Photo by Kevin Kelleher/S.F. Examiner

Millionth bike travels Market Street this year

At Market and 10th streets a counter ticks, ticks, ticks, as cyclists whiz by.

Installed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in May 2013, the counter stands taller than a person. Day by day, its digital readout displays a number of daily riders.

Now that number has tallied up to more than one million.

One million cycle trips passed eastbound by the counter this year, according to the SFMTA, and this is the first year the counter has logged that many trips. Last year the counter logged 850,188 bike trips.

The millionth trip was logged at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2, according to the SFMTA, and as of Dec. 16 the bike trip count was 1,036,822.

Dennis Lim is a 10-year cycling commuter in San Francisco. Pulled up along 5th and Market, Lim reacted to the news of a millionth trip on Market with “Oh, that’s great!”

Many changes made his commute safer, he told the Examiner, like car restrictions on Market between 3rd and 8th streets. “There’s a lot less targets” to avoid, he said, making shared bike lanes less hazardous.

He said he’s still “not sure” about how well the recently installed raised cycling track on Market Street will ensure safety.

Ultimately, he noted Market Street is “a lot safer than 10 years ago” when he started cycling there.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition celebrated the milestone, but cautioned more needs to be done.

“This is a huge testament to the growing popularity of biking in San Francisco,” said Chris Cassidy, a spokesman for the coalition.

Still, Cassidy said, “San Francisco is still well below its official goal of 8 percent of all trips being taken by bike. To get there, we’ll need to work as a city on engineering safer streets, expanding safety education, and seeing the SFPD take seriously their promises to embrace smart enforcement.”

Bike trips represent 3 percent of all commute trips in San Francisco.

This year the SFMTA installed eight miles of new or upgraded bikeways, the agency wrote in a statement, and installed 870 parking racks. In 2016 the SFMTA plans to break ground to re-engineer on streets “in dire need of safety improvements,” the agency wrote, including Polk Street, Masonic Avenue, and 2nd Street.

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