San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Wed, 20 Jun 2018 23:47:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Makes Eighth So Great? Wed, 20 Jun 2018 17:10:29 +0000 Since construction wrapped up a couple of months ago, our members have loved the new protected bike lane on Eighth Street. Several new design features came together to make this new bike lane one of a kind:

1. The bike-first intersection at Eighth and Brannan: As the second such intersection built this year in SoMa, this design is proving to be a viable alternative to keep people riding safe from turning vehicles on San Francisco’s high injury corridors.

2. Bike share protection for the bike lane: Right before the bike-first intersection at Brannan, the new bike lane is protected by a big bike-share station. Not only do the bikes keep other riders safe, but they allow bike share users to dock in and out without ever leaving the protected bike lane.

3. Transit boarding islands: We’ve seen these boarding islands before, but they’re especially welcome at busy intersections like Eighth and Harrison. Not only do these islands keep people riding safe, but they keep Muni buses running smoothly and on time.

The new Eighth Street protected bike lane continues to build out the bike network in SoMa, and we want to see more. Townsend, as the main bike route to Caltrain, is where we are looking to next for protected bike lanes in SoMa. Plans for Townsend are still in early phases, but we want to see all of the above as an integral part of Townsend’s bike lanes and will need member support to get that done.

Help us push for protected bike lanes on Townsend as our SoMa-wide advocacy continues.

SF Bike Lane Sweepers Debut Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:27:42 +0000 Efficient, effective and cute? Say hello to San Francisco Public Works’ brand new bike lane sweepers.

With over 15 miles of protected bike lanes (and more on the way,) SF Public Works needed to upgrade its street cleaning fleet in order to keep our city’s bike infrastructure free of debris. The three new mechanical sweepers will have a set schedule to make sure all of SF’s protected bike lanes are cleaned regularly so that your bike ride from Cargo Way in the Bayview to Turk Street in the Tenderloin is welcoming and safe.

The City debuted the bike lane sweepers last week by highlighting one of our city’s newest and most gorgeous protected bike lanes on Upper Market Street. After a years-long campaign, the protected bike lane to connect Octavia up to the Wiggle was finally constructed in May. Without the new bike lane sweepers, Upper Market would not be cleaned as often or as well.

We know that our members continue to push and advocate for more, and so we are committed to putting these bike lane sweepers to work by winning more protected bike lanes throughout San Francisco. Want to power our advocacy? Join or renew your membership today to support our street campaigns for better bike infrastructure.

Pride and Bike Bling Sat, 16 Jun 2018 15:08:12 +0000 All month long, we’re celebrating Pride, and we made a little something special for the folks joining in the celebration as part of our contingent at the June 24 parade.

Can we save you a rainbow spoke card? RSVP today to reserve your spot in our Pride parade contingent, and we’ll fire up the printer and laminator so that you can show your pride and support for our LGBTQ+ neighbors all June — or year — long.

If you’ve never biked with us in the Pride parade, boy howdy are you missing out. Biking down Market Street without a car in sight, while the street is lined with folks cheering you on in their rainbow-y best is a feeling like no other.

The parade is Sunday, June 24 and we’d love to see you there. RSVP today to claim your spot in the parade, and we’ll be sure to bring your Pride spokescard that morning.

New Bike Connection for the Dogpatch Fri, 15 Jun 2018 21:54:49 +0000 Image: Google Maps

We know that crucial bike network connections in our outer neighborhoods are often lacking and it takes continued advocacy to push to have those gaps filled. That’s why we are excited to celebrate the approval of an important bike lane connection on Indiana Street in the Dogpatch.

As the Dogpatch continues to grow with new housing and residents, more and more people are biking in the area. More than ever, it is important that connections to and from the area exist in our bicycle network. Currently, anyone biking south on Indiana Street has to jog east to Minnesota, which then leads to a dangerous unsignalized intersection at Cesar Chavez.

With the new plans approved last week, people biking will be able to connect to and from Cesar Chavez on Indiana on dedicated bicycle infrastructure. Painted bike lanes from Cesar Chavez to 25th will allow for contraflow connection to a protected bike lane segment to keep people riding safe next to the freeway on ramp at 23rd.

This new bike network connection is only a first towards the bicycle infrastructure that the neighborhood needs. With great local partners such as the Dogpatch Green Benefits District and the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, we know our vision of building out bike infrastructure and having people-friendly streets is more than possible.

As always, our work is bolstered by our membership. Want to be part of making a bike-friendly Dogpatch a reality? Join our campaign below to receive more regular updates.

