Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

How San Francisco Became a Cycling City Against the Odds

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Environment & Energy » Public Transportation and Smart Growth Group Donate to DU
 
marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 07:51 AM
Original message
How San Francisco Became a Cycling City Against the Odds

from the Next American City blog:



How San Francisco Became a Cycling City Against the Odds
Joe Peach | Nov 30th, 2011





Amsterdam and San Francisco, despite being thousands of miles apart, have got a few things in common. The development of both cities has been heavily influenced by the dominance of water, Amsterdam with its northern harbour and canals, and San Francisco with the funneling effect of being a peninsula. However, San Franciscos urban topography shares little else with the relentlessly flat Amsterdam, seeing extreme height variations that one could easily assume make the city better suited for streetcars than cycling, along with a predominantly grid-based street plan typical of North American cities.

The success of the bicycle in Amsterdam is often attributed to its flat terrain. By this logic, cycling would be unpopular in San Francisco. Yet the truth is the opposite of this. In the USA, bicycle use is (rather strangely, to this Brit at least) measured nationally by the percentage of trips taken to work by bike, reaching 0.6% in 2009. However, in San Francisco this figure was 3.2%, with local studies for all trips (yes, even those rare occasions when you arent going to work!) raising it to around 6%. A small figure compared to Amsterdam, but still notably higher than both the American national average and Londons dismal 2%.

Much of the citys success with cycling has happened in the last five years, with a 58% increase in levels of cycling witnessed between 2006 and 2010. However, what is most impressive about this growth is that between these dates the city was legally incapable of developing its bicycle network. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://americancity.org/buzz/entry/3212 /



Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. What's interesting about biking in SF is that with a little planning one can avoid most hilly areas.
And by "hilly" I mean the scary roller coaster ride hills that are one of the better known attributes of San Francisco.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Pittsburgh has seen a similar increase in cycing
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 05:18 PM by happyslug
Now, if the city of Pittsburgh even re-installs its old inclines, most of the problems would disappear.

Pittsburgh use to have over a dozen, only two survive past 1964. These inclines went up and down the hillsides. Most went up Mt Washington, but the largest went up from the strip district along the Allegheny River to what is called the Hill District. From either location you can go downhill. The surviving inclines in Pittsburgh, are all Passenger inclines, most of the missing inclines were vehicular inclines, like the surviving one in Johnstown. While today Bicycles are permitted on the Monongahela Incline, it is a lot easier on a vehicular incline. The difference was the Vehicular incline was design to take on horse drawn wagons, and later cars.

Johnstown Incline:


Inside view of the vehicular section of incline:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Inclined_Plane

Monongahelia Incline:
Here is a picture from the 1905, showing both the still in use passenger incline on the right side of the larger removed in 1935 Vehicular (Called a fright) incline:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monongahela_Incline

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My favorite was the one the most people opposed, the "Knoxville" curved incline
Here is a picture of the Old Knoxville Incline with the Mt Oliver incline to its rear. The Knoxville was a FREIGHT Incline, design to haul up horse drawn wagons and had an almost 90 degree curve in its track. The Mt Oliver was a passenger incline that went straight up and down Mount Washington.



A view of the same spot, but from down hill of the curve with the Mount Oilver Incline in front.



http://urbanhike.com/maps/Allentownmap.pdf

Old Incline pictures, this time in COLOR:
http://www.pittsburghtransit.info/incline.html



I have walked up and biked (Mostly walking my bike) up Arlington Avenue, Sycamore, Brosville, Brownsville roads and McArdle Roadway. All with an increase of about 450 feet from Smithfield Street Bridge. I enjoyed my walks on all of them, but an increase in elevations of 450 feet (the increase in elevation from Smithfield Street Bridge, which flows over the Monongahela River, to the top of MT Washington), is a good hill climb.

The 460 feet increase in elevations from the Strip District to the Hill District is as bad, in both situations a quick ride on an Incline would make biking in Pittsburgh a much more pleasant experience for people NOT in tip top shape.

For this reason I have long advocated bring back the Knoxville and Penn Avenue inclines. Not as they were in 1960 and 1951 when they were torn down, but a new modern inclines that bicycles and cars can take.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Oct 21st 2014, 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Environment & Energy » Public Transportation and Smart Growth Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC