San Francisco

San Francisco County
Andrew Casteel —

Here's another difference between running for governor and running for the state's No. 2 spot: biking on Bike to Work Day.

And not just any Bike to Work Day, the most successful one in the event's 16-year history, with more than 1,000 bikes accounting for a record-breaking 75 percent of morning traffic Thursday on Market Street, organizers and city officials said.

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Andrew Casteel —

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s famous hair was tucked away under a baseball cap and City Attorney Dennis Herrera sported shorts as city officials joined bike advocates Thursday morning to celebrate Bike to Work Day. At a news conference outside City Hall, the mayor said commuting by bicycle breeds a sense of community that is lost on those in cars. “The one thing that biking does more than anything else is it connects you to other people,” Newsom said. “You don’t get connected when you’re in two SUVs.” Newsom was dressed casually, trading in his sleek business suit and even sleeker hairdo for a plain blue long-sleeve shirt and a Giants baseball cap.

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Andrew Casteel —

You can plaster San Francisco with all kinds of (fitting) labels: It's a Culinary Town. It's a Gay Town. It's a Literary Town. And it's definitely a Bike Town. So Bike to Work Day is always a big deal, but this year is special. Cyclists finally saw long-awaited improvements to their commutes: Much-needed new bike lanes have been laid down. A whole swath of Market Street is devoted to cycle traffic on weekday mornings. And the city approved plans to improve the traffic flow around the cheap gas station on Fell Street that has motorists clogging up the heavily used bike lane.

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Renee Rivera has bicyclists' wheels turning

Andrew Casteel —

The executive director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition helped coordinate several local events in honor of San Francisco Bike to Work Day today.

How many riders are you expecting to participate this year? We expect to see hundreds of thousands of people biking to work [today]. We regularly see about 120,000 people biking on a regular basis, maybe a couple days a week to work or biking to do errands.

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Andrew Casteel —

Some bicycle advocates have called 2010 the year of the bike. Across the country, cities are seeing growing numbers of people biking, and in the Bay Area tomorrow, that pedal power will be on vivid display for Bike to Work Day.

Last year in San Francisco, the SFMTA counted a record 200,000 cyclists for Bike to Work Day and considering the exciting changes that have been happening on the city's main thoroughfare, Market Street, in the last few weeks, those numbers are likely to dramatically shoot up Wednesday. The SFBC is planning 27 energizer stations across the city. Mayor Gavin Newsom and nearly every member of the Board of Supervisors plans to take part in VIP rides.

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