SUSTAINABILITY at the Embarcadero

Editors: This story was originally published in Issue 161 of our quarterly Tube Times magazine, one of many perks of membership in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. 

For residents and visitors alike, the Embarcadero is an unparalleled gem of San Francisco.

“For me, it’s all about the fresh air and amazing views combined with a nice flat run in SF,” member Reggie Snowden said. “It’s great for running and biking.”

Since moving to San Francisco in 1992, Reggie has run along the Embarcadero weekly. He also commutes there daily by bike to his job at Pier 39. As someone who enjoys the Embarcadero by foot and bike, Reggie has special insights into the challenges facing different road users.

“Too many people biking don’t realize how fast they’re going,” Reggie said about the shared sidewalk along the Embarcadero. He would like to see bikes off the sidewalk — provided there’s a safe alternative on the road.

A concern for people walking, running and biking — as well as observing conflicts between people biking and driving — fuels Reggie’s passion for seeing protected bike lanes delivered on the Embarcadero.

Along with members like Reggie, we’re campaigning for physically protected bike lanes to reduce conflicts between all types of road users along the Embarcadero. In the long term, these improvements will be delivered in conjunction with repairs to the disintegrating seawall. Though not visible to most people enjoying the Embarcadero, the seawall is a hugely important piece of infrastructure, protecting 500 acres of San Francisco from earthquake-related flooding, especially as sea levels rise. The seawall is roughly 100 years old and susceptible to serious damage in its current state.

While the seawall repairs may be many years away, that vital project should not delay near-term solutions for people travelling along the Embarcadero. We will continue working with our members and City staff to identify ways to deliver physically protected bike lanes sooner, making the iconic stretch of the Embarcadero welcoming for more people to enjoy by bike — whether for their commute or just for pleasure.

“One of the reasons I choose to bike is that it’s just as fast as driving a car and faster than public transportation,” Reggie said of his commute along the Embarcadero. “When I ride my bike, I arrive at work every time in 20 to 24 minutes. Time is money and money is time.”

Want to help make the Embarcadero better to bike for folks like Reggie and the many, many people who would enjoy biking better infrastructure there? Email our Community Organizer kristen@sfbike.org to plug into our active campaign to see protected bike lanes built as soon as possible.

The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.

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