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Posts from the Bike to Work Day Category


On Bike to Work Day, City Leaders Call on SF to Step Up Bikeway Expansion

Supervisor David Chiu: "Does anyone think we can do better in San Francisco?” Photo: Volker Neumann/SFBC

City officials and advocates rode in to City Hall today alongside thousands of commuters for San Francisco’s 18th annual Bike to Work Day. According to the SFMTA, 1,031 eastbound bicycles traveled through the Market and Van Ness intersection between 8 and 9 a.m. this morning, making up 73 percent of vehicles on Market and averaging 17 bikes per minute.

While the city’s recent cycling boom and expansion of bike infrastructure were widely celebrated, some leaders said SF could do much more to catch up with cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Davis and make cycling on its streets safe and accessible for riders of all abilities.

“Does anyone think we can do better in San Francisco?” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, eliciting cheers from the crowd. “San Jose just decided to segregate bike lanes in their downtown area. In Davis, California, they bike at four times the rate of what we do here in San Francisco. Can we do better than Davis and San Jose?”

“Right now, we are spending about a quarter of a percent of our MTA budget on cycling improvements,” said Chiu, who spearheaded the 2010 legislation that led the city to adopt the goal of increasing cycling to 20 percent of all trips by 2020. “We need to do better.”

Supervisor Jane Kim, seen here on her ride through District 6 today, said she'll only feel safe riding regularly on her own with protected bike lanes. Photo: SFBC/Flickr

D6 Supervisor Jane Kim said that while she enjoyed riding with a convoy on Bike to Work Day, she would only feel comfortable biking regularly on her own with protected bike lanes on streets like SoMa’s high-speed motorways — a sentiment shared by many San Franciscans. “I want to keep working make sure we have that type of infrastructure in San Francisco,” she said.

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Bike to Work Day Shifts Into High Gear Tomorrow

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Image: SFBC, based on data from SFMTA

San Francisco’s streets are expected to fill with bike commuters tomorrow for the city’s 18th Bike to Work Day.

The city has more bike lanes, more people on bikes, and more political momentum for bike policy today than in years past. “We definitely expect to see more people bicycling on Bike to Work Day this year than ever before,” said San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum, “given that the number of people of biking every year has been increasing significantly — 71 percent over the last five years, given that it’s supposed to be really lovely warm weather, and given, most importantly, that the city has added more dedicated bike space in the last year than ever before.”

In San Francisco’s most visible display of bicycling growth, SFMTA Bike to Work Day morning commute counts show that bike traffic has risen steadily over recent years on Market Street, which the SFBC now calls the busiest bicycling street west of the Mississippi. Last year at the Van Ness Avenue intersection, bikes made up 75 percent of vehicle traffic as car traffic plummeted on the corridor.

Since the bike injunction was lifted in 2010, the SFMTA has striped bike lanes in locations around the city, including some of SF’s first physically protected routes. The parking-protected bike lanes on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park are “substantially complete” as of this week (save some finishing touches), according to the SFMTA. Construction is also nearly complete on a two-way bikeway on Cargo Way.

The 23 miles of bike lanes added by the SFMTA since August 2010 “really cover very diverse neighborhoods,” said Shahum.

Bike commuters tomorrow will benefit from new curbside, post-separated bike lanes on DivisionLaguna HondaAlemany and Cesar Chavez as well as the green lanes on Market. Buffered bike lanes have also been striped on Bayshore and Sloat, and new conventional lanes can be found on 17thFolsom, Illinois, North Point, Townsend, Kirkham, Phelan, HollowayOceanPortola, and McCoppin. The SFMTA also continues installing bike racks (in corrals and on sidewalks) and sharrows throughout the city.

“When there’s more dedicated bike space, time and time again we see more people bicycling, and we see a more diverse cross-section of people biking,” said Shahum. “We see more parents riding with their kids to school, we see more older folks riding to a farmer’s market, we see more of San Francisco’s work force biking downtown rather than heading in in their cars.”

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Scenes from Oakland’s Bike Away From Work Party


A well-trained passenger arrives in Old Oakland.

Oakland’s official Bike to Work Day after-party kicked into high gear in Old Oakland last night. Over 600 people converged to dance, eat, drink, mingle, and just take in the atmosphere from the middle of the street.

“We saw people of all ages out enjoying bicycle carnival rides, great local food, and the company of our vibrant East Bay cycling community,” said Renee Rivera, executive director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC), which spearheaded the event. “I look forward to the event growing into an Oakland institution as more and more people bike everyday here in the East Bay.”


Walk Oakland Bike Oakland executive director Kassie Rohrbach and EBBC executive director Renee Rivera draw raffle winners.

Raffle drawings and award presentations punctuated the ceremony.

The EBBC recognized this year’s Bike-Friendly Businesses, Clif Bar, Sun Light & Power, and Alta Planning & Design, for taking that extra step to motivate their employees to ride to work.

“I wish we could make 30 awards instead of three,” lamented Rivera. “So many businesses in the East Bay realize that cycling to work makes their employees healthier, happier, and more productive.”

Berkeley Assemblymember Nancy Skinner presented Alameda County’s Bike Commuter of the Year award to sixth grader Jason Hollick, already a successful cycling advocate among his friends and family.

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Bike to Work Day Comes With Unprecedented Growth of Bike Infrastructure

Mayor Ed Lee rides the new green separated bike lanes on Market Street on Bike to Work Day. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Cycling San Franciscans have plenty to be happy about on the streets this Bike to Work Day, with new and greened bike lanes, new bike parking, sharrows, bike boxes, and traffic signals to make riding a little easier.

