The second Sunday Streets of the year was held recently on April 14th in the Mission District. Compared to the first Sunday Streets held on the Embarcadero, the event space was more compact- only about 2 miles (3.2 km) of car-free open streets but the event was crowded with people and various activities. Although it can be a little harder to ride your bike the whole way through due to the crowds, the Sunday Streets that are held in the Mission District are arguably the most popular and culturally interesting ones. Indeed, there were plenty of interesting things to see and it was an amazing day full of energy and fun!
If you missed the event, don’t worry we have lots of photos for you!
One of the great things that Sunday Streets provides is the opportunity for ordinary people to promote their small business, get publicity for their rock band or just sell their crafts. In this case, this gal Beck is having a yard sale.
And I can’t end without showing any coverage on all things biking.
If you want to experience Sunday Streets in the Mission District, the next one held there will be on July 28. Mark your calendar!
We were on Valencia St. the other day and noticed a few skateboarders and families riding their bikes on the bike lanes. It is more common to see them in this neighborhood than in other parts of the city.
As you know, Valencia St. is the first in the city to have Green Wave bike lanes. Green Wave bike lanes are those which have traffic lights timed so that cyclists riding at 13 mph (21 km/h) will hit a steady wave of green traffic lights. This makes it easier for cyclists because then there is less stop and go for them. The Green Wave also reduces the speed of auto traffic.
Also, there is a BART public transit station in the area and that enhances bicycle commuting because people can use their bikes to get to the station, bring them onto the trains, and use them when they get off to go the last mile to their final destinations.
Because of this, 15-20% of all trips are made by bicycle in this neighborhood, making it the most bike-friendly in the city (see photos below). Citywide, it is 3.5%.
But much more needs to be improved to get more people to ride. Besides calming streets, a protected and continuous network of cycle tracks needs to be implemented rather than keeping with the wimpy striped lanes and confusing bike sharrows. By having high quality, protected bike ways, the city will better be able to encourage all age groups to ride.
The ADA (Americans with Disability Act) is one group that is not keen on bike improvements in our city. Their constant argument against cycle paths is the elimination of parking spaces because they think riding in a car is the only good way they can get around. I am certain that if they watch the video below, they would change their tune.
A big concern of the disabled and elderly is that they need to rely on others to take care of them and can at times feel a loss of dignity from this. So if an elderly or handicapped person can at least have the flexibility of going out without having to depend on someone to drive him/her to places, they would feel less disabled and more free and independent.
Also, if the very elderly do still drive themselves around, they could be endangering other road users due to their lack of quick reflexes, alertness, and fast reaction time. This is especially the case in a dense and busy city like SF.
The video below is taken from Bicycle Dutch and is a great illustration of how cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands benefits everyone.
Louis J. Helle, an international scholar, once said, “Bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds.” During last year’s London Olympics ceremony opening, there was a skit performed with dove bikes that was inspired by this quote.
The visionary founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, once compared the efficiency of locomotion between a man riding a bicycle and the flight of a condor. He determined that, “[sic] a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.”
So the idea that riding a bike is like flying like a bird must have truth to it.
Going downhill on many of San Francisco’s hills, I often wonder if this how it feels to fly like a bird. Is it the feeling of freedom, the ease of movement, the wind in your face, the speed, the glide…etc. that gives you this sensation?
The photos below capture some of that feeling. So carefree…
Never underestimate the power of the color purple to stick around even after the fall season. Besides the usual staples of gray and black, this was the most prevalent color worn by bicycle riders on the streets of San Francisco during a recent afternoon, a somewhat balmy January day.
The power of the color purple can even keep your bare legs warm.
I know what his favorite color is. =)
Purple and orange together always draw the eye.
Nothing more comfortable than a hoodie and especially in the color purple.
Purple pants on fire.