Updated: Nov 29, 2020
Bicycling in American cities is still improving and the are many advocacy groups striving to make it even better.
Luckily for us Bicycling.com has ranked the top ten cities in the United States according to safety, friendliness, energy and culture. Read the whole article here.
San Francisco ranks #2
In 2010, the city of San Francisco didn’t have a single protected bike lane. “Five to six years ago, getting paint on the ground felt like a win,” says Brian Wiedenmeier, the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “Now there are 10 protected bike lanes across the city,” which equate to almost 20 miles of protected riding bliss.
Even better, between now and 2021, the city is investing $112 million in bike-related improvements. The city also drastically reduced its traffic fatalities in 2017, from 30 in 2016 (including motorists and pedestrians), to 20 in 2017. “We’re really taking a data-driven approach to this,” says Wiedenmeier, adding that the city also has been extremely aggressive when setting goals for both maximizing safety and minimizing single-user car trips.
Amazingly, it’s actually reaching many of them. For example, one of those goals was to make 50 percent of all trips in the city via sustainable methods, like biking, walking and mass transit. The city hit and surpassed that mark in 2012, and has since upped it to 80 percent of trips being via sustainable methods by 2030.
No city is without its problems, though. The Bay Area’s current headache is ride-share programs, like Uber and Lyft. A few years ago, when rideshare first entered the marketplace, many thought that it would reduce car ownership and cut back on overall car trips. But that hasn’t happened. In San Francisco, those cars are so easy to find that people are using them instead of walking, biking, or taking the subway across town. “There are 20,000 additional vehicles in the city now that are Ubers or Lyfts.
On many streets the bike lanes have been taken over by literally hundreds of loading and unloading vehicles that are illegally parked,” says Widenmeier. Ben Jose, the communications manager for San Francisco’s Sustainable Streets Division, agrees that rideshare is a nightmare for cyclists, and says finding solutions is a top priority. “We’re both trying to find better ways to use curb parking and ramping up enforcement,” he says, adding that the city has added a dedicated phone line where people can report cars illegally parked in the bike lane at any time.