Bike to Work Day. Or, Boat to Artwork Day

Bike to work day was last Thursday. Since I bike to work all the time anyway, I have to seek out other ways to mark the day. (I suppose I could borrow a car and drive to work, but that would defeat the point.) Last year I took an extremely circuitous route to work in order to visit the festivities at city hall and some of the other “energizer stations” around town. (I’m a sucker for free food and coffee.) This year, I should have volunteered at one of the BTWD events, but I didn’t have my act together enough to sign up, so instead I decided to take advantage of the free ferry rides across the bay to San Francisco. (Okay, I’m a sucker for free anything.)

DSC_0074

Many of the people with bikes on the ferry seemed to be people like me, who would normally take BART across the bay at less than half the price, but who were taking advantage of the chance to get a free scenic trip in the fresh air instead.

I rode around the city for a while admiring all the nice new bike infrastructure since the last time I was there just a few weeks ago, such as the on-street bike racks on Valencia Street and the green-painted, separated bike lanes on Market Street. I then stopped by the San Francisco MoMA to look in on some old friends. I only took a few photos there (photos from an earlier trip to SFMoMA are here), and for some reason I was on a windows and bars kick this time:

Prison Wall

(Come to think of it, I have felt somewhat imprisoned by circumstances lately…)

Quartet

8 Responses to “Bike to Work Day. Or, Boat to Artwork Day”

  1. ng says:

    Great pictures!!!
    Boston has some new green bike lanes, not separated though, but they go for two blocks and then stop completely, with no transition to another kind of bike lane or even room for a bike without a lane. Are the ones in San Francisco more ongoing and logical than this?
    The Boston Globe did report that the city is going to start having public bikes, system designed by the people who set things up in Montreal, so things are looking up.

  2. wordnerd says:

    It’s bike to work week here too, apparently, and there was some police-motorcycle-escorted ride going down Commonwealth Avenue this morning. These things oare getting out of hand. They held me up for a full minute. Some cop screamed at me to stay put–on my bike, of course…

  3. dc says:

    ng: In addition to the separated, well-marked bike lanes, most auto traffic is now forced to turn right off of Market Street at several intersections(mostly just buses and streetcars now). That said, I still don’t find riding on Market to be a particularly great experience—the separated bike lanes often feed you directly into curbside bus stops or right-turn lanes as you approach intersections, so cyclists end up having to move from the right side of the motorized traffic to the left side of motorized traffic, requiring dicier negotiation than we would have to contend with if we were sharing lanes instead. It’s no wonder that some cyclists still ride in the car lane instead, in order to avoid those tricky negotiations at cross streets, where bikes want to go straight but buses or turning cars need to be in the right lane. (I also had to find my way around a police motorcycle which was stopped in one of the green-painted bike lanes, so that didn’t really help.)

    Boston seems playing catch-up when it comes to bike infrastructure—I don’t think they had any bike lanes at all until Menino got religion on bicycling a few years ago. Boston’s probably a nightmare for bike planning, too, with all the narrow streets going in crazy directions and the famously reckless drivers.

    wordnerd: For some reason we do bike to work day a week ahead of the rest of the country. California is always ahead of the curve, I guess—we’ll probably officially go bankrupt several years before you East Coast states do.

    You couldn’t sneak into the escorted ride in order to get across Comm Ave? Not wearing enough spandex or something?

  4. unique distance from isolation says:

    Reading quickly, I thought, wow, are those gigantic quadrapedal arthropods examples of “nice new bike infrastructure”, and if so, what do they do? Roam the city herding cars?

    I didn’t see the globe article–was it recent? There was a phoenix article that said they would probably really do it–just working out the last minute funding issues:

    http://thephoenix.com/Boston/life/102060-rent-a-ride/

    Those bars in the brown wall look like a screen in a video game.

  5. ng says:

    Whoops! The article was indeed in the Phoenix. (I read it on Sunday with the Globe all over the table, so conflated the two.) Sorry about that!

  6. dc says:

    This sentence fragment amused me in the Phoenix article: “funding options for the project are up in the air, but one thing is for sure — it’s coming.” Let’s hope that “for sure” is accurate—the “funding options…are up in the air” makes me a little skeptical.

  7. unique distance from isolation says:

    That was the key sentence, yes–a little alarming. But the appearance of the article must mean that at least someone is pushing for it!

  8. dc says:

    The launch of Boston’s bike share program was pushed back to next spring. (the post says April, 2010, but it must mean 2011 since it was just published this week).

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