Meet Michael Helquist. Michael has been a long-time member and volunteer of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (and a past Golden Wheel Award Winner). You may have seen him pumping up your tires at a Service Station, circling potholes in bike lanes so the city can patch them, and recently, building support among his neighbors for an improved Masonic Avenue. Join him in voicing your support for bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements on Masonic Avenue by writing a support letter or coming to the SFMTA Board hearing to approve the Boulevard proposal for this corridor.
Name: Michael Helquist
Neighborhood: North Panhandle, NOPA
How long have you been biking in San Francisco?:
I’ve been biking for every-day trips and for fun for the last 5 years.
What’s your favorite thing about biking in San Francisco?:
Two favorites: being part of a positive, energetic community and the immediacy of being outdoors, more exposed to the weather, the street sites and people.
What has been your involvement with SF Bicycle Coalition and our Masonic Avenue campaign?
My partner, Dale Danley, and neighbors encouraged me to join Fix Masonic, a grassroots group, that works closely with the SF Bicycle Coalition on Masonic improvements. Over a three-year period we worked with neighbors, merchants and city officials to bring attention and city energy to creating a better Masonic Avenue. The SF Bicycle Coalition has provided essential leadership as a complete re-design of Masonic was developed and refined with community input. I was able to track the developments on my bike blog, BIKE NOPA.
How else have you been involved with SF Bicycle Coalition?:
My first major involvement was with the Good Roads campaign to fill the potholes in bike lanes and to help the city make smoother, safer bicycling an ongoing priority. The SF Bicycle Coalition has developed a solid partnership with city agencies to ensure smooth spinning. Early on I was a regular Bicycle Ambassador – setting up shop across the city and building support for new bikeways and recruiting new members for the SF Bicycle Coalition. It’s a great way to meet people. And I wouldn’t miss volunteering every year at Bike to Work Day Energizer Station.
What do your neighbors say about Masonic Avenue?:
“What’s taking so long? When will the changes start? I’m scared to walk, bike or drive Masonic.”
Any final thoughts?:
We have the chance to make Masonic a showcase corridor that works for everyone who uses it. We can present to San Franciscans and visitors how to move all traffic in a safer, calmer and more sustainable way.