Best City Amenity - 2006
The evolving bike lane network
You still can't venture north from South of Market to the McAllister Street bike lane without battling a multilane automobile slalom. A momentarily safe ride along Market Street is interrupted with an unsettling gap between Van Ness Avenue and Octavia Street. And Fell and Oak streets remain death traps, despite the disjointed bike lane running through the Panhandle. But when compared to a decade ago when a proposal to put a bike lane along Valencia Street raised a motorist outcry this town is an awfully pleasant place to move around by bike. We now enjoy a bicycle lane network that links a significant portion of the city to itself. For this, we can thank the nonprofit San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Leah Shahum, whose sweet, insistent-without-being-pushy nature has, bit by bit, convinced merchants, city fathers, bureaucrats, and motorist naysayers that it might not be a bad thing to remove a few thousand cars from the streets and replace them with quiet, clean, healthy bicycles.