Changes in Biking Rights and Benefits in San Francisco

Yahoo News | February 28, 2012

By Isabel Bonfatti

As the number of people riding bicycles in San Francisco increases every year, so do the options and demands for rights and improvements regarding city riding. The number of San Franciscan bike riders has grown 7 percent since last year and 71 percent over the past six years. And now San Francisco might have one of the most comprehensive bicycle access laws in the country. Supervisor John Avalos is working on introducing legislation that will require owners of commercial buildings to either provide secure bicycle parking in their buildings or allow the tenants to bring their bicycles into the building.

The Employee Bike Access Bill was unanimously approved by the Public Safety Committee, and the Board of Supervisors will hear it in the next couple of weeks. If the bill is approved, bikers that commute to work will not need to leave their rides outside in the street locked to a pole or rack.

San Francisco's bike riders will also be able to learn from another city's successes. Paul Steely White, executive director of NYC's Transportation Alternatives, and Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, will be discussing and presenting alternatives and ideas towards safer streets and public spaces at "The Future of the Bicycling Movement: Views from Two Coasts." They will be answering questions from the public in this event that happens this Thursday, March 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at SPUR (654 Mission St.).

And in order to keep the number of bikers increasing, we should get them while they are young. Bike to School Day is Thursday, April 12. Parents, caregivers, teachers, administrators, or volunteers at San Franciso's schools can register their school for the big day. There will be many chances to bring kids to the streets in their bikes this year: The popular program Sunday Streets is set to start again in March 11, with its 2012 debut along the Embarcadero. This year, Sunday Streets will return to the Great Highway (April 15), Bayview and Dogpatch (July 22), Western Addition (September 9), and Chinatown (in a date to be defined in August), as well as the Mission. The popular Mission Route will increase to four consecutive first Sundays, May 6, June 3, July 1, and August 5. Also this year, Sunday Streets will happen in a Southwest neighborhood for the first time on October 21, making its way in the Outer Mission/Excelsior.