“This is by far the most work we’ve done in a span of time like this,” said the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Mike Sallaberry of the Sustainable Streets Division, which has been at the forefront of innovative bike improvements in the city.

“San Francisco has a lot to celebrate on this Bike to Work Day as more people than ever are bicycling,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition, which has been hard at work over the years pushing city agencies to improve the streets for bicycling.

“We know that [the city] shares the goals of making it easier to move around – more accessible, more affordable, more business-friendly and family-friendly,” she said.

Here’s a summary provided by the SFMTA of the improvements that riders can see on the ground today since the bike injunction was lifted in November 2009:

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Record-breaking 10,000 People Biked to Work in Alameda County Today


Gloria Bruce, WOBO board president, at the Rally for Bikeways

Bike to Work Day is underway in Alameda County, and this year’s riders already broke last year’s record by 12.3 percent.

The Cities of Emeryville and Berkeley saw the largest increases, with 15 and 14 percent increases respectively. At one point, a quarter of street traffic at Sproul Plaza in the heart of Downtown Berkeley was bicycles.

Even Oakland, with a mere eight percent increase, set a new city record for its Bike to Work Day turnout.

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) organized 79 energizer stations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The stations dotted major corridors and destinations, offering a place for cyclists to stock up on coffee, snacks, tote bags of coupons and maps, and information about local bicycle organizations. Several stations adopted themes to give their patrons an extra boost of energy and excitement on their commute.

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On Bike to Work Day, Electeds Unite in Support of Future Bikeways

Mayor Lee and Leah Shahum bike the Wiggle to City Hall. Photo: Aaron Bialick

In the strongest showing of political support ever for bicycling in San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee, ten of the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, and a range of city officials pedaled to City Hall with advocates and thousands of commuters on the 17th Annual Bike to Work Day. Commuters pedaling along the city’s most important route, Market Street, were greeted with new green paint and protected bike lanes thanks to SFMTA crews who have been racing to fill in the gaps.

“We have more to celebrate than ever before in the history of Bike to Work Day,” said San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) Executive Director Leah Shahum, “from the beautiful new green separated bikeways on Market Street, to dozens of new bike lanes in every neighborhood throughout the city, to hundreds of new bike racks, to dozens of new on-street bike parking corrals.”

Riding in on some of the city’s major routes, supervisors proclaimed their support for safer streets and expanding the city’s bikeway network. Mayor Lee announced that a separated bikeway would be in place on John F. Kennedy Drive by the end of the year, filling a crucial segment on the popular Bay to Beach Connecting the City route being pushed by the SFBC.

“I want to see that 100 miles from the Bay to the ocean, north and south, painted by the year 2020 to see everybody ride the whole city and connect up either way using their bikes,” said Mayor Lee, who rode to City Hall from Golden Gate Park via the Wiggle with Shahum, SFMTA Board Chair Tom Nolan, and a convoy of others.

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City Hall Rally Draws Biggest Political Showing Ever for Bike to Work Day

Ten of eleven members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee rode bikes to City Hall this morning, and voiced their support for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the SFMTA and the vision for future bikeways in San Francisco. We’ll have full coverage soon, but in the meantime, here are some photos and audio from this morning’s City Hall rally, which begins with SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum.

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Get Ready for Bike to Work Day 2011

Photo: Neal Patel

One of my favorite things about Bike to Work Day as an everyday bicyclist is picking my free tote bag at one of the convenient energizer stations. In San Francisco, 6,000 bags are ready to be handed out tomorrow by SFBC volunteers, 50 of whom spent a recent day stuffing them with all those resourceful goodies.

For a comprehensive rundown of Bike to Work Day activities all over the Bay Area, check out Streetsblog reporter Aaron Bialick’s post from yesterday. And, of course, wherever you are in the Bay Area, we’d love to hear your stories and publish the best photos of all those beautiful people heading to work. Please add your photos to our Flickr pool, Tweet ’em, or send them to We’ll have full coverage tomorrow.  Happy (almost) Bike to Work Day!


Bay Area Set for Its Biggest Bike to Work Day Yet

Bike commuters in Berkeley on Bike to Work Day last year. Flickr photo: EBBC

Bicycle coalitions around the Bay Area will be rolling out the red carpet for bike commuters for the 17th annual Bike to Work Day (BTWD) this Thursday with energizer stations, commuter convoys, after parties, and other fun events. As cycling continues to grow throughout the Bay Area, bicycle advocates and city officials are expecting it to be the biggest Bike to Work Day yet.

Here’s a round-up of what’s going on around the Bay on Bike to Work Day this Thursday, May 12:

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SFMTA Crews Race to Green Market Street Bike Lanes for Bike to Work Day

Photo: Aaron Bialick

SFMTA crews continue laying out the green carpet on Market Street in time to welcome the thousands of bike commuters expected on the 17th annual Bike to Work Day May 12. The improvements will help invite first-time riders to embrace the bicycle as their regular choice for commuting to work.

Bike lanes were greened on the block between 8th and 9th Streets yesterday, and crews said they’re on their way to filling in the gaps all the way down to Octavia Boulevard in time for the event.

Crews have also installed green bike boxes and highlights at bike lane merges on Lower Market Street in past weeks. They also expect to implement a particularly innovative upgrade that would add a green rectangles underneath the sharrows at Van Ness Avenue guiding riders through the interchange.

The turnout of new riders is expected to continue its strong growth over the past few years. Thirty three percent more people biked on Market Street between Bike to Work Day 2009 – 2010, bolstered by ongoing improvement efforts like reducing automobile traffic.

See more photos and a video from last year’s event after the break.

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