San Francisco aims to make life easier for its bicyclists

October 31, 2013 by  

San Francisco would like to have its residents making 20% of their trips by bike by 2020, and it is working to make the goal a reality.

City by the Bay is continuing to install ‘Green Waves’ for bicyclists, making it easier for them to ride through the city. The ‘Green Wave’ system times traffic lights so they turn green for people riding 13mph, a moderate pace for most cyclists. The idea is based on similar timing ventures in Portland, Oregon and well as the European cities of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Having all the lights green and the speed limit lower means everyone is safer, including those driving cars. In addition, having all green lights means bicyclists do not have to stop and go, or try to remain balanced while they stand still, which is tiring and leads some riders to run red signals. Lower speeds will help to reduce serious accidents, while also cutting down on air pollution and vehicle noise.

The Green Wave project began as a pilot scheme on Valencia Street, from 16th to 24th streets, and was such a huge success that the city made it permanent. San Francisco is now adding four more Green Waves, and enhancing the system already in existence.

City officials could work with brochure printers to explain the Green Wave system to those who are unfamiliar with it. The brochure could also include maps of the existing and proposed Green Wave areas.