SAN FRANCISCO—Today, Mayor Edwin Lee, members of the Board of Supervisors, City Department leaders, including the Police and Fire Chiefs, joined tens of thousands of San Franciscans in pedaling to work for the 20th Annual Bike to Work Day.
Bikes Account for 76% of ALL morning traffic on Market Street!
Manual bike counts by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency at Market Street and Van Ness Avenue showed that bikes accounted for 76% of all eastbound traffic between 8:30 and 9:30am. In total, the number of people riding their bikes on Bike to Work Day has increased by 32 percent in the last five years. Since 2006, the number of people biking in San Francisco has grown a dramatic 96% citywide.
“The reality is that every day is now Bike to Work Day in San Francisco for tens of thousands of people. What a long way we’ve come in the past 20 years. It used to feel lonely riding to work in the mornings, but today there are far more people biking than driving on Market Street. And as City leaders invest in truly inviting and comfortable bikeways connecting neighborhoods and commercial corridors ‑ such as the new improvement on lower Polk Street – we will see the benefits of biking multiply across the city.”
– Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
A “Game-Changing” New Physically-Protected Bikeway to City Hall
Commuter Convoys made up of Supervisors, community leaders and neighbors, biked from each of the Districts. Supervisors Eric Mar, David Chiu, Katy Tang, London Breed, Jane Kim, Scott Wiener, David Campos, Malia Cohen and John Avalos all biked to work today.
All commuter convoys biked up the new Lower Polk Street physically-protected bikeway, following the green bikeway to the steps of City Hall for a press conference and celebration of the progress San Francisco has made in growing bicycling in the past 20 years.
Supervisors London Breed and Supervisor Wiener with SF Bicycle Coalition Board Chair, Lawrence Li
The Polk St. contraflow bikeway connects two of our city’s busiest bikeways: Market and Polk Streets. Market Street sees an average of 3,000+ in-bound trips per day, as shown on the bike counter at 8th Street. Polk Street’s physically-protected bikeway exemplifies a design that welcomes people of all ages to bike on it, from an 8-year-old kid to her 80-year-old grandmother. Though only three blocks, this bikeway provides a crucial connector for the thousands of people pedaling between bustling Market Street and the business corridor on Polk Street.
“I was proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bike to Work Day by riding this morning from my neighborhood, Glen Park, accompanied by a growing number of bike commuters, including families, who are taking advantage of the benefits of a fun, healthy, affordable way to move around our City. With innovative bikeways like the new contraflow bike lane on lower Polk Street that connects Market Street to the Tenderloin and City Hall, we continue to improve and enhance our City’s bike network to connect our residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. But in order to do even more to make our streets safe, we must invest in our aging transportation infrastructure.”
– Mayor Ed Lee
City Leaders Commit to Bike Improvements
The message was loud and clear at Bike to Work Day: City leaders want to connect the city with more physically-protected bikeways to make our streets more inviting for the growing number of people biking in San Francisco, as well as making the streets more predictable for all road users.
Mayor Edwin Lee biked from his house in Glen Park to City Hall. SFDPW Director Mohammed Nuru (right) and SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director, Leah Shahum, joined the Mayor’s Commuter Convoy.
Said Supervisor Jane Kim today: “In the next 10 years this is what I’d like to see: protected bike lanes up and down Polk St., up and down Second St., up and down Sixth St., up and down Folsom and Howard Sts., on Turk and Golden Gate. Folks like me are not going to get on their bike unless they know they are going to be able to do that safely. And in 10 years, [I want to reach] zero traffic fatalities here in San Francisco. No one should die or be injured going to work because they’re on their bike or they’re walking to work, and we’re going to make that happen.”
Said Malia Cohen: “We’ve got new bike lanes on Bayshore and 3rd St. and we will get those rail tracks up off Illinois to make sure that it is safe for everyone. Next year I hope to start our bike ride from Visitacion Valley, to ensure that we’re collecting everyone and that we’re singing that mantra that biking is safe and imperative not just for our physical bodies but the well-being of our entire city.”
Supervisor Scott Wiener stressed the importance of enforcing the rampant double parking and pavement quality. “We need to start enforcing double parking. It’s terrible for traffic flow, for bikes, for transit. And there are still too many streets that are rough and filled with potholes. We must pass the VLF (Vehicle License Fee).”
At the City Hall press conference, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition also presented the 2014 Bicycle-Friendly Business Awards to four San Francisco companies leading the way in promoting bicycling at their workplace. Rackspace, Arizmendi Bakery, Liftopia, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation were honored for their exemplary bike parking and encouragement programs that welcome more of the employees to bike to work.
May is Bike Month: 23 More Days of Bike Fun!
The bike celebrations don’t stop after Bike to Work Day. May is National Bike Month, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has packed the calendar with more than 80 bike events. From recreation rides for spandex-clad cyclists to classes for new riders to bike tours for food lovers, there’s something for everyone. See the full calendar of events at sfbike.org/bikemonth.
Bike to Work Day 2014 is presented by 511.org and Kaiser Permanente, with promotions organized by the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and county congestion management agencies.