Let’s Change The Script

I was talking with a co-worker after work when I heard it again.

“I’d bike in the City if there were protected bike lanes”.

I won’t try to put a number around how many times I’ve heard that or similar sentiments, but I hear them a lot. As a person who uses my bike for everyday transportation in the City, I intimately understand the pain points. I’ve been hit while riding. I’ve caught a tire on the tracks on Market. I’ve come back to a missing tire, I’ve had a seat stolen. I know first-hand this is not nearly as inviting a city to people biking as it could be. And that’s why I’m so inspired to work to change that.

We have ideas in San Francisco for how to improve our streets so they are safe for everyone, irrelevant of how they are getting around. We have grand visions like Better Market Street. We have smaller ones like the 8th Avenue Neighborway. Unfortunately, many of those plans remain just that, plans, and they require constant advocacy just to get built. Those of us who ride know that even as we start to lay down more protected lanes, we have a dearth of them, and what we are really missing is meaningful connections between the lanes we have right now.

As it happens, that coworker later admitted to driving to work. “It’s the fastest way”. We need to change that incentive structure. We need to get those folks out of their cars. It’s incumbent on us to help create those structures, whether that’s through better connections for people walking, biking, or taking transit.

I’ve shown up at the meetings to advocate for complete streets. I’ve organized my neighbors to try and show folks there are people who realize the future is creating better options for folks to get around and not fretting about every last parking space on the street. I’ve handed out fliers to folks in Golden Gate Park trying advocating for more car-free space. Every time I’m doing the work, the San Francisco Bike Coalition (SFBC) is there, standing for what they believe in. That’s why I’m so honored to be a recommended candidate for SFBC’s Board of Directors in the upcoming election.

SFBC has been here doing the work for over 40 years. They have great folks who I see at all the meetings speaking up for a better San Francisco. They have great folks who work to make biking more accessible for women and trans folks who have made me feel so welcome. They have great leadership heading into the new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. I just want to keep giving them the support and resources they need to do that work and to keep doing the work with them. We share a vision of what this city could be, and I can’t think of a better way to support that shared vision than to volunteer my time ensuring a vital organization like SFBC has what it needs to realize that vision. We share a vision where that coworker is parking a bike next to me at work. Let’s do that work and help make that a reality.

We can make this city a better place to bike, but I can’t do it without you. If you’re a member, I’d be honored to receive your vote. If you are thinking about becoming a member or need to renew, you have until January 21st to join or renew and still be eligible to vote. You can find more information about the timeline here. If you have questions for me, I’d love to hear ‘em.

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