Tag Archives: sfbike

Bikeways and Homelessness

On Wednesday, October 11, I attended a forum on bikeways and homelessness in San Francisco. This forum came about because there have been some conflicts between homeless people camping and bicyclist using bikeways, particularly a network of bike paths under the 101 interchange at Cesar Chavez Blvd. Because city and state agencies have cleared encampments and fenced off spaces under many freeways, campers have moved onto bikeways in some areas.

The forum was an attempt by SF Supervisor Hillary Ronen and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to educate cyclists about homelessness in San Francisco, and to describe some of the efforts underway to find people housing.

About 60 people attended the event, and we heard from Supervisor Ronen, a Bike Coalition person, two homeless advocates, and a representative of Caltrans, the state transportation agency that maintains the 101 freeway.

I learned that on any given night in San Francisco, there are about 7500 people experiencing homelessness. This number has been holding pretty steady for the past few years, although there has been a rise in visible tent encampments, like the ones we saw on Division St. during our October 3rd expedition.

Speaking of Bicycles students on Division St. under a section of Hwy 100 on October 3rd, 2017.

A few panelists speculated about the rise of tent camps in SF. One person observed that many homeless people used to camp in the Mission Bay area (where we visited Dr. Bauer on October 3rd). But all the new construction in that area has led them to try to find other places to camp.

Supervisor Ronen outlined her efforts to create “Navigation Centers” — a new kind of shelter where people are treated with greater dignity (for example, you can keep your pets with you) and possessions are more respected and secure. One of these centers has opened near the 101/Chavez interchange.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of the panel to get to another event, but it was a great learning experience for me. I feel that I now better understand the reasons for the current situation (as well as solutions underway), and I also have greater empathy for the people experiencing homelessness whom I’ve encountered on bike paths.

More about this issue (and link to video) in this SF Examiner article:

‘Gut-wrenching’ videos of SF bike route populated by homeless spur debate


BY MONDAY Fourth Task for Class 9/12: Create Two Questions

In class on Tuesday, September 12th, we’ll visit the offices of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition at 1720 Market Street. We’re scheduled to meet with Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier at 2 p.m.

We’ll learn a bit about the history of the SF Bicycle Coalition, its current projects, and its future plans.

Based on what you know (or would like to know) about bikes and public speaking, create two questions for Brian Wiedenmeier. I’ll share some of these questions with him in advance, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask some of them at the meeting.

A good structure for a question is:

“In class, we read about _______________. What is your opinion/ what is the position of the Bicycle Coalition on this issue?”

You can also ask questions that are specific to Mr. Wiedenmeier’s role. For example, “What are the main duties of an Executive Director in a non-profit?” or “What changes have you seen in San Francisco since you started here?” or …..

Post these questions to your blog. If your blog isn’t up and running, post your questions in the comments (below).

Sample questions:

We watched Dr. Fred Rivara’s TEDx talk, where he argues ______________ about bicycle helmets. What is the position of the Bicycle Coalition about helmets?

We read about establishing credibility with audiences. How do you, as Executive Director, establish credibility?

Second Task for Class 9/12: Read These 3 Things

Aerial view of Panhandle, 1938. Photo Lun Esex. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

The previous post asked you to join the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Did you do it? Post a comment (below) and let me know.

For class on Tuesday 9/12, I’ll also ask you to read a few short selections and watch a few videos. As before, your goals are to:

  1. understand the main ideas of the readings individually
  2. connect ideas across readings & videos
  3. apply concepts from course materials to real life

Continue reading Second Task for Class 9/12: Read These 3 Things

Volunteer Opportunity at Bike Coalition

This would be a great idea for a bike expedition:

Volunteer Night – Tuesday, April 11, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
SF Bicycle Coalition HQ, 1720 Market St.

This SF Bicycle Coalition tradition has been happening for as long as we can remember and newcomers are always welcome.  Stop by, snack on tasty treats, chat with fellow members and bike enthusiasts, and help us keep our organization rolling as we work together on group office tasks. Dinner is provided. Bring a friend – the more the merrier. Don’t forget to bring your bike into the office. No RSVP necessary.
More info here:

How to Lock Your Bike

We toured some of USF’s campus infrastructure last week:

  • the new bike racks near Lo Schiavo
  • the bike lockers behind Cowell Hall
  • the public bike maintenance station between Malloy and Kalmanovitz
  • the Class II Bikeway (a.k.a Bike Lane) on Golden Gate Avenue westbound.

Since we talked a lot about bicycle storage and theft, here is some information from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition about the best procedures for locking your bike:

Theft & Locking

Register for SF Bike Coalition Intro to Urban Bicycling Class

Register using this link:

Intro to Urban Bicycling

We won’t have our regular class on Tuesday, September 20th.

Instead, we’ll attend a class taught by staffers from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. This class covers essentials of navigating the City on a bike.

The class will be held on Monday, September 26, from 6-7 p.m. If you are unable to attend at this time, please let me know as soon as possible.

Please pre-register for the class NOW using the link above!