Looking ahead to 2024 with our new interim executive director, Christopher White

My journey to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition started the summer after college near the turn of the millennium, when, somewhat on a whim, I biked from New England to Vancouver, BC, to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. I thought, if I can bike over four thousand miles across the continent, surely I can bike as a way to get around a city. And that’s what I’ve done since then. When I joined SFBike in 2017, it was a sharp left turn from my previous dual careers in theater and education (ask me about it sometime!). After running our adult bicycle education program for a couple of years, I began running the Programs department, and eventually became Deputy Director in 2021. 

I stepped into the role of interim executive director in October of this year with a very clear vision of the movement we are building, and must continue to build, so that more people can use biking and other person-scale mobility for everyday transportation. 

I’m a big believer in coalition – and as people who bike in San Francisco, we all belong in this coalition. The more of us there are, the stronger our advocacy becomes, the safer our streets are, the more connected and people-first our city can be. When more of us can ride safely and joyfully, all of us will be engaged in changing this city for the better. 

But how do we get there? San Francisco is in the midst of yet another transformation, and we are, too. Facing a volatile economy and with a reduced post-pandemic membership, we’re having to do more with less, and prioritize the essential work we do to support that vision of a more sustainable, human-scale and transit-first city. 

In my role as interim executive director, I’m focusing on three things: 

Demanding vision and action in San Francisco’s next bike plan. In 2024, our transportation agencies and elected officials will finalize and begin implementing the Active Communities plan – that means they need our watchful advocacy and engagement to hold them to the infrastructure improvements and crucial safety outcomes laid out in that plan. 

Keep fighting for safe streets. Our origins as an advocacy organization are still a core component of what we do, and how we engage with members and people on bikes. We’re going to keep advocating for the improvements that keep everyone safe – like winning parking-protected bike lanes on 17th Street and Arguello, championing 14 ongoing Quick Build projects along our city’s High Injury Network, and campaigning for the parking-protected eastbound bikeway on Oak Street. 

Getting more people on bikes and in our movement. With more robust programming partnerships than ever before, we are shifting people to active transportation every day. We’re leading the Safe Routes to School partnership, to make sure that all public school children and their families can bike, roll, walk, and take transit to school. We’re partnering with community organizations and teaching hundreds of people to ride, and to see biking as a default transportation mode, with our Bike Education and Freedom from Training Wheels programs.

Along with all the crucial work that we’re doing as an organization, I’m personally excited to engage with our membership and find out what’s most important to you, as well as energize new people who bike in San Francisco to join as new members and see their impact in our movement. SFBike is made stronger by the people who make up our coalition – there’s real power in our numbers. If you’re a member already, I hope you’ll renew your membership for another year, or give the gift of membership to friends and family who also bike! And if you’re able to, I hope you’ll consider making a tax-deductible gift before December 31, to power our work and help grow our movement in the new year.


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