This week our team got to know each other and meet out community partner, Janice Li, a member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. After meeting with Janice Li on Wednesday, the group established that we are going to make a trip to San Francisco on February 3rd. On this trip we are planning to take the Caltrain and bring our bikes to be able to understand the biking situation in San Francisco. We are still working out what we will be doing in the city, but to maximize our time we will be meeting with SFMTA city planners, visiting the SFBC office, doing bike ride around the city, and possibly meeting other organizations within the community. After interacting with Janice the five of us decided that we will meet on Fridays to work together on the project. In addition, we split up the work into researching several different aspects Janice listed for us to do research on from LTS methodology to mapping out a possible bikeability metric for San Francisco’s street network. Our group brings a variety of unique talents to the table as we are in a variety of different grades, have different major interests, and different strengths.
What We Learned and Observed:
This week Janice informed us about what the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is all about. This information ranged from her telling us about how many members there are (from the board to the staff and the community partners) more specifically she explained what she does for the non-profit organization. Janice Li is an advocacy director and focuses on grassroots leadership and the issue of affordable housing within community development. She mentioned that this organization was founded in 1971 and began with a small group of neighborhood bikers. Today, it is now one of the strongest bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. Although we were just assigned this project, our group is learning a lot about what defines sustainable biking situations ad how we can make biking a leading mode of transportation in all cities, but specifically San Francisco. Janice gave us several pieces of information to read up on including; The Official San Francisco Bike Guide 2nd Edition, SFBC Bicycle Rules of the Road, and a 2017 winter issue of SFBC Tube Times. From this information that was provided we learned the proper rules of riding a bicycle, the key to having a helmet and other necessary biking accessories, and other interesting topics such as what is coming soon to parts of San Francisco and how to bike with your dog. What we found interesting was that you do not have to be a expert biker to bike the streets of San Francisco and that they are trying to convey that biking can be for everyone and their different life styles. To promote this we learned that the SFBC puts on events where they close down a street and teach little kids how to bike, show parents that they can bike with multiple kids on their bike, learn the safety of biking, and more!
Critical Analysis and Moving Forward:
Our group could not be more excited about the project we have been given. We are looking forward to our trip into the city to meet the rest of Janice’s staff as well as SFMTA city planners and possible other community base organizations that SFBC works with. This week we are focusing our time on analyzing the information that we have been given and learning about how other cities around the world have constructed successful or possibly unsuccessful bike lanes. After learning about this we are going to study San Francisco’s LTS (levels of traffic stress) and compare it to other cities around the world to identify if San Francisco is getting its optimal usage out of its bicycle system or if other cities are doing things that San Francisco can incorporate into their methodology to improve it for those biking in the city. Furthermore, we are going to learn how to create a map of our findings to demonstrate the possibilities to improve on the bicycle methodology to potentially convince those in the city to use biking as their main transportation. Overall, our end goal is to identify the efficacy of LTS and see if other metrics that have been developed compare to the one implemented in San Francisco. Hopefully by the end of this project we can recommend other options to improve on the San Francisco LTS.
Attached below is a current map of the San Francisco Biking network: