SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bicyclist commutes in San Francisco continue to grow.
Bicycle trips during the week in 2015 have increased by 200,000 since 2014 in the city. That’s an 8.5 percent increase in bicycle rides, San Francisco transit officials report.
The number of yearly rides climbed from 2.4 million to 2.6 million between 2014 to 2015, according to a San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency report released Friday.
The SFMTA data, however, only count a portion of all bike rides taken because it relies on automated bicycle counts at 15 locations throughout the city. The real number of bike rides could be far higher since rides such as those on Treasure Island, along much of Ocean Beach or through most of the Presidio were likely too far from the automated counters to be detected.
Large swaths of the eastern and southern neighborhoods such as the Bayview, Hunters Point, the Sunset, the Richmond and the Excelsior also lacked automated counters.
The SFMTA states that they expect three times more automated counters to be up and running in 2016, which will likely reveal a more accurate number of rides.
Each day in San Francsico, there are an estimated 82,000 bicycle trips, according to the report.
The SFMTA has conducted bicycle counts at intersections in the city since 2006 and the agency uses that information to make informed policy and planning decisions. Since the 2006 count, biking in San Francisco has increased by 184 percent.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition was thrilled by the increase in bike rides:
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said the SFMTA report confirms cyclists’ suspicions: “Biking in San Francisco is more popular than ever.”
The bicycle coalition credited its members for the increase.
“We know that this increase is due to years of successful, hard-fought grassroots campaigns, powered by our members,” the bicycle coalition wrote on its website Friday.
But with more cyclists traversing the city, there’s even more urgency to prevent cyclist and pedestrian collisions with vehicles.
Nicole Ferrara, executive director of the pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco has come out in favor of automatic speed enforcement (ASE) cameras that issue tickets if drivers exceed the speed limit.
But speed cameras remain illegal in California, so Walk San Francisco has launched a petition to urge legislators to change the law and allow ASE to be used in San Francisco.
Among the growing number of cyclists are San Francisco children; thousands are expected to bike to school next week, April 18-22, during Bike and Roll To School Week.
By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.