Press Release: Huge Turnout on Bike to Work Day!

SAN FRANCISCO — Today is the 21st annual Bike to Work Day in the Bay Area and across San Francisco, tens of thousands of people pedaled to work this morning despite anticipated rain. Mayor Edwin Lee, members of the Board of Supervisors, and City Department leaders including the Police Chief also rode to City Hall.

Manual bike counts by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) at Market Street and Van Ness Avenue showed that bikes accounted for 76% of all traffic eastbound on Market Street between 8:30 and 9:30AM, outnumbering motor vehicles four to one.

“Biking in San Francisco has been growing exponentially,” said Noah Budnick, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “So it’s no surprise to see such a huge turnout on Bike to Work Day, even with all the talk of rain. Biking in San Francisco has momentum.”

Commuter Convoys made up of Supervisors, community leaders and neighbors biked from each of the Districts. Supervisors Eric Mar, Mark Farrell, Julie Christensen, Katy Tang, Jane Kim, and Malia Cohen all biked to work today.  Many of the convoys rode on the protected bike lanes on Oak Street and/or Polk Street on their way to the steps of City Hall where hundreds gathered to celebrate biking in San Francisco and call for making the city even more bike-friendly.

“The Mayor and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency have set a goal: 8% of all trips will be made by bike in 2018,” said Budnick.  “The incredible number of people we’re seeing on bicycles today proves this goal is within reach — if the City acts quickly to make our streets as safe and welcoming as they need to be. That means a network of protected bike lanes, a huge bikeshare program and safe speeds.”

BTWD 2015 Noah at City Hall press conference

Noah Budnick, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, speaks at the 2015 Bike to Work Day press conference on the steps of City Hall on May 14, 2015. Photo by Ellie McCutcheon.

Speakers at City Hall echoed the enthusiasm for bicycling, highlighting the need for the City to make San Francisco a national leader as a bike-friendly city. Supervisor Kim, a champion for Vision Zero, talked about critical it is for more people to bike if our growing city is going to be functional and livable . Supervisor Mar highlighted growing number of people getting around by bike in his district, and committed to making Arguello and Anza bike-friendly boulevards in the future. Supervisor Cohen talked about the importance of biking as an affordable and reliable way to get around town, and commented on the growing number of people who are using a bike to get to and from the Bayview neighborhood. Supervisors Farrell, Christensen, and Tang also joined residents in their district to bike to City Hall this morning, and spoke on the importance of a bike-friendly San Francisco.

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin commented on how fun it is to ride a bike around the city. Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru personally pledged to bike around the city more and committed his Department to continuing their role as a Vision Zero champion. Planning Director John Rahaim, City Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, Recreation and Parks Director Phil Ginsburg, Police Chief Greg Suhr, and Fire Department Chief Hayes-White also spoke.


Mayor Ed Lee bikes to City Hall with a Commuter Convoy for the 2015 Bike to Work Day press conference. Photo by Myleen Hollero.

At City Hall, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition also presented the 2015 Bike-Friendly Business Awards to four San Francisco companies leading the way in promoting bicycling at their workplaces: Epsilon, WaterSmart Software, Hipmunk, and the Asian Art Museum were honored for their exemplary employee encouragement programs and bike commuting benefits. Rheema Calloway was announced as the San Francisco Bike Commuter of the Year because in the span of just two years, she went from not owning a bike to bicycling to work every day, speaking out for access to bikes for low-income youth, and becoming an active member of a collective of women of color who ride together and promote biking.

For historic and current photos of bicycling in San Francisco and from Bike to Work Day, visit Credit: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Featured image: People on bicycles accounted for 76% of traffic on Market Street on Thursday morning. Photo by Myleen Hollero.

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