Mayor Lee Celebrates Bike to Work Day

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in News

Published on May 12, 2011 with 5 Comments

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (center), SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum, Webcor Builders CEO Andy Ball and Rec and Park Director Phil Ginsburg marked the 17th annual Bike to Work Day today during a celebration on the steps of City Hall. Photos by Luke Thomas.

From the Office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

May 12, 2011

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.”

Top talent: District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, wearing red high-heeled shoes, rode to work on a bicycle made for two.

A suited and booted SF Bicycle Coalition Policy Director Andy Thornly.

Striking a pose: Supervisor Eric Mar (center-right) and SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum (far right) synchronize glances towards Mayor Ed Lee.

“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.”

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu said he's been bicycling to work for 15 years. He's also seeking the coveted SF Bicycle Coalition endorsement for mayor.

“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.

Anti-bicycle crusader Rob Anderson made it his (now failed) life mission to prevent San Francisco from advancing to a pro-bicycle nirvana.

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.

More Photos:

District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner and SF Department of Environment Director Melanie Nutter.

Orange Photography were co-sponsors of today's Bike to Work Day celebration.

As a testament to the city's commitment to make San Francisco a bicycle-friendly environment, miles of bike lanes are planned throughout the city.

The law: Allowed use of full lane!

You can park a bicycle just about anywhere in San Francisco, including Mayor Ed Lee's parking spot, at least for a day.

Webcor Builders CEO Andy Ball with Rec and Park Director Phil Ginsburg.

With a membership of 13,000 and climbing, SF Bicycle Coalition events draw large crowds.

Bicycling is good for the soul. Just ask a naturally high District 10 Supervsior Malia Cohen who cycled all the way from 3rd and Thomas streets in the Bayview.

District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, who is running for mayor and is seeking the coveted SF Bicycle Coalition endorsement, is a bicycle nut/aficionado.

District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu rode all the way from the West side of town and looks all the better for it.

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim.

District 9 Superrvisor David Campos.

District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell.

SFMTA Commissioner Sheryl Brinkman.

Bike to Work Day participants were treated to fruit, bagels and cookies. Yum-yum.

  • http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/ MPetrelis

    i’m very happy to see so many folks wearing safety helmets in the pix. i’d like to suggest that the city and bike coalition consider a ‘wear a helmet’ day targeting bikers, to promote good habits to protect riders. also, i’d like to see the city and the bike coalition address the failure of so many bikers to stop at red lights, pass other bikers on the right instead of the left, and general lack of any rules for bikers. it’s gotten to the point with so many crazy bikers on the streets these days that i fear more for my safety from other bikers than cars and their drivers.

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  • http://District5Diary Rob Anderson

    Publishing a press release from the mayor’s office. More hard-hitting journalism from Fog City!

    The mayor’s press release didn’t mention the fact that city taxpayers pay for Bike to Work Day to the tune of $49,500 a year as per a contract with the Bicycle Coalition.

    Along with the pictures, your contribution to the piece was the caption on my picture: “Anti-bicycle crusader Rob Anderson made it his (now failed) life mission to prevent San Francisco from advancing to a pro-bicycle nirvana.”

    Since SF journalism—both mainstream and “alternative”—is so lame, by default I’m the only one pointing out that the great, planet-saving bike movement is still nothing but a trendy, obnoxious minority even here in Progressive Land. Put the Bicycle Plan—not to mention Critical Mass—on the ballot and city voters would provide a reality-check for City Hall, which is why it will never be on the ballot.

    Interesting that your spread on Bike to Work Day is a nice match for the Bay Guardian’s front-page spread on bikes in SF.

    But what issues do you city progs have left? It’s all about bikes now. You botched the homeless issue beginning with Care Not Cash, support the street punks in opposing Sit-Lie, graffiti/tagging vandalism is art, have nothing to offer on housing except futile whining about “affordable” housing, stand idly by as City Hall pursues alarming pro-growth planning policies (Treasure Island, Parkmerced, Market/Octavia, UC extension, etc.), and you fail to object to the Central Subway boondoggle even as Muni is chronically underfunded!

    All you have left is bikes and the anti-car movement that seeks to deliberately screw up traffic in the city by taking away street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes on busy city streets.

  • http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/author/luke/ Luke Thomas

    Oh Rob, you’re such the party pooper.

  • chard

    Thanks Rob. Really, without your opposition to the Bike Plan a few years ago, it might’ve gone through as it was and there would not be the more extensive and better supported plan that now exists.

  • Patrick

    Rob’s post is kind of lame. But does this event really cost the city $49,500?

    And why is Jane Kim on a tandem bike?