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:

Market Street at Octavia Boulevard. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Bike Lanes

  • 40 miles of shared lane markings, or sharrows, have been implemented on 104 different street segments.
  • Five green bike boxes were installed on Market Street in April, adding to the two existing bike boxes at Scott and Oak Streets (green) and 14th and Folsom Streets (non-green).
32 new bike racks were recently installed on Market Street. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Bike Parking

  • The SFMTA has installed over 650 sidewalk bicycle racks since the bike injunction, providing 1300 bicycle parking spaces. There are now a total of 2150 racks with 4300 spaces.
  • The SFMTA has installed 13 on-street bike corrals to accommodate high bike parking demand in commercial areas, providing 8-12 spots for bikes in each former car space.
  • The SFMTA operates and maintains 52 bicycle lockers in six separate downtown parking garages.


On the way:

  • Separated bike lanes on Alemany Boulevard are currently being installed.
  • “Green-backed” sharrows along portions of eastbound Market Street between Van Ness Avenue and 8th Streets. The sharrows will be re-painted on top of green rectangles to improve visibility.

Have we missed any improvements that caught your eye? Let us know in the comments.

  • brian

    Where is the work on Alemany currently being done? I biked a few blocks on Alemany this afternoon, from Rousseau, where the bike lane currently ends, to Justin, and didn’t see any sign of new lanes.

  • Anonymous


  • Guest

    About the left turn at Fell/Scott: It looks like it’s about 5 seconds too late–I passed by yesterday and a dozen random normal-speed bicyclists were mostly doing various illegal (and more importantly dangerous–most didn’t even look for traffic) left turns before it turned green. Do you know if there’s any plans to sync them (Oak/Scott, Fell/Scott) for normal bicycle speeds?(Note that fast bicyclists will still want to run this light, as you can get in on the Fell green wave at least as far as Divis so you don’t loose momentum at the bottom of the hill. But I don’t expect any changes there. Note that this would be legal turn on red in WA state.)

  • I tried it out the other day, and yes, it allows for a leisurely pedal between Oak and Fell Streets, which, if I know the speed, I can anticipate and match my speed so I arrive as the light turns green. But it’s true, I did see one speedier bicyclist ahead of me ignore the red and turn before the light changed.

    Not that many cars turn left off Fell onto Scott. Why not forbid left turns onto Scott from Fell for cars (cars can turn on Steiner or Pierce instead) and on Scott have an always green left turn onto Fell for bicycles except for the period when cars southbound on Scott get their green? The number of car drivers this would affect is very small, and the number of bicyclists it would benefit is quite large.

  • @KarenLynnAllen:disqus I don’t know all the issues here, but a turn arrow from Scott onto Fell while Fell has the green light would conflict with pedestrians on the south side of Fell.

  • DMurray

    I’m kind of bummed that I’m not seeing more people riding from SF to SSF on a regular basis.  There were a ton of cyclists along Tunnel Road in Brisbane during Bike to Work day.  I ride that route 3 times a week and it’s getting kind of lonely out there.  Let’s build on that momentum and keep it going!

  • you probably just start too late 🙂 There were 20+ in the group I rode with today, rolling down Tunnel at probably 7:20.

    Also a lot of us are now going via Hillside in Colma, which is very nice riding. 

  • DMurray

    Thanks Murph.  If there’s a central site or link that I can check out for future rides let me know

  • Anonymous
  • mikesonn

    Hey DMurray, if you are thinking of joining the ride let me know. I’ve been meaning to hop on with them for a while.

  • Mike Sicard

    San Francisco needs to block vehicular traffic on all bridges and roads in and out of town. The requirement to enter the city should be that you must be fit enough to ride a bike, and have at least $5,000,000 in the bank. Then everyone in San Francisco that “matters” would be happy.