On San Fran’s Market Street Bikes Outnumber Cars for a Day


From the San Francisco Chronicle via Carfree USA:

For the first time ever, at the height of the morning rush hour there were more bicycles than cars heading downtown on Market Street in San Francisco, officials said.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, in a black track suit, survived the ruts on Valencia Street on his loaner mountain bike and made it to City Hall, where he was joined by a half dozen supervisors on bikes.

"You should see the potholes in this town,” the mayor said.

Newsom seized the day to unveil the city’s new cycling strategy, a 10-point plan now being held up pending an environmental review.

"Turnout was huge,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the bicycle coalition. "We gave away 3,000 canvas bags and we’re down to our final bunch of bananas.”

Photo: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Leah Shahum of the SF Bike Coalition, by Drew Rogers via Flickr 

  • bim

    does nyc have a bike to work day? if so when? if not when?

  • you missed it, buddy. May 18 is National Bike to Work Day.

  • bim

    oh well. thanks mike k.

  • Steve

    Because of the threatened rain, there were far fewer bicyclists out on the 18th during rush hour than usual. Still, a bit of promotion by NYC government along the lines of the Frisco effort would have helped.

  • This isn’t a fair comparison: Market Street is not a major street for autos (it’s a half-baked transit mall), but it is a major street for bicyclists.

    A similar comparison in New York would be to compare the number of cyclists on Fulton Mall with the number of private cars there. The cyclists would win, but it wouldn’t mean that there weren’t a lot of drivers in Brooklyn in general.

  • T.A. was workin’ all the E. River Bridges with free coffee and muffins on the 18th. Too bad ol’ man weather gave us 47 degrees in mid may. Incidentally, that was the same daytime temperature on Christmas last year. Rock a bike kids. I want my spring/summer in May and my winter in January.

    P.S., though the city may not have promoted Bike To Work day with much gusto, it was very nice to see Alexandros Washburn, City Planning’s new Chief Urban Designer, riding over the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Fact Check

    This headline is very misleading and a gross exageration. Per Mike in msg 5, one street does not a city make. If one in ten, or even one in twenty, of all the vehicles travelling about in San Francisco on Bike to Work Day were bikes it would be a big deal.

  • Thanks. I changed the headline to make it more accurate.

  • Dave Snyder

    One street does not a city make, and I’m no apologist for our city by the bay’s weak accommodation of bicyclists when compared to the leading bike-friendly cities of the world. But I must point out that on Bike to Work Day, where more than 1 in 2 vehicles on Market Street were bicycles, possibly 1 in 25 vehicles were bicycles citywide! (MTC data says 3.4% bicycle mode share for work trips generated in S.F.) If you think that’s a big deal, that’s great!

  • Fact Check

    Esteemed Dave

    1/25th is a big deal! So SF is looking good from this coast.

    The official number for NYC is less than 1% bike mode share. How much less, who really knows.


New San Francisco Bike Lanes: Feel the Ecstasy

SF MTA Chief Nat Ford and Mayor Gavin Newsom work the green rollers. Photo: Matthew Roth. These are heady days for San Francisco cyclists. After three years that saw the addition of pretty much zero bike infrastructure, this week the city hailed the arrival of its first new bike lane since 2006 and its first-ever […]

Get Ready for Streetsblog San Francisco

How come so many posts on San Francisco lately? Let’s make it official: The Open Planning Project will be launching Streetsblog San Francisco in January 2009. After interviewing many highly qualified candidates during last month’s RailVolution conference, we’ve hired Bryan Goebel as the site’s editor and Matthew Roth as full-time reporter. Bryan is a veteran […]

SF Responds to Bike Injunction With 1,353 Page Enviro Review

Two-and-a-half years after a judge issued an injunction preventing the city from adding any new bicycle infrastructure to its streets, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Planning Department have released a 1353-page Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the San Francisco Bicycle Plan. At a cost of more than $1 million, the city has attempted to demonstrate in excruciating detail what would seem to be obvious: better bicycle amenities contribute to increased cycling and an improved environment.