Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, will celebrate the 19th annual Bike to Work Day on May 9.
This year’s Bike to Work Day will showcase San Francisco’s first bicycle counter with a highly visible digital display of the number of people on bicycle in the bike lane on eastbound Market Street, summarizing volumes for the day and the annual total. The purpose of the counter is to celebrate the city’s growing number of bicyclists and inspire others to give it a try. San Francisco’s first bike counter is expected to measure up to one million eastbound bicyclists on Market Street over the course of each year.
“Year after year San Francisco has seen tremendous growth in the number of people getting around by bicycle,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “With the continued enhancements of our bike network, such as the new protected bike lanes on Oak Street and the new bike counter on Market Street, we’ll continue to see rapid adoption of the bicycle as a fun, healthy and convenient transportation alternative.”
San Francisco’s new bike counter will be the site of a ride-by photo opportunity with the mayor on the south sidewalk of Market Street between 9th and 10th streets at 8 a.m. The counter, made possible by a donation from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and Congregate, an online gaming company, will help promote bike riding as an attractive means of transportation in San Francisco.
“Every year, biking to work and to school is becoming more commonplace in San Francisco, and we need to meet the rising demand for bikeways fit for anyone from an 8-year old student to their 80-year old neighbor,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “It is amazing that the number of people using bicycles for transportation has grown 71 percent since 2006. The city is at a watershed moment for bicycling, and the SFMTA is working hard to meet the growing and future demand to make every day a Bike to Work Day.”
This year’s Bike to Work Day will have 11 different commuter convoys from around the city organized by the SFBC and funded in part by the SFMTA. SFMTA senior management and other staff will ride in the convoys, which will converge at city hall and join Mayor Lee for the 8:30 a.m. press conference on the steps facing civic center plaza.
A key element supporting the increase in bicycling in San Francisco is the SFMTA’s continued work over the past year to enhance the bicycling experience, such as:
• Completing 16 new projects and installing 6.9 new miles of bike facilities, bringing San Francisco’s bike network to a total of 217 miles.
• Adding 560 new bike parking spaces in 486 sidewalk bike racks and 74 bike racks in 14 on-street corrals, bringing the total number to 3,350 bike racks (3,128 sidewalk bike racks as well as 222 bike racks in 38 corrals) to accommodate high bike parking demand throughout the city.
• Gearing up for the launch of San Francisco’s bike share system for August with 350 bikes and 35 stations as phase one of the regional bike share pilot program.
• Installing San Francisco’s first bicycle counter on Market Street between 9th and 10th Streets to celebrate and encourage traveling by bicycle.
• Completing San Francisco’s first bicycle bay on Market Street to help the high numbers of bicycle commuters to make a safer left turn from westbound Market to southbound Valencia Street.
• Installing San Francisco’s first on-street, two-way protected bikeway on Cargo Way, featuring bicycle traffic signals, green intersection markings and physical separation from motor vehicles to provide a safer connection from Bayview and Hunter’s Point to Third Street.
• Implementing a variety of bikeways that are physically separated from motor traffic to encourage more people to try bicycling along some of San Francisco’s highly-traveled corridors, including: John Muir Drive, Cesar Chavez, Fell Street and Oak Street.
“Bike to Work Day is a chance to encourage San Francisco’s businesses and residents to try out bicycling as an alternative commute option,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “San Francisco is fast reaching a transportation tipping point as more people realize that bicycling brings more joy to their commute. With more people getting on their bikes, the SFMTA is committed to providing safer and more direct bicycling connections throughout San Francisco.”
“Bicycling is booming in San Francisco. Every day, more and more people discover the joy and convenience of biking in San Francisco,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the SFBC. “With huge growth in ridership across the city, new separated bikeways on Fell and Oak streets and the innovative bike counter on Market, this year’s Bike to Work Day is sure to be the biggest yet.”