Although we know the power of a bike lane to transform a street, we also know that it’s not enough to simply stripe a lane and expect that all road-users know how to use it. That’s why your SF Bicycle Coalition takes a well-rounded approach including education and outreach to making biking safer for all San Franciscans.
These are the top five ways we work to make our streets better for everyone – beyond the bike lane.
1) Safety (Education) First
We want more people biking in San Francisco, but more specifically, we want more people biking safely in San Francisco. Last year, nearly 2,000 adults learned how to ride safely in one of our classes.
We have a series of free classes designed to make that happen:
Adult Learn to Ride: You can’t experience the joys of bicycling if you don’t know how to ride a bike. That’s why we offer classes designed to get people rolling.
Intro to Urban Bicycling Workshops: Sometimes, all you need is a little nudge. Our one-hour introductory workshops provide the key information you need to safely bike in the city.
Traffic Skills 101 course series: This two-part series, with both a classroom workshop and an on-road workshop, gives a tentative rider the full set of skills needed to navigate city streets. The course culminates with an on-road ride alongside licensed instructors, giving you a taste of city riding and the confidence you need to keep going.
2) Hey, Baby
You don’t need to swap your commuter bike for a minivan once you have kids. Nearly 1,500 children pedalled or glided with us last year. We offer free classes for youth and families designed to help parents learn how to navigate their children safely through the city – from pregnancy all the way through middle school:
Biking With Babies: From pregnancy to toddlerhood, biking with babies presents exciting new challenges. We go over the basics of biking before and after your new little bundle of joy arrives.
Freedom From Training Wheels: Training wheels are a thing of the past! Our trained instructors and volunteers will get your tot rolling on our fleet of balance bikes at these fun, drop-in events.
Test Ride a Family Bike: A pop-up event at Sunday Streets events and other family fairs, Test Ride a Family Bike lets you try all sorts of family bikes for yourself – no strings attached!
On-Road With Your Family: Now that your child is rolling, you want to get moving together. Our on-road family class takes a short trip onto city streets so you can learn the skills to navigate the city safely while keeping an eye on your child alongside you.
Middle School Bicycle Education: Bikes aren’t too cool for school. We’re proud to partner with YBike to offer bicycle safety and education classes at middle schools across San Francisco.
3) Sharing is Caring
Professional drivers spend a large amount of time on our roads and, as a result, have a big impact on the safety of our streets. That’s why we partner with companies to make sure that their drivers have the skills to navigate their unique challenges and share the road safely with people biking.
We educated over 2,000 professional drivers last year, including new taxi drivers, Genentech and Google shuttle bus drivers, Recology truck drivers and AutoReturn tow truck drivers. One of the most important things we teach professional drivers to do in order to share the road safely is to make safe right-hand turns to reduce the risk of someone on a bike being “right-hooked.” We teach drivers to pull all the way into the bike lane and turn from the curb, as required by all people driving under the California Vehicle Code, while encouraging people biking to look for vehicles turning right and proactively pass on the left.
Other topics in our professional driver classes include: how to reduce the risk of dooring someone on a bike, how to navigate the new bicycle infrastructure popping up around San Francisco, and how to stay on the lookout for people walking and biking. Safety on the road is a responsibility we all share, and it’s particularly crucial for those who spend the most time behind the wheel.
4) Rolling Out the Red
Who said valet parking was just for cars? After riding on safe and comfortable bike lanes, we want that same security in parking your bike. That’s why we offer free Valet Bicycle Parking, serving the coolest people (i.e. those who bike) at the coolest events all over the city.
In 2014, we kept 17,285 bikes safe at 168 events, and we’re on track to beat those numbers in 2015. We’re excited to offer Bicycle Valet this fall at every Giants home game, the American Conservatory Theater’s Bike to Theater Nights, the Folsom Street Fair and many more events. So hop on your bike and join us for some worry-free fun.
Want to pitch in? Join us: sfbike.org/valetvolunteer.
5) Let’s Get Down to Business
We know that our members bike to work and play, and we’re trying to make both safer and more comfortable. We’ve worked with dozens of employers to make their workplaces more bike- friendly for their employees. From on-site Urban Bicycling Workshops to bike parking consultations, we’re committed to helping employers support better biking at their workplace. If your workplace is interested in becoming more bike-friendly, email our Business Program Manager Paolo (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see how we can help!