"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Location: San Francisco, CA

Website: www.sfbike.org

For over 40 years, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been transforming San Francisco's streets and neighborhoods into more livable and safe places by promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.

Through our day-to-day advocacy, education, and working partnerships with government and community agencies, we are helping create safer streets and more livable communities for all San Franciscans.

Our active 12,000 members represent San Franciscans of all ages, from all neighborhoods, who are working towards more safe, efficient, and fun ways to move around our city. The SF Bicycle Coalition is the largest city-based bicycle advocacy group in the nation and one of the largest membership-based groups in San Francisco. Our members donated over 16,000 volunteer hours in 2011.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is transforming San Francisco's streets and neighborhoods into more livable and safe places by promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.

Recent San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Successes:

- Worked with BOMA and Supervisor Avalos on the Employee Bicycle Access Bill, which was signed into law this year. San Francisco now has the most progressive and strongest workplace bicycle access in the nation.

- Helped get Proposition B passed, which provides millions of dollars to make San Francisco streets safer and smoother.

- Published the Family Biking Guide, a free how-to manual for all stages of family biking-from pregnancy through biking your child to school.

- So far in 2012, we have taught 2,000 people in our free bicycle education classes, and reached tens of thousands with our safety and education resources.

- Partnered in expanding Sunday Streets to neighborhoods across San Francisco, and expanded the program to include four consecutive Mission District routes this year.

- Helped implement San Francisco's first parking-protected bikeway on JFK Drive, opening up 1.5 miles of safe, 8-to-80 bikeway in Golden Gate Park.

- In working with BART and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition we brought the Bikes on Bart Pilot, where every Friday in August the bicycle ban was lifted during rush-hour. The pilot was a great step toward opening up regional travel by bike and in keeping with BART’s new forward-thinking Bicycle Plan.

- Launched the Great Streets Project, which created San Francisco's innovative and expanding parklet program, that serves as a model for cities across the country.

- Through our world-famous valet bicycle parking program, we parked 20,000 bicycles at over 80 events in 2011, including all the Giants home games.
Invited record numbers of people to bike in San Francisco. City bicycle counts showed a 71% increase in the number of people bicycling in San Francisco in the last five years.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in the Community:

- Offers free Urban Cycling Workshops that teach thousands of people each year how bike confidently, respectfully and lawfully on city streets. (in partnership with the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. ) Classes are offered in Cantonese, Spanish and English.

- Distributes hundreds of free bike lights and helmets to adults and children in underserved communities.

- Host an annual Family Bicycling Day, where kids can learn how to ride a bicycle and can learn bike safety skills on a car-free stretch of Golden Gate Park.

- Joined a coalition of groups to campaign for the removal of the Central Freeway and the better Octavia Boulevard that exists today.

- We provide free, valet bike parking at San Francisco Giants games, and major festivals and events throughout San Francisco.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has working partnerships with major government and community agencies to improve the overall transportation network and livability of San Francisco:

- SF Municipal Transportation Agency: Co-sponsored "CoExist" campaign encouraging people driving and bicycling to share the road. We also partner to host the successful Bike to Work Day, teach Urban Cycling Workshops and distribute thousands of free bicycle lights.

- SF Dept. of Public Health: Partner on the Safe Routes to School Program alongside the ShapeUp SF Coalition, Presidio Community YMCA, SF Unified School District, SF Police Department, and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. This program aims to make biking and walking to school easier for parents and kids through education, safer streets and incentives.

- Caltrain: Worked together to open new bike parking station at Caltrain 4th & King.
BART: Worked together to expand bike access on trains and to open the Embarcadero bike parking station, where commuters can securely lock their bicycles.

- SF Police Department: Co-produced a first-ever, police training video educating officers of bicyclists' rights and responsibilities on the road.

- YMCA: Partner together on middle school, after-school bike education program.

- Senior Action Network & Walk SF: Work together to improve street safety for people walking and bicycling at intersections such as Fell and Masonic and Market and Octavia.

- San Francisco Giants: The SF Bicycle Coalition provides free valet bike parking at all home Giants.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the oldest bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. Founded in 1971 by a group of activists representing a coalition of environmental and neighborhood groups, the SF Bicycle Coalition started the convention of calling an advocacy group a "coalition" while riding groups were known as clubs.

It quickly evolved into a powerful alliance of individuals working for a more bicycle-friendly city, winning bike lanes on upper Market Street, removing the ban on bicycling through the Broadway Tunnel, and gaining access to the Golden Gate Bridge and, along with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, gaining access to BART. Mostly defunct throughout the 1980s, it was rejuvenated in October 1990 with the first issue of the newsletter, then known as "the tubular times."

Operated entirely by volunteers for the first several years, it has been dominated by a grassroots volunteer ethic ever since, growing into one of the strongest bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. Its biggest victory in the 1990s were the bicycle lanes on Valencia Street, supported by the Board of Supervisors despite a Department of Parking & Traffic Director who declared "they'll be bike lanes on Valencia Street over my dead body."

The SF Bicycle Coalition, in conjunction with the Bicycle Advisory Committee, was also responsible for some of the strongest requirements for indoor bicycle parking and public event attended bicycle parking in the country.

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