Leave your car in the dust, and get your legs moving, is the message from local advocacy group Walk San Francisco this year, in its third annual Walk to Work Day.
Thursday, thousands of San Franciscans will walk to work.
“We’re excited, we’re the only city to celebrate [Walk to Work Day] at a citywide level in the country,” said Nicole Schneider, executive director of Walk San Francisco, the advocacy group that hosts the event.
Walk to Work Day isn’t just about walking your entire commute. Even walking a 15 minute section of your commute counts, Walk SF says, to incorporate some exercise into your daily trip to work. Last year, nine members of the Board of Supervisors walked to work joined by 5,800 San Franciscans. At WalkSF.org, the organization invites participants to blog their journey to work, or tweet and Instagram using the hashtag #Walk2Work.
The City has made much progress in walking, as one in four trips is by foot, and San Francisco is fourth in the country in terms of how many residents walk to work: 10 percent of San Franciscans walk to work.
The event takes place at a critical time for San Francisco. Its population is booming, and the Bay Area’s population is expected to grow by 2 million people by 2040. The City also has a Vision Zero goal, to eliminate all pedestrian deaths by 2024.
Supervisor Eric Mar said those facts make Walk to Work Day more than symbolic, but representative of where The City needs to go into the future.
“I love Walk to Work Day because it highlights both our city’s gradual progress in making S.F. more walkable and livable, while also showing our shortcomings,” Mar told The San Francisco Examiner. “Showing the shortcomings, and how much more we need to do, and fund, to achieve our lofty Vision Zero goals of eliminating pedestrian deaths by 2024.”