Around the Bay on Bike to Work Day

biz_commuter.jpgFlickr photo: kate at yr own risk
With excitement building over the anticipated lifting of the Bicycle Injunction this summer, and hope that crews will soon begin work on priority street improvements throughout the bicycle network, advocates in San Francisco are expecting record numbers for the 15th annual Bike to Work Day tomorrow.

The SFBC has organized Energizer Stations along some of the busiest bicycle commuter routes and will host several Commuter Convoys with elected officials and agency directors along critical bike routes being considered for improvements, such as Second, Fifth, 17th and Townsend Streets, Kirkham Ave., Alemany Blvd., and dozens of others. These bike tours will converge on the steps of City Hall at 8:30am for a press conference celebrating Bike to Work Day and the upcoming decision on the Bike Plan that will double the miles of bike lanes in San Francisco.

“As part of this year’s Bike to Work Day, we are asking our City leaders to experience the thrills and the challenges of biking in San Francisco on the dozens of streets that are being considered for dramatic improvements next month,” said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the SFBC.

Around the Bay Area, 450 teams of bicycle commuters have been riding since the beginning of May in the Team Bike Challenge, a month-long competition where teams compete to win a grand prize Peak Racks bike rack that will be placed in a public location of the winning team’s choice. As part of the Team Bike Challenge, established bicycle commuters recruit their colleagues, friends, neighbors and local “bigwigs” to bike for most of their May trips to work, school and other destinations.

“As a participant in past Team Bike Challenges, I have found that using my bike can get me anywhere I need to go quickly, with a lot less stress,” says Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who also serves as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which funds a major portion of the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day activities. “It’s also a great way to get your exercise in before the workday.”

Nearly half of the 2,100 miles of continuous and connected bicycling corridors planned for the Bay Area already have been completed, according to MTC’s just-adopted 2009 Regional Bicycle Plan. The $1 billion that MTC has committed to help finance the Regional Bikeway Network will help to complete the on-street portion of these
corridors.

 “MTC is pleased to support Bike to Work Day as part of our overall strategy to improve mobility and the environment in the Bay Area,” said MTC Spokesman Randy Rentschler.

In Downtown San Francisco, the SFBC is offering special all-day bike parking at its Market Street and Battery Street Energizer Station.  SFBC Program Associate Marc Caswell said that while the organization hadn't heard an abundance of complaints from members about being denied access to office buildings with a bicycle, they wanted to test the waters to see if it is a bigger problem than expected.  Streetsblog readers who do have problems with bicycle access to buildings are encouraged to send us an email at tips@sf.streetsblog.org.

For more information on Bay Area Bike to Work Day activities, click here.

San Francisco Commuter Convoy locations are as follows, with push-off from each location at 7:45 am:

  • Richmond: Blue Danube, 306 Clement St at 4th Ave (with Supervisor Eric Mar)
  • Marina: Peet's, 2156 Chestnut at Steiner St
  • Nob Hill: It's a Grind, 1800 Polk St at Washington (with Board President David Chiu, and Chair of the MTA Board of Directors Tom Nolan)
  • Sunset: House of Coffee, 1618 Noriega St at 23rd Ave. (with Supervisor Carmen Chu and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting)
  • NOPA: Sacred Grounds, 2095 Hayes St at Clayton (with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and DPW Director Ed Reiskin)
  • North Potrero: Coffee Bar, 1890 Mariposa at Florida (with Planning Director John Rahaim and City Attorney Dennis Herrera)
  • Portola Heights: Creighton's Bakery, 673 Portola Dr at Teresita Blvd
  • Castro: Peet's, 2257 Market St at Noe St (with Supervisor Bevan Dufty)
  • Outer Mission: Nervous Dog, 3438 Mission St at 30th St (with Supervisor David Campos)
  • Bayview: Road House, 5191 3rd St at Thomas St
  • Excelsior: Mama Art Cafe, 4754 Mission St at Russia St (with Supervisor John Avalos)