San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:21:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PEOPLE POWER: Your Voices, Our Lanes Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:21:52 +0000 Editors: This story was originally published in Issue 161 of our quarterly Tube Times magazine, one of many perks of membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.  

Put two more in the win column: Turk Street and Upper Market mark two big protected bike lane successes for 2018. In the last year, protected bike lanes were constructed on San Jose Avenue, Valencia Green Gateway, Seventh, Eighth, Division, Folsom, 17th and Mansell streets. More than ever, our grassroots street campaigns have been leading to fast, meaningful change in our streets. These new safe streets don’t come easily, though. Most, if not all, of our campaigns for new bike lanes are hard-fought. At every step of the way, the push for the changes that are so desperately needed comes from thousands of voices. People power — the collective power of you, our members — is the secret to winning these campaigns.

Even before the City decides where to allocate resources for street improvements, members help shape the process. On Valencia, for example, there were until recently no plans for any type of bike lane improvements. As more and more SF Bicycle Coalition members organized and joined direct actions like the “people-protected bike lanes,” City officials began to pay attention to the dangerous riding conditions on Valencia, and things started to change. With the support of hundreds of members, we were able to push for funding and planning for Valencia. Protected bike lanes on Valencia by the end of 2018 are now a very real possibility.

In the case of bigger streetscape projects, flexing your people power muscle carries even more weight. Through surveys and public outreach events, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) invites members of the public to shape their projects. In the case of Folsom and Howard streets, we used these opportunities to tell the SFMTA what we wanted to see for these busy bike corridors. Our strong and effective SoMa Member Committee helped organize hundreds of people to attend various open houses and share with City staff our vision for Folsom and Howard streets. Now, protected, two-way bike lanes are on the table for the future of these streets.

The last hurdle for any street campaign is the approvals process. Any bike lane project will have to go through two or more public hearings before being fully approved. Members’ voices are the make-or-break element at the public hearing stage of the approvals process. Convincing City officials is very hard when the inevitable opposition to a needed bicycle lane project surfaces. At City Hall, it’s crucial that we have as many people as possible in support of the project. Ultimately, your stories and experiences are what convince decision makers that a protected bike lane is necessary.

As your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we stay on top of City projects, work with community partners and keep things on track. But it is your involvement, whether through neighborhood expertise or the continued energy to push towards a win, that fuels our work and allows us to win the street campaign victories that we’ve seen over the decades. Here’s to you, our members, as we work together for more victories in 2018 and beyond!

3 key 2018 campaigns where people power will make the difference:

  • Market
    • We’ve been talking about it for years, and now the time has come: We have an historic opportunity to completely transform 2.2 miles of our most popular bike route into a truly welcoming place for people who bike. It’s going to take a huge effort to win big changes, so join our member-driven effort for a Better Market Street.
  • SoMa
    • Everywhere you look, SoMa streets are transforming for the better. To keep the many bike lane projects in SoMa on track, we need your help in holding the City accountable. Join our campaign for safe SoMa streets.
  • Valencia
    • Want to be part of shaping the future of a vastly improved Valencia Street? Thanks to members like you, we won funding to develop a protected bike lane on Valencia Street. Join the member committee to engage in a City-led planning process to make Valencia Street a showcase for a great bike lane.

The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.

TRANSPORTATION JUSTICE Through Culturally Competent Engagement Sat, 21 Apr 2018 14:40:29 +0000 The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.

In our new Strategic Plan, we embrace the value of transportation justice and promise to advocate for everyone’s equitable access to safe, affordable and healthy transportation. To achieve those goals, we’re upping our game when it comes to multilingual and culturally competent engagement.

We’re increasingly approaching our work so as to show up in communities with a view toward community-generated outcomes. While we continue to promote the bicycle for everyday transportation throughout the city, we know that the best solutions for safe streets come about when community members design the solutions they value most.

