Bicycling set a record in SF today

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Sup. Eric Mar (left) was among the horde of bicyclists on Market Street today.
Phote courtesy of SFBC

It was only two years ago that bicycle advocates celebrated Bike to Work Day traffic surveys that for the first time counted more bikes than cars on Market Street during the morning commute, a feat repeated last year. But today (5/13), that ratio had jumped to three bicycles for every car. The counts, which found a record-breaking 75 percent of vehicles were bikes, were performed by employees of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and announced in a press release from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

“I was thrilled to ride alongside Mayor Newsom and scores of smiling people this morning in the newly separated and green Market Street bike lanes. So many more people are bicycling on Market, because they feel safer in these separated, green bike lanes,” Renee Rivera, acting Executive Director of the SF Bicycle Coalition, said in the press release, which also quoted Newsom as saying, “We are taking hold of an incredible opportunity to transform Market Street into one of the greatest streets in the world. San Francisco is an innovator and this newly separated, green bike lane is one example of how we can make Market Street safer and more bike friendly for the tens of thousands of people who use it everyday.”

For his part, Newsom seemed to be riding a cooler bike than in years past, when he rode a Blazing Saddles rental. But some bike advocates still grumbled about his choice of attire: he once again donned a sweat suit, rather than work clothes, which doesn't exactly send the message that cycling can be an everyday transportation option. But for bike advocates, this was a day for celebration, both of the huge numbers and recent improvements such as the five on-street bicycle parking areas that have been added to Valencia Street in the last week, part of a trend toward rethinking the streets of San Francisco.