A new report by the SFMTA confirms what every driver, cyclist, and pedestrian in the city already knows: there are hella bikes on the road, and that number has risen precipitously in the past few years alone. According to the annual Bicycle Count report, people are making twice as many trips by bike today as they did in 2006, and helmets are being worn 76 percent of the time, an all-time high. The report also states that 95 percent were observed properly using bikeways (i.e., not riding on sidewalks or in the wrong direction). Great job guys.
Market and Valencia, 17th Street and Valencia, and Fifth Street and Market all saw the most bicycle traffic in the city, but Townsend, Second Street, and Polk Street corridors all saw a significant ridership jump of around 35 percent in the past two years alone. Bicycling increased an average of 14 percent at 40 observed intersections between 2011 and 2013.
Absent from the report is any meaning data or commentary on bicycle accidents and fatalities, which have also been on the rise in recent months, most notably in areas like SoMa where unprotected bike lanes abut truck and bus thoroughfares. And despite promises from Mayor Lee to support bicycle safety projects, SF Streetsblog observes that the SFMTA is struggling to find the $191 million funding needed to roll out even its most modest improvement plans.
At locations where significant bike safety improvement were installed, ridership skyrockets in the last two years. Protected bike lanes installed on Fell and Oak Streets saw bike traffic increase by 52 percent, and signals and a bike ramp at Page and Stanyan saw cycling rates go up by 78 percent.