Congratulations, Mayor-elect London Breed Fri, 15 Jun 2018 20:27:33 +0000 In the build-up to a very close mayoral election on June 5, San Francisco voters turned out in numbers and exercised their right to vote. With the election now decided, London Breed will become the 45th mayor of San Francisco, only the second woman and the first woman of color to hold that office. The SF Bicycle Coalition looks forward to to working with her to advance her transportation agenda and continue towards a truly bike-friendly city for everyone.

We want to congratulate Mayor-elect London Breed on running a powerful campaign and winning a close race. We also want to congratulate her campaign supporters, especially those among our 10,000-plus members.

And we want to thank Jane Kim, Mark Leno and their supporters, who connected thousands of voters with opportunities to make our neighborhoods more inviting, welcoming places.

During this race, London Breed laid out a bold plan for the future of transportation in our city through her transportation platform and our candidate questionnaire. She called for more transportation funding, many more protected bike lanes across the city in order to achieve Vision Zero, and extending car-free Healthy Saturdays in Golden Gate Park all year long. We are excited to work with her towards these goals, and many more.

We can build a San Francisco where safe, healthy, sustainable streets are enjoyed by everyone. Let’s make it happen together.

Wheel Talk: Shoal, Enough! Fri, 15 Jun 2018 20:24:16 +0000 Wheel Talk for Wheel People is a monthly advice column written by Christopher White, our adult education program coordinator. Though bikes, biking and getting around SF are our areas of expertise, feel free to ask anything! To submit your questions, please click here.

Wheel Talk, when I’m stopped at a light on my bike, other riders who arrive at the intersection after me often pull around and get in front of me and other waiting bikes. What the heck? It’s a line — you don’t get to cut in front. How can we get folks to stop this behavior? —Waiting and Hoping.

Dear Waiting and Hoping: In 2009 an NYC bike-blogger coined the term “shoaling” to describe this behavior. The word vividly describes the way that people on bikes stopping in front of each other at a red light inevitably pile up and protrude into crosswalks and cross traffic, like silt piling up at a river delta. This behavior is rude and potentially dangerous; people who bike should avoid it.

“What’s the big deal?” some of you may ask. There are a few big deals here, as a matter of fact. Inevitably shoaling leads to bicycles densely blocking crosswalks. Invading designated space for people walking and making them walk around is bad, dangerous and illegal enough; this behavior can create even more danger and inconvenience to our disabled neighbors. If the shoal is particularly bad and juts into the cross street, those moving to the front of the shoal could create gridlock by blocking opposing traffic or put themselves in physical danger.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Waiting and Hoping, there is also harm to civility within our biking community. What does the behavior you describe communicate, after all? If someone safely passes a person in motion, fair enough — clearly one person is moving faster. But if someone passes a person on a bike who is NOT moving, they impart a message: “I assume that you will ride slower than me; I better get ahead of you now, so you know that my legs are fleshly pistons and my wheels are made of spinning fire.” Such behavior often, though not always, has an ugly gendered bent to it.

So please, if you recognize yourself in these words, stop this behavior. The brief second or two that you might save by wriggling to the front is certainly not worth the danger and erosion of civility that your actions cause.

Wheel Talk, as an everyday urban bike rider, I have a question about the focus on protected bike lanes as preferred bike facilities. What happens when a bike rider needs to leave such a bike lane, however well protected, to cross lanes of fast moving cars and trucks to make a left turn? I know from experience that segregating bicycles in their own lane makes it virtually impossible to safely cross over into the left-hand turn lane on a multi-lane street. —Protected Or Imperiled

Dear Protected Or Imperiled: You’re absolutely correct: protected bike lanes may prevent rogue delivery vehicles (for example) from swerving in front of you, but the trade-off is that they also prevent you from merging into the general traffic lane. If you are a skilled and experienced urban rider accustomed to mixing with car traffic, this might seem like an inconvenience. To make biking in our fast-changing city accessible to everyone, including those who are not yet so experienced, protected bike lanes create both the perception and reality of increased safety. The trade-off you describe is worth getting more people biking in our city.

Luckily, there is a maneuver that we on bicycles can perform to make a safe left turn, even when we’re sticking to a protected bike lane far to the right. The so-called “box turn” allows people on bikes to use traffic lights in either direction to make the left turn. To execute this move, enter the intersection where you want to turn left, but keep far to the right (allowing straight-traveling bicycles to continue unimpeded). At the opposite curb, turn your bike 90 degrees to the left and stop, either in front of or behind the crosswalk (not in it!). Wait for the light to change and cross the intersection in the direction you want to go.

