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Release date: 1/6/11

*** Press Release ***

In an ongoing effort to improve the safety, comfort and convenience of bicycling in San Francisco, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has implemented a bicycle “Green Wave” on Valencia Street, allowing bicyclists traveling at a moderate pace to encounter a green light at 10 timed traffic signals. This is made possible by modifications to the signal timing that reduce the speed of the signal progression from 25 to 13 mph.

"The fact that San Francisco is the first city in the world to have atwo-way Green Wave is another example of our leadership inproviding quality cycling improvements for this community," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "Those who bike inSan Francisco have seentheir rides become safer and more efficient. Our continued commitment is to further the progress made and further establish San Francisco as a champion forproviding multiple modes of transportation."

“I'm thrilled to see the Green Wave on Valencia Street,” said SFMTA Board Member, Cheryl Brinkman. “The implementation of this signal timing makes it so pleasant to ride along Valencia and really helps keep the car traffic and bike traffic calmer.”

Along the Green Wave, signals are timed so bicyclists and motorists traveling at 13 mph encounter green lights as they progress north or south on Valencia between 16th and 25th streets. San Francisco is the first city in the world to provide a two-way Green Wave, as other locations, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, are only one-way.

“Green Waves are the most recent example of the SFMTA finding innovative ways to further improve cycling in San Francisco,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., CEO/Executive Director of the SFMTA. “As a global leader in multi-modal transportation, we will continue our work to improve conditions for all transportation modes in the City.”

The Valencia Street Green Wave was originally a pilot program between 16th and 21st streets, but is now a permanent signal improvement along the original pilot section and extends to 25th Street. As part of the Green Wave’s permanence on Valencia Street and to help alert bicyclists and motorists using the corridor, four new Green Wave signs specific to San Francisco are being installed this week. These signs will inform users of the Green Wave’s existence and optimal speed. The Green Wave signs, pictured at right, were designed to conform with strict state standards and guidelines for traffic control devices using standard words and symbols.

"The Green Wave signals and the safer, calmer speeds are another step in the right direction for Valencia Street, which is already a thriving commercial corridor thanks to itswide sidewalks and bike lanes and plentiful on-street bike parking,"says Renee Rivera, Acting Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "Valencia Street is a model for how a street can be an inviting place to shop, eat or play."

The Green Wave signal timing is set to accommodate an average bicyclist speed of 13 mph. It also decreases idling time of vehicles at traffic signals and improves pedestrian safety at crossings. The reduction in vehicle idling at signals saves gas and decreases the amount of air pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles. Slower speeds also benefit pedestrians, decreasing the incidence and severity of collisions.

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