Mayor Lee Celebrates Bike to Work Day
City Officials, Business Leaders and Bicycle Community Celebrate Increasing Bicycling in SF
05/12/11— Joining business leaders and scores of commuters, Mayor Edwin M. Lee today celebrated the 17th annual Bike to Work Day, a regional event celebrating and encouraging bicycling for transportation. San Francisco organizes one of the biggest and most well-known Bike to Work Day events in the country. This year’s Bike to Work Day had 12 different commuter convoys from around the City organized by the 12,000-member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) with Mayor Lee, Supervisors, City Departments, and key business leaders participating.
“This Bike to Work Day, we celebrate both the residents who bike to work and the City’s businesses who have embraced bicycling as a viable mode of transportation for their employees and customers,” said Mayor Lee. “We’ve seen a 58 percent increase in bicycling in the City over the past four years, and local companies are realizing that providing a welcoming environment for people who bike is yet another way to attract top talent.”
“Biking to work is a great way to kick-start the day, and it’s terrific to see the growing number of bike commuters in suits and business attire,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who often bikes to City Hall. “I hope that every day becomes Bike to Work Day for more San Franciscans.”
“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,” said San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors Chairman Tom Nolan.
“San Francisco has a lot to celebrate on this Bike to Work Day as more people than ever are bicycling,” said SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum. “As interest in bicycling grows, we commend Mayor Lee for his commitment to creating inviting, crosstown bikeways that connect neighborhoods and commercial corridors across San Francisco. Beginning with the new, green, separated bikeway on Market Street, we look forward to connecting our city with comfortable, safe routes that invite people of all ages to enjoy bicycling in our beautiful city.”
A key element supporting the increase in bicycling citywide is the improvements to the San Francisco bike network. Since last August, when a four-year Superior Court injunction of San Francisco’s Bike Plan was lifted, the SFMTA has built on a strong foundation of planning to implement the following bicycling infrastructure improvements:
· Installed 9.7 miles of bike lanes, giving San Francisco its current total of 14.5 miles (43 percent of the network laid out in the Bike Plan). Additionally, 13.7 miles of shared bike markings known as “sharrows” have been implemented on 41 different street segments;
· Announced a regional bike sharing program last fall, incorporating bike programs of six different Bay Area entities and along the entire peninsula corridor;
· Implemented several innovative projects: five painted bike boxes on Market Street which went in last month; separated bike lanes on Market Street, Portola Drive and Laguna Honda Boulevard; and bicycle traffic signals at Fell and Scott streets; and
· Installed more than 350 sidewalk bike racks, which provide 700 bicycle parking spaces, and eight on-street bike corrals to accommodate high bike parking demand in commercial areas.
The City now has a total of 14 bike corrals, 13 of which were installed in front of businesses that requested the on-street bike parking. More than 40 additional businesses have applied for or expressed a desire for better bike parking on the street in front of their businesses. The kind of regular exercise provided by bicycling to work has been shown to increase productivity of employees by improving their health and their mental acuity.
“Bicycling is good for business,” said Webcor Builders CEO Andy Ball. “Our employees who bike are healthier, happier and more productive, and with rising health insurance rates and the push to do more with less, the health of workers is becoming a pivotal piece in our company's productivity.”
Mayor Lee today announced that SFMTA and Recreation and Park Department have recently received a planning grant from the County Transportation Agency to install a new separated bike lane on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park by the end of this calendar year.
Leading up to Bike to Work Day, the SFMTA anticipates the completion of:
· Green-backed sharrows along eastbound Market Street between Van Ness Avenue and 8th Street;
· Additional green paint and safe-hit posts along Market Street between 8th Street and Octavia Boulevard; and
· 32 sidewalk bicycle parking racks to Market Street.