Weekend Roundup: Bike to Wherever, Transit’s Return, Remembering the Fallen

Cyclists enjoying the great walkway in the Outer Sunset. Photo: the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Cyclists enjoying the great walkway in the Outer Sunset. Photo: the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

A few short Streetsblog news items to start out your weekend. First of all, happy…

Bike to Wherever Day.

Photo: Bike East Bay
Photo: Bike East Bay

Today is the after-times-version of “Bike to Work Day,” the annual event where advocacy groups such as Bike East Bay, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and others try to get experienced, newbie, and bike-curious riders out there on two wheels. From the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s release:

San Francisco’s popular Bike to Work Day continues as Bike to Wherever Day. Throughout the pandemic, thousands of San Franciscans have turned to biking as a way to get around safely and to find joy and freedom while maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Our members are joining people across the Bay Area to celebrate Bike to Wherever Day on May 21 and sharing photos online with the #BTWD hashtag.

Advocates are setting up “energizer stations” throughout the Bay Area where riders can get free goodies and commune with fellow cyclists. Check out Bike East Bay’s list of energizer location stations here, Silicon Valley here, and the Marin here.

Transit is coming back

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

With some of the highest vaccination rates in the nation, life is starting to return to normal in the Bay Area. Local transit operators are, in some cases, setting out plans to reduce fares to lure back customers and most are slowly increasing service frequencies. The latest service increase announcement Streetsblog is aware of comes from the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). From its release about new schedules that will go into effect on July 1, representing…

…the highest number of daily departures that the agency has ever offered. Increased service is being offered as a part of the agency’s Pandemic Recovery Program, and will help incentivize the return of riders to the ferry system and support the reopening of the regional economy over the next year.

San Francisco Bay Ferry will operate 136 weekday transbay departures on five routes beginning July 1, up from 105 departures during the 2019 summer season. This represents a 30 percent increase in weekday service levels over pre-pandemic levels. The record total does not include the South San Francisco ferry route, which is scheduled to resume in October 2021 with eight additional daily transbay departures.

In addition, SMART is chopping fares to lure back customers. BART plans to resume normal running hours, with last trains at midnight, starting at the end of August. And, of course, Muni has restarted rail service, with talk of doing a fare-free pilot to lure back riders.

Lastly, a solemn tribute to the fallen in this year’s Ride of Silence

Riders stop to set up a ghost bike in SoMa for Tess Rothstein and Kate Slattery. Photo: Ride of Silence's Facebook
Riders stop to set up a ghost bike in SoMa for Tess Rothstein and Kate Slattery. Photo: Ride of Silence’s Facebook

Thursday evening was the annual Ride of Silence, commemorating cyclists killed by motorists throughout San Francisco. From the group’s Facebook page: “San Francisco’s annual Ride of Silence is a solemn group ride to honor those injured or killed while biking. This ride has reached a global scale that now takes place in over 20 countries on the third Wednesday in May, with thousands of people riding their bikes to remember, support each other, and heal collectively.”

And from a release by one of the group’s local organizers, Paul Valdez:

We are all so moved by everyone’s care and heart toward the essence of our silent ride and tribute. Also, we want to offer a sincere thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with blocking intersections, bringing flowers, and supporting organizers. The flow of the ride was successful because of you all!

If you have any thoughts, reflections, comments, pictures, or videos that you would like to share, please feel free to send them to me [paulvaldezsf AT yahoo.com]

Valdez also wrote something that everyone can take to heart: “We hope that we don’t have to add another name to the list of people we already honor.”

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