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Friday, May 13, 2011

San Francycle: Did David Chiu Drive on Bike to Work Day?

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 7:09 AM


Wasn't Bike to Work day fabulous this year? We

saw a lot more cyclists out than usual, and we hope to see

them out again on the remaining 364 days until next year. Let's do a

quick roundup of the best of the bikes.

According to the Chron, the mayor and "almost every member of the Board

of Supervisors" were out riding today. Almost? We would like to know

which ones weren't. Maybe this was the one day that David Chiu was like

"Fuck it" and drove to work.

Fog City Journal captured

the supes on the scene: Jane Kim in fetching shoes, Eric Mar, Scott

Wiener, Carmen Chu, Ross Mirkarimi, Malia Cohen, Chiu, John

Avalos, David Campos, and Mark Farrell. So, did Sean Elsbernd have a

note from his doctor?

And hey, who's that other guy in the FCJ photos? Is that you, Webcor CEO Andy Ball? Why, we remember not so long ago

when you were pushing a ballot measure that would have forced

developers to build parking garages and eliminate bike infrastructure.


In any case, at this year's event, there were more bike improvements than ever, including lots of green paving and posts on Market Street, 14 extra miles of bike

lanes, bike boxes, bike traffic signals, green-wave-synchronized lights

on Valencia Street, and 650 new bike racks.

Also, Mayor Lee promised to have a separated bike lane on JFK Drive by the end

of the year. That's a big promise! Sure you can keep it, Mr. Mayor? That

project keeps getting pushed back. Just a few months

ago, Johanna Partin, the mayor's director of Climate Protection Initiatives, told us that "summer would be doable."

Bikes are spreading to the suburbs as well:

San Mateo and Santa Clara held raffles and gave out goodies to

cyclists, and also named a bicycling kindergarden teacher Commuter of

the Year. Marey Richins uses her bike 95

percent of the time, even for transporting school supplies. She also

regularly carries the class rat on her bike, something we never dared

try when our own pet rats needed to visit the vet.

And in Silicon Valley, bike rates are practically astronomical: okay,

actually, they're 2 percent. But that's double what it was 10 years

ago! Corinne Winter, head of the SV Bike Coalition, told the Wall Street Journal,

"There is a saying down here that if you're not in a peloton [a pack of

bicycle riders] then you're not in the deal."

Also, 1,000 people biked to work in Alameda, and the day was a "smashing success" in Dublin. Piedmont, San Ramon, Milpitas, and Sonoma also got in on the action. It's worth mentioning you cannot get to any of these nearby towns on a bike.

Over in Berkeley, one of the energizing stations even had its own "proselytizer." That sounds superfun!

And then there was some nutty advice from a suburban motorists' column: Bicyclists, according to some people, need to make themselves "more

visible" by wearing bright colors, because apparently cyclists are

partially transparent. Also, "a small clip or duct tape

could be fixed to the top of the helmets to a rotating blinking light, a

jiggly hula dancer, or even lengths of shiny streamers tied in a small


Or, you know, cars could just drive slower and pay attention.

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Matt Baume

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