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Release date: 10/6/10

*** Press Release ***

Even under court-ordered suspension of bike improvements, City increased bicycle commuting by 10 percent

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in San Francisco including the Municipal Railway, announced that bicycle commuting has increased locally while the national rate remains flat. According to the “2009 Bicycle Commuter Rates in U.S. 70 Largest Cities” report from the League of American Bicyclists, San Francisco increased bicycle commuting 10 percent from 2008 to 2009. This change moved the City up the national rankings from fifth to fourth place and nearly tied with Seattle, WA for third.

“I'm proud that San Francisco continues to be a leader in promoting bicycling as a healthy, sustainable transportation alternative,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "With the safer and more inviting bike network we're creating throughout the City, more and more San Franciscans will start bicycling.”

“Bicycle commuting has increased in San Francisco 61 percent since 2005,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO of the SFMTA. “We are committed to doing the work needed to keep the number of bicyclists growing in the years ahead.”

The 10 percent increase in bicycle commuting came amidst a four-year Superior Court injunction that prohibited bike infrastructure improvements in San Francisco. Since November 2009, when Judge Peter J. Busch modified the 2006 injunction on the Bicycle Plan to allow a limited number of bike lane projects and other improvements, the SFMTA has completed eleven new bike lane projects, installed over 1,900 sharrows, installed 400 sidewalk bike racks and five on-street “bike corrals”, and created a green bikeway on Fell Street and one on Market Street that is fully separated from motor vehicle traffic.

On August 6, Judge Busch issued an order that lifted the injunction against such bike network improvements. The SFMTA began a new bike lane project the following Monday and has since completed two additional sets of bike lanes. Also, the SFMTA has set installation schedules to install all remaining shared roadway markings or “sharrows” (an increase of 300 percent in one year) and all previously requested bike racks by the end of 2010.

The expansion of the bike network is the first goal of the Bicycle Plan. The City’s Bicycle Plan outlines eight main goals: 1) increasing bike lanes and shared roadway markings or “sharrows” (the stencils of bikers with directional arrows painted on the streets, which were pioneered in San Francisco); 2) expanding bike parking; 3) extending accessibility of bikes on local transit; 4) furthering bike safety education; 5) improving bicycle safety through targeted enforcement; 6) promoting and encourage safe bicycling; 7) adopting bicycle-friendly practices and policies; and 8) prioritizing and increasing bicycle funding as well as series of more than 80 actions to make bicycling more attractive.

As part of the SFMTA’s balanced approach to transportation in San Francisco, the Bicycle Program, which oversees the Bicycle Plan, ensures education and safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. More information on the San Francisco Bicycle Plan, including specific projects, can be found at

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