This week we got a notice from school that the San Francisco Unified School District Commute Study results were out. I had a vague memory of this study when it was in the field, asking people about how they’d gotten to school, which unfortunately happened during one of the rare weeks when it actually rained. So I have good reason to suspect that the active transportation numbers are an underestimate. How did our kids’ school do?
- Percentage of bicycle commuters in SFUSD overall: 1.5% (ouch!)
- Percentage of bicycle commuters at Rosa Parks: 6.5%
Relatively speaking, it’s totally awesome; more than four times greater than the citywide average. Objectively speaking, well, we’re a long way from Copenhagen. However, our kids are in a citywide program, so there is reason to expect more driving, rather than less of it. Yet there is less driving—a lot less driving.
- Percentage of car commuters in SFUSD overall: 56%
- Percentage of car commuters at Rosa Parks: 48%
I have no idea what the car commuting percentages are like in less urban locales. I presume based on talking to people who live elsewhere that, outside the districts that still maintain a robust busing program, basically everyone drives. As SFUSD points out in its flyer, walking and biking to school can improve health and concentration. However from my perspective the bus is a great option as well—no need to park, it’s okay to drink a glass of wine, the kids sometimes don’t get as wet, you avoid having to climb steep hills or cross terrifying intersections unprotected, etc. My suspicion is that SFUSD is underselling the bus option because it cut most of its bus routes to save money. Nonetheless, people using passive transportation at Rosa Parks take a lot of buses. In fact the school soccer team is called the Rosa Parks Buses (best name ever). Rosa Parks and buses, it’s like a thing.
- Percentage of bus commuters in SFUSD overall: 16%
- Percentage of bus commuters at Rosa Parks: 24%
But perhaps you are, as yet, an aspiring San Francisco family biker, rather than an established one. And if you are like many of the people who email me, you may be wondering what bike to get. If so, have I got news for you. I mentioned a while back that Vie Bikes in San Francisco was planning a launch of a family bike rental program. Well, it’s here, with an impressive lineup that includes Bullitts, Boda Bodas, and the Butchers and Bicycles trikes. Apparently you need a promotion code if you want to book one; happily, anyone is welcome to use mine: HUMOFTHECITY001.
And last but not least, Sunday Streets is back in season, with the usual opener last weekend on the Embarcadero that we have not yet managed to attend in any year. On April 12th it’s in the Dogpatch while we are out of town, but we’re definitely eying May 10th in the Mission and June 14th in the Sunset (despite a date that all but guarantees maximum fog presence). Hope to see you there.
4 responses to “People of the bicycle”
Are the SFUSD survey results available somewhere?
The 2010-2013 results are on their website (google “SFUSD commute survey”), but I couldn’t find the 2014 data, unfortunately.
In the Washington, DC metro area there has recently been a lot of controversy over ‘free range’ parenting and allowing young children (under 11) to travel a mile in a suburban community without adult supervision.
Is there an issue in SF with kids biking to school without parents in tow? Or do most of those 8% at Rosa Parks (love the Buses mascot) bike accompanied by an adult?
I have heard of the issues in DC, which are troubling. Most of the kids we know are accompanied by parents ion the way to elementary school. However I believe both 4th and 5th graders are allowed to ride/walk home alone with parental permission. We’ve seen 5th graders heading home solo on bikes, and so far it hasn’t raised any concerns.