Strength in Numbers by Dave Snyder, Executive Director, SFBC

Do you know anybody who lives on Alemany Boulevard near Ocean Ave.? Do you frequent a merchant on the 1700 block of Market Street? If no SFBC member does, then we don't have enough members to do the grassroots organizing we're famous for. You can help change that.

After a couple years of solid but slower membership growth rates, there are two reasons it's time to recruit more folks to join the SFBC's ranks.

One is that the SFBC now has two professional bicycle organizers to build community support for specific bike lane proposals (longtime Program Director Leah Shahum and Community Organizer Mary Brown, returned from her uninvited medical sabbatical). Our strategy - as grassroots as ever - is to find folks who live in the affected areas and work with them to build a proposal that has community support so that when the proposal gets to the Board of Supervisors, it will sail through like the Valencia Street proposal did. We may even hire our own traffic engineer so we don't have to put up with the bureaucratic delays we've experienced through the Department of Parking & Traffic (DPT).

The second reason is that DPT itself will invest nearly a quarter of a million dollars in outside bicycle planning consultants starting this summer. We need to be ready with plans that have community support if that effort is to be as successful as it can be.

And the easiest way for us to build that support is through our members. Please dedicate yourself this month to finding two people who should be members but aren't, and get them to join. Personally encourage them to join, and tell us who you've contacted, in case we need to identify bicyclists in that neighborhood.

Membership Director Michael Calfee has developed a great Member-Get-a-Member campaign (see article). Our success depends upon activating the grassroots, and the more members we have, the more successful we'll be.