Meet Nathan Marken, Classical Singer and an Office Manager for Royal Towers Apartment Corp., who uses the new separated bike lanes on Division Street.
How have the Division Street Bike Lanes improved your Commute?
Living in the Mission, I’ve used Division Street street in a vehicle and have been riding in the shared lane for as long as I’ve been using a bike, which has been over two years. I frequent shops like Trader Joe’s and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, so I usually have a backpack full of groceries or supplies when on my bike. I can remember the sharrow on Division Street to be quite harrowing, for those of us on bikes, and downright confusing to drive a car through. I had forgotten that Division was included in the new Bike Plan until I was coming come from Trader Joe’s after work one day and suddenly, I found this clearly marked path and the posts separating bikes from vehicle traffic. I think I may have giggled a bit and said “Ooo, this is so luxurious!” While confidently schlepping my groceries back home via the new lane on Division, I can definitely imagine other places where separated bike lanes would work—San Jose Avenue come to mind, where vehicle traffic begins to reach freeway speeds.
What’s your favorite thing about getting around San Francisco by bike?
This is like asking me my favorite song—it changes daily! Some days, I love how quickly I get around; on others, I’m happy that I don’t need a gym membership to keep my heart in shape, but am always thankful I don’t have to look for parking! Overall, though, I am constantly surprised at how much of San Francisco’s vibrancy you experience and absorb when riding by bike. My work commute takes me through SoMa, where I smell Ritual’s new roastery making magical coffee-ready beans in the early evening, and Chinatown into North Beach, where colorful shops and all kinds of languages show off how these two neighborhoods thrive together.
What’s your favorite destination to bike to in San Francisco?
Easy– the California Academy of Sciences. Now that the Music Concourse is finished, the DeYoung/Academy campus is pretty singular in its artistry of design and fascination factor. The Academy of Sciences is also one of the few places where the journey—Valencia Street, the Wiggle, Panhandle and Golden Gate Park—is as exciting as the destination.
Part of an ongoing series to meet the people biking in San Francisco’s new bike lanes.