Best City Transportation Improvement - 2000
Valencia Street Bike Lane
With all the talk about making it easier and safer to get around San Francisco -- allowing more time for pedestrians at stop lights, extending Caltrain to the Embarcadero and Muni to Mission Bay, and giving Muni a new board of directors -- there's one proposal that has lived up to its promise: the Valencia Street bike lane. Providing cyclists a safe space to ride along the length of Valencia Street in the Mission, it simply, cheaply, and effectively has accomplished precisely what transportation experts say is necessary to reduce congestion in San Francisco: It makes it easier for people to forsake their cars. "It's a victory. It's not just a plan, it's not a proposal, it's a law. They've striped the street and it's enormously successful," says Gabriel Metcalf, deputy director of SPUR, an urban planning think tank. "It's incredible. It's the way we've got to be going. The only way to reduce congestion is to encourage people not to drive."