More and more in SF, we’re seeing bike boxes (those green rectangles with white bike symbols painted in them) to assist with box turns. For example, heading northeast in the protected bike lane on Market Street, you may want to make a left turn into the contraflow bike lane heading north on Polk Street, towards City Hall. There is now a bike box painted at the northeast corner of this intersection to assist with making this turn. But even without a bike box to assist you, feel free to do this maneuver to get where you need to go.

Dear Readers: Last month’s column and its discussion of passing on the left generated a lot of discussion! Thank you to everyone who weighed in. We wanted to address a few of the thoughtful emails that we received.

First, a reader pointed out that I was mistaken when I said that bicycles must leave three feet of clearance when passing each other. While it’s usually true that a law that applies to cars applies equally to bicycles (following the California Vehicle Code’s “same rights, same responsibilities” doctrine), there is an exception here. The “Three Feet for Safety Act” specifically states that motor vehicles must allow three feet. This distinction seems to exclude bicycles.

Some readers wrote in to say that they pass on the right when “slow riders are hogging the far left side of the narrow bike lane,” in one person’s words. In the classes we teach, we tell all riders to hug the left edge of the bike lane whenever there are cars parallel parked at the right curb, because bike lanes are not painted outside of the “door zone,” where doors of parked cars might be dangerously flung into the path of someone riding. To properly pass someone in front of you in a bike lane, you should leave the bike lane and merge into the general traffic lane, only after checking over your shoulder for safety and then signaling your intention. The California Vehicle Code identifies passing another person on a bike as a specific time when it’s appropriate to leave the bicycle lane, and we should do so, allowing everyone to stay safely outside the door zone.

Finally, a bicycle instructor pointed out to me an additional danger of passing on the right: if the person passing on the wrong side is doored by a person in a parked car, the passing person will likely knock into the person being passed, potentially knocking that person into traffic. Please, for everyone’s safety, pass on the left!

Long-Awaited Masonic Avenue Completion! Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:05:50 +0000 It’s been over a decade that our members and local residents have been fighting to turn Masonic Avenue from a traffic sewer into a calm and welcoming neighborhood boulevard. Now, we’re finally seeing members’ hard work pay off as we prepare to unveil the full transformation of Masonic Avenue this summer.

Where there was no bike lane to connect the Panhandle to Geary Boulevard previously, Masonic Avenue will now feature raised bike lanes, a new median with landscaping that will double the number of trees here, and a new plaza at Geary and Masonic featuring a public art installation by a local artist. Sections of Masonic will also feature transit boarding islands for the 43-Masonic to establish a protected bike lane.

Our members have been involved since the beginning of the project, and it’s because of their advocacy that the street now has infrastructure that puts people first.

Let’s Celebrate Members!

This meeting will focus on putting together a celebration to recognize our members and their dedication to see this neighborhood street become a safe, comfortable place for those walking and biking. Join us and connect with other advocates of the project who want to continue to see changes like this in the neighborhood as we look toward the future.

Let’s Celebrate Members!
Thursday, June 28 — 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Barrel Head Brewhouse, 1785 Fulton St.

An Election to Remember Wed, 06 Jun 2018 20:24:14 +0000 Polls closed less than 24 hours ago, yet we already know San Franciscans voted for sound policy and exciting new leadership.

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has weighed in on ballot measures and candidates for decades, and we were proud to once again make endorsements to support Mark Leno and Jane Kim for mayor, Rafael Mandelman for District 8 supervisor, No on Proposition H and Yes on Regional Measure 3.

While votes continue to be counted by the San Francisco Department of Elections, decided races point toward a bright future for people biking in San Francisco.

Congratulations to Rafael Mandelman for becoming the next Supervisor from District 8. We are excited to see Rafael join the Board of Supervisors to represent the district, which includes the Castro, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle and Glen Park. We look forward to working with him to advance his campaign promises of protected bike lanes on Valencia Street and expanding bike share throughout his district.

We’ve defeated Proposition H, which pushes back on the Police Officers Association and acknowledges that robust public safety policymaking process should never be shortcutted.

Regional Measure 3 passed to bring in millions for more bike infrastructure along with more Muni and BART cars. While the measure was not perfect, this funding will keep our city moving and our public transit affordable, while improvements for people biking and walking see a boost of $150 million regionally on Bay Trail projects.

