Has the rest of America’s major cities committed so strongly to two-wheeled transportation as San Francisco? Personally, I don’t know; over the past few years, acting and writing projects have kept me tethered to the Bay Area, so I have not had the chance to see for myself.
But San Francisco has invested heavily in making over itself into a green city, and two-wheeling has become a part of that. I look forward to seeing how/if this will continue and perhaps grow in both San Francisco in particular and America as a whole. Ten, twenty years from now, how might our cities appear? What might the car/bicycle ratio become?
I have my own very crazy idea for how we might make human-powered transportation more palatable & popular: the tricycle. An grown-up adult version, of course. The greater width of the tricycle vs. the bicycle will make it possible to add at least a little bit of storage, something the bicycle sorely lacks:
I did say it was a crazy idea, didn’t I?
Those green squares (middle, right edge of picture) plus green stripes indicating bicycle-only lanes, appear everywhere in the city, and I hope they have proven helpful in making commuting safer. However, you don’t necessarily have to ride a bicycle to take advantage of them.
While bicyclists enjoy (and deserve) new-found influence in setting City policy, I think some of them might be pushing things a bit far in terms of their road etiquette. While car-slapping has not yet become a favorite pasttime, I saw another example on Friday at the intersection of Grove and Polk. Only two bicyclists this time, navigating their green lane, which might explain why the driver of the white car didn’t see them before he attempted to turn right from Grove onto Polk, nearly hitting the first rider. He shouted, “Not cool, man!” and continued on his way, but the second biker added, “Yeah, man, totally not cool!” and slapped the car.
I still don’t approve of this; a driver doesn’t need a gun to act out road rage on a biker.
One more, then it’s off to the Civic Center Farmers Market for yours truly.
Vonn Scott Bair