If the unusually large number of cyclists on the streets today hasn't tipped you off already, today is the 22nd annual Bike to Work Day. As you surely remember from years past, Bike to Work Day is a chance for cyclists of all levels of experience to commute to work — first timers and messengers alike — as volunteers with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition man so-called energizer stations passing out snacks and assorted goodies. It's also a perfect opportunity for elected officials to pay lip service to constituents who commute every day on a bicycle.
“Bike ridership has continually increased throughout the City, and that’s a win for everyone as San Francisco grows in people, jobs and housing,” Mayor Ed Lee, making no mention of his veto of Supervisor John Avalos's bike yield ordinance earlier this year, said in a press release earlier today.
The Mayor was not the only one with bikes on the mind today, and officials gathered in front of City Hall this morning to commemorate the occasion.
The Examiner reports that 4.4 percent of San Franciscans commuted via bike in 2014, and there are an estimated 82,000 bike trips each day in SF. Market Street in particular saw a huge increase in riders, with SFMTA Director of Sustainable Streets Tom Maguire saying a 25 percent increase in riders over last year represents the "tremendous demand” that is out there.
“This year, we are starting construction on projects that will build 22 miles of new and improved bikeways,” Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, said in a statement. “These projects won’t just improve biking, they also include elements that increase pedestrian safety, create a more organized roadway for people driving, and help make transit more reliable.”
We even got a shout out at the state level, with former SF supervisor and California state senator David Chiu busting out his ride.
But politicos weren't the only ones riding this morning, and Interim Executive Director of the SF Bicycle Coalition Margaret McCarthy spoke to some of the reasons those not holding public office hopped on two wheels today. “SF bikes because we care about the health and wellbeing of our communities, and that has never been more true than it is today.”
This pooch looks like he agrees.