As for the mayor’s race, it remains too close to call. We are proud of the work of our dual-endorsed candidates, Mark Leno and Jane Kim. We also know that London Breed ran a powerful campaign, and we have a lot of respect for how all mayoral candidates deeply engaged San Franciscans to talk about the issues our city faces and how we can move forward together. With all eight candidates completing our candidate questionnaires and engaging on how to make San Francisco more bike-friendly, we know that biking is central to the future of mobility in our city.

You can follow the election results at the SF Department of Elections website here, and we will be certain to continue updating our members over the coming days and weeks. And for all of our members who took part in our endorsements process and volunteered to Bike the Vote, thank you. We celebrate today because we bike and we vote.

Lastly, none of this work — winning policies and elevating leaders with the interests of people biking — would be possible without the support of our 10,000-plus members. If you bike or support our work for more and better bike lanes, but haven’t joined yet, please consider turning over a new leaf today. Join us as a member, and together we’ll deliver more victories in the months and years ahead for safe, livable streets.

Ride with (Bike) Pride Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:21:49 +0000 By Maggie Barbour

For one day Market Street is open to people for San Francisco’s Pride Parade, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world. Join the SF Bicycle Coalition and show your Bike Pride by biking down Market Street to the roaring cheers of thousands.

All members are invited to participate in the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Pride Parade contingent. Bring the whole family; kids are welcome too. We’ll need people to ride their bikes and people to walk and hold our banner. Dress up yourself and your bicycle in unique and colorful costumes, and bring your portable speakers so that we can pump up the jams!

Members who participated in past parades say their favorite part of participating in the parade is feeling the positive energy radiating off of the crowd and other members, all showing up to support LGBTQI rights.

Come show your Byke Pride by participating with the SF Bicycle Coaltion’s Pride Parade contingent on Sunday, June 24. Sign up below.

2018 Golden Wheel Awardees Really Stand Out Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:47:26 +0000 For over a quarter of a century, the SF Bicycle Coalition has honored people and organizations going the extra mile for bikeable, livable streets. This year, we honor an SF bicycle advocacy legend, and an organization that is dedicated to safe streets in San Francisco. For the 2018 Golden Wheel Awards, we are proud to honor Leah Shahum and San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, a program that is organized by our partners at Walk San Francisco.

Leah’s career spans nearly two decades of proven success championing movements to advance active transportation, including serving as the long-time executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition and founding the Vision Zero Network, a nonprofit working to advance Vision Zero in communities across the country.

“One of my favorite victories with the SF Bicycle Coalition was expanding Golden Gate Park’s car-free Healthy Saturdays,” Leah told us recently. “It was such a challenging campaign, with opposition from some powerful, entrenched interests. For me personally, that was so significant because Healthy Saturdays is so undeniably beneficial for the people of San Francisco with the benefits extending beyond just people bicycling.”

But as Leah recognizes, in this work there are victories, but there are also some deeply felt losses, like when Amelie Le Moullac died biking in SoMa in August, 2013 following a collision with a truck.

“I remember that as a time of deep sadness, as is always the case for any preventable fatality. Amelie’s death really captured people’s attention, grief and anger,” Leah said. “With Folsom being such a busy morning commute route, so many of our most active members could relate to that tragedy. It felt like this could have been any of us.

“I think the SF Bicycle Coalition’s advocacy helped capture attention, and it felt like a turning point for the City really taking the experiences of people biking seriously,” Leah recalled.

“When I ride on Folsom and in SoMa now, I am so pleasantly surprised by how much safer it feels. There’s a tremendous difference from the streets that Amelie biked.”

Preventing tragedies is at the core of the advocacy of SF Bay Area Families for Safe Streets, a group of people who have lost loved ones to traffic collisions. While working together on street safety campaigns and effectively telling their stories to persuade decisionmakers, SF Bay Area Families for Safe Streets also offers a sense of community for people who have suffered tragic losses from collisions.

Member Julie Mitchell, who lost her son Dylan when he was hit by a truck while he biked on 16th Street, now channels her grief by fighting for street safety improvements.

“We’ve all been through very traumatizing experiences, and we all use that grief and that trauma as a power to see change delivered on our streets,” Julie told us. “Being active with SF Bay Area Families for Safe Streets made me understand that people like me can make a difference.“

People like Leah Shahum and organizations like SF Bay Area Families for Safe Streets demonstrate courage and determination day in and day out to make our streets the safe corridors that people deserve.

Join us Thursday, July 26 as we recognize these incredible advocates. For complete details on the 2018 Golden Wheel Awards, go to