Streetsblog Editor Bryan Goebel, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, and SFBC's Leah Shahum riding downtown on Bike to Work Day. Photo dustinj
San Francisco today was named the sixth best city in the nation for cycling by editors of Bicycling Magazine, the best ranking of any city in California. Bicycling editors chose San Francisco in part because of the huge growth in cycling over the past two years and despite the injunction that has prevented the city from substantially improving its bicycle infrastructure.
"San Francisco has one of the most vibrant bike cultures in the nation and in spite of the injunction ridership is way up," said Bicycling Editor-in-Chief Loren Mooney.
Mooney said she has been following the progress of the injunction and has been excited by the recent improvements to the city's streets, such as the protected bicycle lane on Market Street. According to Mooney, San Francisco ranked as high as it did because of the city's bicycle culture and community and because of the hard work of the bicycle advocates in the face of adversity.
Two years ago, when Bicycling did its last ranking, the magazine
segregated cities by size; San Francisco received an Honorable Mention behind Portland, Denver, and Seattle in the category of cities sized 500,000 to 1,000,000,
"Not only is San Francisco strong now, it will be great to see where they are in two years on our next list," said Mooney.
Mayor Gavin Newsom's spokesperson Brian Purchia said they were pleased to be the highest rated city in Calfornia. "With street improvements under way and working closely with the cycling community, our ranking is sure to rise."
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum was thrilled with the news. "Despite some unexpected roadblocks in the past few years, we are still experiencing unprecedented growth in the numbers of people choosing bicycling for transportation," said Shahum. "Today 53 percent more people are riding compared to just three years ago."
Added Shahum, "One of the things I'm most proud of in San Francisco is that bicyclists are still on the cutting edge of re-imagining and pushing the envelope on how our city's public space is valued. It's not a coincidence that greater support for bicycling is connected to this larger, broader movement for more livable streets."
Bicycling editors based the rankings in cities with populations of at
least 100,000 and used factors such as cycling-friendly statistics
(numbers of bike lanes and routes, bike racks, city projects completed
and planned) and changes in these statistics and a city’s future plans
since the last survey. They also gave credence to a city's bike culture,
such as the number of bike commuters, cycling clubs, cycling events,
and renowned bike shops. Editors also referenced the Bicycling and
Walking in the United States 2010 Benchmarking Report prepared by the
Alliance for Biking and Walking, the League of American Bicyclists’
Bicycle Friendly America project, and interviews with national and local
advocates, bike shops, and other experts.