Bicycling through the City
Last March on the last weekend of spring break, two of my friends and I had this great idea. We decided that since it was such a nice warm, sunny day, we would ride our bikes from downtown to Haight-Ashbury, study in a cafe for a few hours, then ride somewhere for dinner. The ride up to the Haight was not too bad, thanks to "The Wiggle," which circumvented most of the major hills in the city, and was very safe for cyclists. However, the ride to our dinner destination was much less relaxing. We ended up biking down Oak St to Market St to the Mission District for some Mexican Food. That ride, which according to our iPhone Google Map App seemed like the most direct, really was the most terrifying bike ride of my life. We ended up going down a hill on Oak in the dark with cars zooming past and people on the sidewalk. We finally reached our destination, but not without a few car doors almost opening on us.
Now I get to my main point of that anecdote. SF added a bike lane to Post and Van Ness around Union Square in the middle of the road. No bikers dare use this lane. One cyclist with 10 years of SF biking experience tried it and refused to use it again. With biking a popular form of transportation around the city, why can't the city government take better care to establish bike lanes that are safe and that people will use. The lanes they added near on Post and Van Ness were a waste of money. In these tough economic times, we need to make sure we allocate funds towards things people will use, as well as what will keep them safe. Many people are petitioning for better bike lanes. If we want to reduce traffic in the city, then bikes are a great option, but the city really needs to make biking appealing or else we'll just have more biking accidents and fewer people cycling.