I spent a glorious week here in the city that I can’t quit. When ever I land into SFO and hop onto BART, I feel this sense of calmness that covers me like an invisible bubble. I also feel that I become a different person. A person who feels like she’s ‘home.’ The diversity of this city fills me up with such joy. The way that this city continues to improve for the better and will become one of the most sustainable cities in the country; well, its incredible to watch this happen every time I come back.
San Francisco is a different kind of city. Its made up of a lot of transients from all over the world. Maybe that’s why this city has such determination from its people to become such a great city. San Francisco is a petri dish and everyone is willing and active to put in some kind of ingredient or another which seems to be working.
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to just watch the theatrics of this city by just sitting at a coffee shop. Parklets are every where. On-street bike corrals are so abundant that’s its almost like they’ve always existed here. There are protected bike lanes that lead onto very heavily traffic streets such as San Jose Blvd. There are green lanes on Market and the newly improved ‘Wiggle,’ regular bike lanes everywhere and if there aren’t bike lanes, there are sharrows. Market St. is like High St. Its the backbone to the city. This morning prior to my departure, I took the BART to Powell St. Station and just watched and got my fix of early morning bustling of San Franciscans. I felt alive. I couldn’t keep up with pictures. There were so many bike riders that I became over whelmed.
I want this very thing to happen in Columbus but it won’t happen until infrastructure is laid down and laid down – SMARTLY. Infrastructure needs to be thought through with women and children in mind. If this happens then the infrastructure should be laid down smartly and safely. The best way to change behavior is to change the infrastructure. When a ’roundabout’ is put in in Hillard, people are uncertain and will probably complain at first but then like anything else, it becomes habit and then just another piece of infrastructure. It’s no different with bicycle infrastructure.
Protected bike lanes. Green lanes. Buffered bike lanes. Bicycle dedicated signals. All make for safer commutes and also draws out more riders of all levels. San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides. It’s only seven miles big and cannot build out. San Francisco has to make due with what they have and they are. They are redesigning their streets for ALL people. If San Francisco can do this, so can we. We need leaders who are willing to piss a few ppl off in order to make our city thrive.
Mayor Coleman said in a speech once: ’If we continue to stay the same, we’ll get left behind.’ I’m tired of staying the same and tired of continually playing catch up. I want leaders willing to risk their positions in order to do GREAT and innovative things. I’d rather be the leader who was remembered as being ballsy as opposed to a leader who was status quo.
We still have a problem retaining young people and once again, its all due to lack of options in transportation. I am one of those people who WILL LEAVE this city if things do not change and change SOON. I assure you Columbus, it’ll be your loss.
Here are a few pictures of this morning on Market St. Folks commuting via two wheels. Buses in the back ground, people walking. A city that’s ALIVE.
Be safe and keep riding:
Etiquette: Walking your bike through a cross-walk.
Waiting for green light