Show up: This past February was a great month for our increasing efforts to celebrate community events that matter most to the communities where we work. At the Chinese New Year Festival we sent staff with both Mandarin and Cantonese fluency to talk about bicycle safety and tips. The previous weekend, we partnered with 100% College Prep, which provides academic resources in Bayview-Hunters Point, to co-host a Community Bike Build. And we were thrilled to host a February ride with Bayview youth as part of that community’s Black History Month Parade.

Listen: As an example of listening, consider our latest work in Chinatown as part of our Safe Routes to School partnership. We are hosting community meetings in partnership with Chinese Newcomers Service Center, where we listen to the stories that grandparents, parents and caregivers tell us about the challenges they face crossing some of the city’s most dangerous streets to and from Gordon Lau, Jean Parker and John Yehall Chin elementary schools. In order to better understand the challenges that Chinatown residents face along their commutes, the SF Bicycle Coalition started organizing large-scale “walking school buses,” improving the visibility of families walking to school.

The SF Bicycle Coalition has also added listening sessions as part of our introductory bicycle education courses in diverse communities across the city. As a result, we can design curriculum that is targeted specifically to meeting the needs of the various communities where we work.

Learn: When I first started working at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we had already distributed over 500 bicycles to low-income community members as part of our Community Bike Build program. Yet we found that residents in low-income neighborhoods where we hosted Bike Builds didn’t really embrace bicycling. So we asked ourselves what we could do better.

We spent three months during the summer of 2017 surveying recipients from our Community Bike Build program to better understand what would support past participants in feeling more confident biking in their neighborhoods.

We learned that residents wanted more informal neighborhood rides. As a result, we partnered with ¡PODER! to launch Community Cruises — rides led by and for people of color. We also learned that if parents didn’t know how to ride a bike themselves, they did not feel comfortable letting their children bike around their neighborhoods. Knowing this, we now lead family rides for parents interested in biking with their children in conjunction with Learn-to-Ride biking events for children at schools.

Very importantly, we are working to better understand the real and perceived barriers that many people face when riding their bikes in San Francisco. We continue to increase our network of community partners, take an intersectional approach to our work and teach bike safety classes in culturally competent ways.

If you would like to volunteer to be a part of our culturally competent programmatic outreach efforts, please visit and sign up.

The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.

Can You Bike More Than Us in May? Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:24:09 +0000 The Bay Area Bike Challenge is a fun team-based bike competition that begins May 1 and runs through the entirety of National Bike Month. That’s May, silly.

The goal of the challenge is to get more people riding, so now is the time to grab your friends, coworkers or family and create a team.

Each team is made up of up to eight riders. Each team competes among a pool of nine other teams. Since there are only ten teams in a pool (instead of one massive leaderboard), each team has a good chance of getting into first, second or third place. (Unless you’re in our pool that is. 😉

You’ll earn points not only for how many miles you ride, but also for encouraging others to ride. This means that the competition isn’t skewed in favor of the most hardcore cyclists. See below for a breakdown of how points are earned:

You can record your rides manually on the website or via your favorite cycling app including Strava, Ride Report, Map My Ride, etc. Your team points are a sum of all individual team members’ points.

The competition runs from May 1 – May 31, but at the end of the third week, the top teams from each pool will be put into a “Final Sprint” pool to compete among the best teams in the Bay Area.

Hundreds of teams and thousands of riders will compete throughout the Bay Area, but whose team will win?

Introducing Communications Designer Veronica Newell Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:51:31 +0000 We are excited to welcome the newest addition to the team Communications Designer Veronica Newell. Veronica is an avid advocate for accessible and environmentally friendly transportation and a strong proponent of social justice. She strives to utilize her passion for design to help make SF a safe and accessible place for all.

SF Bicycle Coalition: What are you most excited about in your new role?

Veronica: Creating fun, accessible designs that challenge transportation injustices.

What interested you in working for the SF Bicycle Coalition?

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s emphasis on community-oriented programs and advocacy really interested me. We go above and beyond to understand and maintain strong relationships with the community and expand our base in neighborhoods across San Francisco.

What sparked your interest in communications and design?

Visibly seeing how designs can be a vehicle for social change initially sparked my interest. I think it’s important to have empathy for the communities you’re designing for, and to make information more accessible and inclusive for all.

