Jessica Jenkins is a mom who bikes all over San Francisco, and is one of our most active advocates for safe streets. She has been a member champion for improvements on both Turk Street and Upper Market, and recently spoke at the MTA Board in support of both projects, where we won unanimous approval for proposed protected bike lanes. We recently caught up with Jessica to find out what put her on this journey and what keeps her going.
“In 2001, I traded my two-hour mind-numbing car commute for 20 minutes of biking, two hours of Caltrain, stacks of books and Friday party cars,” Jessica said of when she started biking. Her family has been officially car-free since 2008, and she became an SF Bicycle Coalition member on Bike to Work Day 2009. (Save the date: this year’s Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 10!)
“Biking is active, social and fun,” said Jessica said. “My three-year-old son Otis and I talk about the sights, sing, and chat with friends and strangers while we roll around the Bay Area.”
When asked what motivates her to speak up for safer streets, her son Otis was first and foremost in her mind.
“I feel an acute sense that the streets need to be reclaimed and returned to communities,” Jessica said. “When Otis started toddling, the joy and freedom of it was tempered with fear of people speeding mere feet away.”
Jessica has big dreams for the future of biking in San Francisco: “In my utopian vision, walking and biking are the default ways of getting around, supplemented by public transit. Most roads have been turned into parks and housing. Cars are an exceedingly rare and inconvenient way to navigate a dense, thriving city.”
Want to meet Jessica IRL? You can join her on one of the many rides in which she regularly participates.
“I would love to meet more women on the regular social rides that I do: Butterlap every Wednesday night, SF Bike Party on the first Friday of the month, East Bay Bike Party on the second Friday of the month and Midnight Mystery Ride on the third Saturday of the month,” Jessica said. “I’m obviously a night owl.”
Want to meet more women, trans*, femme and non-binary folks who bike? In addition to joining Jessica on her regular rides, join us for our next Women Bike SF coffee club at Arizmendi Bakery in the Inner Sunset. Find more details and RSVP here.