It’s a very tired and overused cliche. But since I feel a bit tired and over used here goes,” If you build it they will come.” And in the case of cyclists—if you accommodate them they will ride.
San Francisco is as densely populated as New York City. While Salt Lake City is unlikely to ever have the estimated 17,867 people per square mile like San Fran has, the urban core of Salt Lake is quickly becoming more dense every year. Rather than suffer more traffic jams and polluted air, we could learn a few things from the Golden Gate City. Mainly how to effectively incorporate transit and biking into a usable even desirable transit model.
San Francisco takes a very diversified approach in moving around their millions of residents and tourists. First of all they have a subway called BART, which is used mostly by commuters and not so much tourists, except for trips to the airport.
Where we stayed, at Market Square we could get around to every section of the bay including Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town, Embarcadaro and Haight Ashbury — all of these places are easily accessible riding with electric buses, cable cars, bio-diesel buses, with a four-day pass costing $24.
Their non-polluting transit system makes for nice clean air for pedestrians and bikers. And it’s the key to making their bike transit system so successful.
The accommodations the city has made for exclusive biker and bus lanes make it very easy for bike commuters to get around in safe conditions. We found nice, wide bike highways, and happy commuters of every socioeconomic group getting around on all sorts of bikes. May is national bike month, time to get out and ride in an eco-friendly way.
Story by Richard Markosian