What inspired you to work with grassroots organizations and promote social change?

Many organizations are out of touch with the communities they serve and often make life-altering decisions without consulting their communities. Doing on-the-ground work that allows you to engage with a community and having a dialog that creates impactful and sustainable change.

How would you like to incorporate your passion for design to promote bicycle advocacy?

I hope to show that the SF Bicycle Coalition not only has empathy for the communities we’re serving, but also have the determination and willingness to advocate alongside San Franciscans of all backgrounds.

Want to stay updated with all of the ways the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is making SF streets accessible and enjoyable for everyone? Stay in-the-know and sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Bike Doctors to the Rescue Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:33:14 +0000 By Nadia Benafghoul


Are you gearing up to bike on Bike to Work Day on May 10? Stop by a Bike Doctor for a quick check-up on the way to work!

Local bike shops are here to support you as you get ready for Bike to Work Day. And they’ll be there for you on the big day at 19 different Energizer Stations across the city. Stop by, say hi and take advantage of this awesome, free bike service to support you on your way to and from work.

Mark your calendar for Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 10 and map your route to a Bike Doctor to get your chain greased, seat adjusted or flat tire fixed. Ride by one of the stations below.


Alamo Square:  Fulton Street & Scott Street (7:30 – 9:30 am) (Fuzion Workshop)

Caltrain Station:  Fourth Street at Townsend Street (7:00 – 9:30 am) (Caltrain Bike Station)

Civic Center:  City Hall, Polk Street steps (7:30 – 9:30 am) (Huckleberry Bicycles)

Downtown:  Market Street at Sutter Street (7:30 am – 2:00 pm) (CIVIC Cyclery)

Embarcadero:  Ferry Building (6:30 – 9:30 am) (Citizen Chain)

Mid-Market:  Market Street at 12th Street (7:00 – 11:00 am) (Market Street Cycles)

Mission: Valencia Street at 17th Street (7:00 – 11:00 am) (Valencia Cyclery)

Mission Bay:  16th Street at Owens Street (7:30 – 9:30 am) (Velocipede Cyclery)

Panhandle:  Fell Street at Masonic Avenue (7:30 – 9:30 am) (Avenue Cyclery)

Presidio:  Main Post, Halleck Street at Lincoln Boulevard (6:30 – 9:30 am) (Roaring Mouse Cycles)

SOMA:  Folsom Street & Seventh Street (7:00 – 11:00 am) (The Bike Connection)



Caltrain Station:  4th Street at Townsend Street (5:00 – 7:00 pm) (Caltrain Bike Station)

Central Market:  Market Street at Fourth Street (5:00 – 7:00 pm) (Velofix)

Mission East:  Harrison Street at 17th Street (5:00 – 7:00 pm) (Sports Basement)

Mission West: Valencia Street at 19th Street (5:00 – 7:30 pm) (Mission Bicycles)

Octavia Island:  Market Street at Octavia Street (5:00 – 7:30 pm) (Box Dog Bikes)

Panhandle:  Fell Street at Masonic Avenue (5:00 – 7:30 pm) (Avenue Cyclery)

Fillmore:  Webster Street at McAllister Street (5:00 – 7:00 pm) (Fuzion Workshop)

Soma:  Howard Street & Eighth Street (5:00 – 7:30 pm) (Mike’s Bikes)

Turk Street’s Transformation Wed, 18 Apr 2018 15:42:16 +0000 Spring is in full bloom, and Turk Street is looking a lot greener. San Francisco’s newest protected bike lane here is finishing construction and we’re almost ready to celebrate.

In January, a community-supported protected bike lane was unanimously approved by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors. Not only does this bike lane establish the first protected bike lane in the Tenderloin, the brand new Turk Street also reduces the number and size of the vehicle travel lanes, making the street safer for all users.

While the impacts on bike safety are readily apparent, the new protected bike lane has been a boon to the community members who championed the project. This win wouldn’t have been possible without constant support from local stakeholders to champion this project. To them, the project is already making a difference.

