This week San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director, Leah Shahum, and board member Brooke DuBose will be presenting at the world’s premier bicycling conference, Velo-City. They are there surrounded by 700 colleagues from around the globe, including four SFMTA staff.
Day one of the conference featured plenaries from the Mayor of Vancouver and Gil Penalosa, Executive Director of 8-80 Cities, who gave the keynote address at our Golden Wheel Awards this year. In front of world leaders in cycling attending Velo-City, Gil Penalosa gave high praise for the SF Bicycle Coalition and our director Leah Shahum for our work in transforming our streets and growing the number of people biking — especially through San Francisco’s highly-regarded Sunday Streets program, which the SF Bicycle Coalition launched five years ago.
But beyond the conference walls, the streets of Vancouver beckon. Vancouver has been aggressively developing and upgrading its bicycle network in the last few years, including the beautiful and busy Dunsmuir and Hornsby separated bikeways. The Dunsmuir Bikeway started as a trial project. It proved so successful that the city made it permanent and built it out with small curbs and lovely planters. Our intrepid explorers polled some locals on their thoughts on the bikeway. One of their fellow bicyclists replied “I wouldn’t bike if it weren’t for them.”
Both inside the conference and out, bike sharing is a hot topic. In sessions our staff is hearing how bikesharing is proving wildly popular in Europe, China and an increasing number of North American cities. And outside they’re getting to pedal around the city on bikeshare loaner bikes — all of which is making us hungry for the Bay Area’s bikeshare pilot this fall.