Skip to main content

SFBC makes cycling safer, more accessible in San Francisco

Climate Ride reached out to our beneficiariy, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to see how our grants, the money raised by our awesome Climate Riders, help fund safer streets for cycling. Here is what they had to say,

“With thanks to Climate Ride staff, riders and supporters, our partnership with Climate Ride has grown to support a variety of programs making it easier and safer for more people to bike in San Francisco. Climate Ride grants have not only supported our daily advocacy and education work to make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to bike, but have also provided us with the resources to recently launch two new programs.

First, we’ve teamed up with local community-based organizations to host Community Bike Build events where we refurbish and give free bikes to those who will benefit most from the affordable transportation. The cost of gas and public transportation in the Bay Area is among the highest in the nation and residents spend a large percentage of their monthly incomes on just getting around. A free bicycle can relieve a substantial financial burden and help offset the high cost of living in San Francisco. The Bike Build recipients are selected by our partnering organizations to ensure bikes go to those who need them most. After recipients complete a bicycle education class, we refurbished hundreds of bicycles that were donated by the City and individuals, and volunteers teach each recipient basic bike maintenance skills.

San Francisco resident Janet Allen-Williams was one of the recipients. She brought her husband and daughter to a community Bike Build. All three left with bikes.

“The Bike Build was on Saturday, and my husband rode his new bike to work on Monday. I was shocked,” Allen-Williams says. “We live on a hill and when he rode it home up the hill, our neighbors cheered him on.”

Also with support from Climate Ride grants, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staff launched our Professional Driver Training Program, through which we have already produced a training video with the SF Municipal Transit Agency that has been shown to 1,100 bus operators since 2013. We have also spent the past two years training approximately 2,400 new and renewing taxi drivers in bicycle safety best practices. That number continues to grow.  In 2014, we expanded the program to teach tech shuttle operators.

Recognizing the importance of this issue, Genentech safety staff reached out directly to the SF Bicycle Coalition and asked us to present at their quarterly safety meeting.

“We want to raise awareness with our drivers regarding sharing the roads and the laws applicable to bicyclists. Genentech has over 800 active members in the Bike club, some commute to work, others are active in leading rides and getting involved in local cycling issues and advocacy. This was a win-win situation for all,” said Ken Ackermann, Compass Transportation Account Manager, the company who operates Genentech’s shuttle program.

SF Bicycle Coalition staff taught 75 Genentech shuttle bus operators a course in how to safely share the streets with people biking. The training covered key issues for professional drivers, including how to make a right turn across a bike lane, how to safely drop off and pick up passengers on a street with a bike lane, understanding bicycle infrastructure and merging lines, and other ways to ensure the safety of people biking.

The SF Bicycle Coalition’s expanding professional driver education is part of our Vision Zero work to eliminate all traffic fatalities and serious injuries in San Francisco in the next ten years. Of the four people killed on bikes in our city last year, all of the fatal crashes involved large vehicles with professional drivers. We hope this work continues to make our streets safer and more comfortable for the huge and growing number of people who bike.

Learn more about our current campaigns at

You can still register to support San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on Climate Ride Midwest and Climate Ride NYC-DC

Climate Ride is on track to donate $650,000 to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and our growing network of 100+ beneficiaries in 2014. You can help Climate Ride create more events, grow our grants program, and increase our impact by donating to the Annual Fund. Donors will also be entered to win a custom Climate Ride single speed bike! Click Here to Donate and See the Bike!