“The change is easy to recognize,” says Toby Shorts with Curry Senior Center, located on Turk. “We’re not seeing bicycles zipping down the sidewalk anymore. Older adults that come to Curry aren’t particularly nimble anymore, and bikes on the sidewalk were a real safety concern. It’s just so much safer now that cyclists have a safe place and pedestrians have a safe place.”

Tenants of the single resident occupancy hotels are noticing a difference too. Tony Macay, a tenant organizer at the Vincent Hotel on Turk Street, commented more specifically about the parking removal. “I really liked it. People who used to hang out and do illegal activities stay away because the streets are now more open. The parking removal made the blocks more visible. Turk Street is now brighter and cleaner because of the painted bike lane.”

With construction due to wrap up this week, Supervisor Jane Kim will host us and community members next Thursday, April 26 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate our newest protected bike lane. Let’s pedal this momentum forward together and continue building out safe, bike-friendly streets throughout the Tenderloin.

Turk Street Bike Lane Celebration
Curry Senior Center
333 Turk St.
Thursday, April 26 — 9:00 – 9:30 am

Time to Get Out the Vote Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:54:53 +0000 There are less than two months until San Francisco voters weigh in at the ballot box. Are you ready for June 5?

We are! That’s why we’re getting out the vote to elect bike-friendly leaders and pass ballot measures that will make biking more safe, accessible and affordable. Now that we’ve gone through a robust process and announced our endorsements, join us in supporting Jane Kim and Mark Leno for mayor, Rafael Mandelman for District 8 supervisor, Yes on Regional Measure 3 and No on Proposition H.

The best way to get connected is to sign up directly with each of the campaigns and receive regular updates on events from campaign parties to phonebanking and precinct walks. If you’re new, don’t worry. Volunteer events will always include trainings.

Volunteer with Jane Kim for mayor

Volunteer with Mark Leno for mayor

Volunteer with Rafael Mandelman for District 8 supervisor

Volunteer with Yes on Regional Measure 3

Volunteer with No on Proposition H

If you’re looking to get to know San Francisco, one of the best ways is to join a campaign and talk to voters directly. And of course, don’t forget to vote on June 5!

A New Caltrain Pilot to Put Bikes First Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:01:34 +0000 Starting this week, Caltrain is piloting a five-week program to allow people with bikes to board the bike car first.

This “Bikes Board First” pilot program will be tested at Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City stations on weekdays during morning commute times. While this is a targeted program, we are glad to see Caltrain pilot different ideas and hope that its success will lead to expanding the pilot program, especially for San Francisco stations during morning and evening commute times.

“The Bikes Board First pilot is a great opportunity to try something new that I believe could be a benefit to all Caltrain riders,” said SF Bicycle Coalition member Danielle Thoe, who also serves on Caltrain’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. “I’m grateful to Caltrain staff for organizing this pilot and look forward to understanding the impacts on service. Ultimately, I hope that Bikes Board First helps to increase boarding efficiency and decrease dwell times.”

The idea behind this pilot has been brewing for awhile. We’ve heard complaints about the crunch that occurs during boarding, as people with bikes have to wait for all other passengers to board before they can enter the bike car. Given that 66 percent of delays result from issues with passengers, this pilot is a step in the right direction to improve bike access on Caltrain.

Have ideas about Caltrain and want to receive updates about how to improve bike access on Caltrain? Sign up for our mailing list today.

Sign Up for Caltrain Updates

Bike Share the Love Sun, 15 Apr 2018 15:11:48 +0000 Editors: This story was originally published in Issue 161 of our quarterly Tube Times magazine, one of many perks of membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. 

Bike share can reflect the best of us.

After 12 years of riding a bicycle in San Francisco, it finally happened to me. One Monday morning in January, I went to unlock the gate to the storage area in the building where I live, only to find the gate ajar. My heart sank as I rushed down the stairs to confirm the worst: my trusty daily commuter bicycle was gone. I was devastated.

While I went through our bicycle theft checklist, holding out hope for recovering my ride (see issue 162 of the Tube Times for more on what we’re doing to combat bicycle theft), I was also confronted with a more immediate dilemma: How was I going to get to work?

Luckily, I had a Ford GoBike membership, and thus began my month-long experiment in getting around San Francisco by bike share. It took adjusting my habits somewhat, but I began to get the hang of it once I did. What I noticed riding bike share during that time is that a growing number of San Franciscans are taking advantage of the systems that are now operating in our city. And those riders are beginning to reflect the communities where bike share is present.

I am so proud of the SF Bicycle Coalition members who spoke up for affordable and accessible bike share in our city. As a result, both Ford GoBike and Jump offer low-income annual membership options for just $5 in the first year through their Bike Share for All and Boost programs, respectively. Last year 1,500 individuals enrolled in Bike Share for All, and the number for both programs is growing. We were proud to lead grassroots community engagement focused on this program alongside our partners SF Yellow Bike Project and Chinese Newcomers Service Center (CNSC), sharing the fun and freedom of biking with hundreds of low-income San Franciscans. (Check out our story on culturally competent, multilingual community engagement featuring our work with CNSC on page 10.)

There were hiccups to my bike share experience, to be sure. I was “dock blocked” a few times, hoping to park my GoBike at a station that was already full. And the relatively limited number of Jump bikes currently deployed means that a nearby bike isn’t always guaranteed. I’ve also heard from members who are concerned that Jump bikes are taking up precious sidewalk rack space. Luckily, there is an easy way to solve this problem. Request a rack where you live, work or shop from (Side note to the SFMTA: Time to seriously step up your game installing sidewalk racks once they are approved — waiting over six months is inexcusable!)

Electric assist bikes, like those operated by Jump and being piloted in the Ford GoBike system, also proved to be an unexpected revelation. The first time I rode a Jump bike up a Market Street hill, I will admit that it felt a little bit like flying. Discovering e-biking brings me back to the joy I experienced when I first learned to ride as a child. And e-bikes’ elimination of topographical and geographical barriers is crucial for anyone who has ever said, “I would ride a bike in San Francisco if I didn’t live uphill or on the other side of town.” E-bike share has the potential to increase the accessibility of biking for tens of thousands of people in our city.

Overall, I am encouraged by the growth of bike share in San Francisco. More people riding more bicycles means fewer people hailing an Uber or Lyft on a busy bike route or crowding Muni Metro and BART during the morning commute. It also means another affordable, sustainable and fun transportation option in a city that is grappling with a serious crisis of affordability.

The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.

Volunteer 💪: Constance Cavallas Sat, 14 Apr 2018 14:35:07 +0000 Editors: This story was originally published in Issue 161 of our quarterly Tube Times magazine, one of many perks of membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. 

Bike to Work Day is our biggest day of the year for signing up and renewing members, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without our amazing volunteers! We caught up with one of our longtime Energizer Station Captains, Constance Cavallas, to find out why she loves leading a station year after year.

Ten years ago, Constance joined the SF Bicycle Coalition team as a communications intern. Her internship was only the beginning of her journey into bicycle advocacy. She’s volunteered on just about every Bike to Work Day since!

“There are two things I really like about Bike to Work Day. First, it’s all about support! For the bike-curious, it’s an opportunity to give biking a try with full support from the biking community and beyond. For those dedicated bike commuters, it’s a chance for high-fives and to grab a quick snack,” Constance said about her passion for Bike to Work Day.

“Second, I love that it’s a regional event. Biking is embraced by the Bay Area, although we’ve definitely got more work to do. Props to all the multi-modal commuters out there — that’s dedication,” she added.

Constance’s involvement doesn’t stop at Bike to Work Day, though. She is a dependable presence at many of our volunteer activities.

“Volunteering is an essential form of civic engagement. I’m grateful for those who dedicate their careers to making important societal changes, so I try to contribute my free time when I can,” Constance said. “Plus, volunteering helps build community — you can’t go wrong with that!”

Show your civic pride and join Constance as a volunteer. For current volunteer opportunities to support our work for more and better bike lanes all over San Francisco, check out

The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.