Bikes account for 76% of morning traffic on Market Street; New Market Street Bike Counter Unveiled and Counts Thousands of Riders, including Mayor and Supes
SAN FRANCISCO — Today, Mayor Ed Lee, 9 of the 11 District Supervisors, and City and business leaders joined thousands of people in pedaling to the office this morning for the 19th Annual Bike to Work Day.
This year’s Bike to Work Day was one for the record books! 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, the highest percentage since the SFMTA began counting in 1998. In the last five years, Bike to Work Day bike counts have increased 40.7%!
While the highest ever Bike to Work Day bike counts are impressive, the counts the SFMTA conducted on an average workday are equally impressive. On Thursday, April 18, bikes accounted for 66% of all inbound traffic at Market and Van Ness, up 3% since last year. Bike traffic has soared in the last five years on Market Street on regular days, going from about 38% of trips to 67% of vehicles on the street.
“Today’s record-breaking Bike to Work Day counts reinforce what we see every day in the bike lanes: huge numbers of people biking in San Francisco. We’re thrilled to see that today bikes accounted for a whopping 76% of inbound Market Street traffic during the morning commute. It is even more impressive that on an average workday, bikes account for 66% of traffic. If we continue to connect San Francisco with safe, separated bikeways, we can certainly meet the City’s goal of 20% of trips by bike by 2020,” said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which organizes the big event, including 26 Energizer Stations, Commuter Convoys and hundreds of volunteers.
In addition to the SFMTA’s manual counts, bikes were also counted at the new Market Street bike counter. At 7:15 this morning, San Francisco’s new Market Street digital bike counter was unveiled. By 9:00AM, the digital bike counter had already counted 1,300 bikes.
Mayor Lee and Supervisors were among some of the first bike riders counted by the Market Street counter. The Mayor’s Commuter Convoy, made up of neighborhood and business leaders, pedaled from the Dogpatch neighborhood, along the waterfront to SOMA to Market Street and finally City Hall for the Bike to Work Day press conference, where City officials pledged support for more and better bicycling. Mayor Lee’s bike count number was 729.
“This Bike to Work Day really highlights the increased popularity bike riding has seen in the past decade and also demonstrates San Francisco’s support for the growth to come in the next ten years,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Thank you to all who participated this year to make this San Francisco’s biggest Bike to Work Day yet. Special thanks also to the various businesses and establishments for their ongoing support and recognition of the economic, environmental, health and transportation benefits bicycling has to offer our city.”
As part of the City Hall press conference, Mayor Lee presented the 2013 Bicycle-Friendly Business Awards to four San Francisco companies leading the way in promoting bicycling at their workplace. Local companies Meraki, Method Products, Inc, David Baker + Partners Architects and Timbuk2 were all honored for their leadership in encouraging their employees to bike to work.
Juli Uota was one of the thousands of bike riders counted by the Market Street bike counter today, and one of the many new bike riders in the last few years. Uota learned to ride a bike three years ago through the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Adult Learn to Ride class. She now bikes to work two to three times per week from the Outer Richmond to downtown San Francisco.
“Biking has made me a lot healthier; I’m certainly always happier when I arrive at my destination. And it’s also made me feel much more connected to not only the people, the green spaces, but also my local businesses along my bike routes. Biking has given me a sense of freedom and a sense of community that I never found in my car. I am a great example of someone who bikes today because our city made a commitment to increase biking,” Uota said.
For more high resolution images, go to flickr.com/sfbike.
Bike to Work Day 2013 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.
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