Polk Street connects thousands of San Franciscans to work, school, the waterfront and thriving commercial corridors from Market Street to the Bay — on bikes. According to SFMTA bike counts, biking on Polk Street has grown dramatically from 2006 to 2011; annual counts indicate a 79% growth in biking at McAllister and Polk Street and a 66% growth at Polk and Sutter. Increasingly, people are biking and walking on Polk Street to visit the growing number of restaurants, shops, gyms, and bars on this corridor; according to the SFMTA’s Polk Street Intercept Survey, approximately 30% of respondents stated that they visited Polk Street to eat or shop (at the time of the survey).
I have regularly used Polk Street as a bicycle route since moving to San Francisco 23 years ago. In 2001, I moved to the Tenderloin and began using Polk several times a day. Although I recently moved to the other side of Van Ness Avenue, I still use Polk Street as a primary north-south route for biking. My daughter attends the Tenderloin Early Education School and will continue at the adjoining elementary school when she starts kindergarten next fall. In the mornings, she rides on my bike, and in the afternoons on her bike. I continue to do most of my shopping in my old neighborhood – at Brownie’s Hardware, Out of the Closet Thrift Store, the new Trader Joe’s at California and Hyde, a few produce markets, and even the Walgreen’s at Polk and California.
As a regular and long-time user of Polk Street, I support improvements to the streetscape that will make it safer for people biking and walking. I need smoother pavement and more separation from vehicles when biking and safer crosswalks at the busy intersections.
If you also care about the future of Polk Street, like Scott, please be sure to let us know that you’ll be attending the upcoming MTA meetings about the future of this incredible commercial corridor (Saturday, April 27th and Tuesday, April 30th). Details here.