SF still a vanguard of bike culture
San Francisco holds strong to its reputation as a bike-friendly community. Most people would think it hard to be car-less in the City by the Bay because of its well-known steep hills and winding roads, yet things are quite different. Its compact neighborhoods and consolidated system of public transportation, walking trails and bikeways allow residents to feel comfortable and live happily with few or no cars. Though not as cycling-oriented as Albany or Berkeley, which boasts the highest rates of bicycle and pedestrian commuting in the country, San Francisco holds a few neighborhoods where you can be car-free or ride a bike for fun.
Places like the Richmond District, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights or the Marina District are all great residential neighborhoods offering good alternatives to travel by private cars; with easy access to mass transit, abounding with green spaces or within close proximity to parks, featuring an interesting mix of housing options and shopping destinations, the neighborhoods are perfect for outdoorsy people, both young professionals or families with kids. Everything you could need is within easy reach, from groceries, cafes or Post-Offices to libraries and elite schools.
In addition to a good transit system and numerous bikeways linking our city from end to end, San Francisco’s got some bicycle-friendly businesses encouraging green practices. Local companies like Zynga, Levi’s, Atlassian, Inc., Veritable Vegetable or Rackspace were all lauded by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Mayor Edwin Lee for great initiatives that make it easy for their employees to bike to work.
With all the support from public and private entities through community programs and educational projects, San Francisco gained a great many new bike lanes and hundreds of bike parking racks in the recent years. The continuously expanding bicycle infrastructure and growing bike culture keeps the city well off in America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities. Trailed by major biking hubs like Minneapolis, Boulder, CO, Washington, DC, Chicago, Madison, WI, New York City and San Francisco, Portland claimed the top spot with 180 miles of bike lanes and 79 miles of off-street bike paths in a ranking prepared by Rodale Inc.’s Bicycling magazine.
According to Bicycling, San Francisco has recently completed important improvements to the city’s biking infrastructure, including installation of 20 new bike-lane miles, 25 bike-parking corrals, and traffic signals that give riders the right-of-way for safe travel. The city has seen a 71 percent increase in bike trips over the past five years.