San Francisco and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, in coordination with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Bike Coalition (SFBC), kicked off the ThinkBike workshops to bring Dutch bicycle transportation experts together with San Francisco transportation planners, engineers and bicycle advocates to plan and discuss how the city can become more bike-friendly. While San Francisco leads among major U.S. cities in terms bike-ridership, the city continues to seek ways to improve its transportation infrastructure and keep pace with the demand for bicycling facilities.
"I am pleased to welcome ThinkBike and thank the Consulate General of the Netherlands for his commitment and leadership in showcasing here the projects and policies to promote bicycling," said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. "Whether commuting to work, running errands or taking family outings, more and more San Franciscans are choosing to bicycle. I know the SFMTA, SFBC and other participants will make the most of this opportunity to make bicycling in San Francisco easier and safer."
"Thank you, San Francisco, for welcoming our team of experts. We are happy to share the Dutch experience to make San Francisco an even better, thriving and biking city," said Bart von Bolhuis, Dutch Consul General. "The Consulate is pleased to be part of this event that highlights the long-standing friendship and further strengthens the great relationship between the U.S. and the Netherlands."
"San Francisco continues to see an increase in bicycling. Even during the injunction bicycle trips increased 58 percent," said Tom Nolan, chairman of the SFMTA board of directors. "As part of the city's Bike Plan, which supports and encourages this growth, the SFMTA continues to add mile after mile of bike lane, implement innovative projects such as the green bike boxes, and work closely with businesses and neighborhoods to help them bring bicycle facilities to their doorsteps."
"We know that improvements to San Francisco's bike network encourage bicycling citywide," said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. "The SFMTA bike staff has been hard at work installing the bike network and innovative treatments throughout San Francisco. We look forward to collaborating with our Dutch colleagues and city partners on creative solutions to help keep the number of bicyclists growing in the years ahead."
"We welcome the Dutch to our city and look forward to working with local and Dutch experts to re-imagine San Francisco streets as even greater places to bicycle, live and do business," said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who spent 8 months last year enjoying the Dutch bicycle environment. "The Netherlands has set an extraordinary example of well-planned, urban bicycle infrastructure. We look forward to their help in achieving San Francisco's official goal of 20 percent of trips by bicycle by 2020, and welcoming people from ages 8-to-80 enjoy bicycling on our city streets."
Government officials, community organizations and other decision makers have been invited to learn more about Dutch cycling infrastructure and best policy practices. The opening session, which is open to the public, takes place on Monday, Sept. 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. at City Hall. The workshops will close with a presentation and reception on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the War Memorial Veterans Building.