environment, identified the links in a regionwide bikeway network and summarized corresponding funding sources. It stated that only 35% of the proposed 1,893 mile network was built; the cost of completing the 2001 Network was estimated to be $1.192 billion.
While the 2001 plan provided an inventory of bicycle facilities at transit facilities, The 2009 Update of the Regional Bicycle Plan further investigated the relationship between bicycling and public transportation in recognition of the importance of bicycle‐accessible transit and transit stations.
The update increased the cost to complete the network to $1.4 billion, stating that 50 percent of the Network’s 2,140 miles have been constructed. Included in this cost are pathways on the region’s three remaining bicycle‐inaccessible toll bridges; programs to encourage, increase and promote safer bicycling; an analysis of bicycle trip‐making and collision data; summaries of countywide bicycle planning efforts throughout the Bay Area; and documentation of advances in bicycle parking and other technologies.
According to the Regional Transportation Plan 2035: Change in Motion, the regional bicycle network was designated $700 million over 25 years in 2007 dollars ($1 billion when escalated by 2035), or $28 million each year. MTC's 2010 proposal for funding over the next 6 years commits $67 Million which is still short of the $40 Million annually MTC would have to spend to reach $1 Billion by 2035.
Providing a seamless network of safe and convenient bicycle routes is essential if our intent is to increase the numbers of people choosing to bicycle instead of drive. Currently our Network is full of holes, creating confusion and safety risks for even the most hardcore commuters. BABC is working diligently to increase funding for the implementation of this Network.