Watch San Francisco’s Bike Network Bloom

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Monday, November 29, 2021

From just a few stretches of scattered lanes in 2013, San Francisco’s protected bike network now stretches like a green web connecting more and more of the city. See how much has changed over the last eight years:


In just the blink of an eye, San Francisco has become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S. To date, San Francisco has 464 miles of bikeways, including:

  • 42 miles of protected bike lanes
  • 78 miles of off-street paths and trails
  • 21 miles of buffered bike lanes
  • 139 miles of striped bike lanes

As we’ve expanded the network of safer bicycle routes through San Francisco, more people are choosing to ride bicycles for recreation and transportation every year. Since 2006, travel by bicycle has grown by 184 percent citywide. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, bike counts hit an all-time high: in 2019, approximately 52,000 bicyclists were observed at 37 locations during peak periods, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.

Creating safe bicycling routes throughout San Francisco is imperative for reaching the city’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and reducing severe injuries—and also for encouraging more people to choose to travel by bike. In the last several years, the SFMTA dramatically accelerated installation of safe bicycling infrastructure. In 2019, Mayor London Breed committed to doubling the rate of bike lane construction in the city from an average of five miles per year to 20 miles over the following two years. That same year, the SFMTA launched its Vision Zero Quick-Build program to roll out safety improvements, including protected bike lanes, along the city’s High Injury Network. Compared to more intensive capital projects that can take years to complete, quick-build projects can transform a street in a matter of weeks or months. See that jump in bike infrastructure after 2019? Quick-Builds were behind a lot of it.

COVID-19-related street transformations were also part of the reason behind the most recent increases in bike infrastructure. While the pandemic posed a number of challenges for the city, bike route planning, design and construction took off! With the addition of Slow Streets and car-free streets like JFK Drive, the city’s bike network grew by approximately 50 miles and increased connectivity between many of San Francisco’s neighborhoods. While these street transformations were introduced as part of an emergency response, we are exploring ways to establish them as permanent parts of San Francisco’s streetscape and bike network.

Looking to the future, as part of the 2021 Vision Zero Action Strategy, the SFMTA is committing to create a citywide, completely connected Active Transportation Network that includes bike lanes, Slow Streets, and car-free/car-light streets. We’re excited to keep building on last eight year’s bike network progress, adding even more green lines to the San Francisco map.