tv [untitled] February 11, 2012 8:18pm-8:48pm PST
amazingly admirable, and in a way that we should be striving for here in san francisco. and most importantly, that i know we can reach. that was my biggest take away. there is a wonderful presentation of all of the elements, many of the elements they are using to make the netherlands said world-renowned bicycling environment. i saw that san francisco has some many of these elements already in place. we are so far down the line, what we need is to bring it together. what i saw were similarities, and it was impressive to learn the meeting with dutch planners and local city officials that amsterdam and san francisco -- i will focus on amsterdam because that is where i spent most of my time, but these cities are very similar.
similar populations, similar population densities. they are laid out very similar in terms of residential density. we're centers for strong regional economies, similar in economic drivers. tourism is number one. viking is part of their tourism. also big finance, creative technology, that as part of the economic driver. also big similarities in terms of cultural or political persuasions. we are a population that values environmental sustainability. it values and social equity. we are cities that understand the benefit of the greater good , and are places where sometimes we are out lyras for the rest of our country. there are places that can be models for the rest of our
country. in our cities, i can't talk about it without addressing the flat this issue. as flat as amsterdam is, when you are riding on a really heavy by with no barriers over countless little bridges, he really start to feel that on your knees. it is not as flat as i expected. of what we have going for us, we have years. thank you to the bike makers in the room. we also have great public transit to accommodate bicycles. we also have great routes to get us around the hills. as we showed our dutch friends, most of us know how to get around those hills. the weather is another major difference. this one we have going in our favor. they do not slow down with the
snow. with howard gorges temperate climate, we are several steps ahead of the netherlands and where we can go when bicycling. what i learned most of all is what i think many of us already know. when you build it, they come. when the government has done, what the community has done is invested in great bikeways. when you create a dedicated to save space, this man and his kids ride. this woman and her dog variety. this man and his daughters ride. this man and his daughter ride. there is one on the back, you can barely see her foot sticking out. it was difficult to not get photos of multiple children on bikes. three people with kids loaded on the bikes. grandparents picking their kids up from school, their grand kids
from school. this is a typical traffic jam outside of the school. we struggle with traffic congestion in our city, this was the traffic jam outside of a local amsterdam school. they have made investments, they have seen the fruits of that labor payoffs. again, even in the snow, even when the little hills were a little bit slippery, they pushed that have the bike up the hill. because they made this the easiest way to get around, the most convenient way to get around. in the beginning of my stay, i started talking to folks, why you bicycle? they look at me with these crazy blank faces as if i had asked, why do you put shoes on in the morning? whitey you eat?
literally, there was no answer because, of course they bicycle. just like we get up in the morning in eat cereal. it wasn't a political choice for a social choice, it was the easiest way for most people. not everyone, but for most people that i talked to. you saw the numbers she shared, but it has not always been this way. the biggest lessons, number one, it is true that when you build it, they will come. it is not just a committed person like me. it is all the families, the children, the kid riding alone, the teenagers. i was impressed with the number of teenage girls riding alone, the independents. the kids riding the school or with their parents. the number of senior citizens,
you are seeing children and senior citizens in a way that i don't see them. they are here, but they are out in the community, interacting more because they are more welcome. they are able to access more in the city. it wasn't always this way. the great history that i learned, after world war two, the netherlands craft backwards and started to emphasize the car as many of the communities did and did that at the expense of bicycling and walking. a little secret part of me was really happy to learn this. now for your harm, but it made me feel better that it hadn't always been this way, because when those of us that fixate on these things think about the netherlands, denmark, all of these great countries, it is in their blood, they somehow mixed into the heavier and the bread
and this way of life, this spirit must be in their blood. we can never learn this because we are from america and we weren't raised that way. i learned it is wrong. they have invested in the last 30 or 40 years. this was a great picture. the very center of the city. i believe this is the latest 60's. it is a seventeenth century old way house. this is where the ships would come in and check their goods before they went out to sell them. over the years, it began a public gathering square, public market, i believe there were be heading is there, all sorts of grand things in the public square. after world war two, in these days of the automobile encroaching and pedestrian amenities, it became a parking
lot. right outside this beautiful building, a very central and community oriented face. this was, at the time, the highest of good that the government sought. i was shocked to find this photo. it made me happy inside because i saw how they could change. all of that area that was back 40 or 50 years ago is now public space. every day, there is a public market, people are walking, biking, shops are thriving. it is one of the most central places for tourists and locals alike. it is unrecognizable from this. this is the museum in the back, a beautiful granite building, one of the most beautiful museums and the world.
at a very wide street running and write down the middle of that grassy plain. it went right through the middle of the museum, there is a big archway. under the archway, cars drove through. it is unimaginable to me to think that. the side of a road, it is grassy. this is where people picnic, play soccer, football, throw a frisbee. you can just barely see the archway, that as a bike way. it is a way for people to connect through neighborhoods throughout the city. this was the choice up until the 1970's. the place that we really look at as a model of bicycling was not very much so just 40 years ago. they have made choices, i am happy that you referenced in the local business aspect, because i think it is something that we can learn a lot from.
the value that more people bicycling brings the business in san francisco. as we think about how san francisco can stay, a regional focus of the bay area, how we can keep jobs, businesses large and small, how we grow with 100,000 new residents, we will need to think differently. i am glad for the mayor to be unleashing secrets. i think the secrets can be found in the other cities doing it right. we need to look beyond our own city borders at national borders. this used to be a regular street for cars and was made a priority streak. you can see the silver in the front, those are lower at times when needed for deliveries. it is primarily a biking and walking the streets. these are the busiest streets in the city. if you go to the streets with lots of car traffic, those areas
are just popular. they don't seem as busy or successful. these are the streets that are thriving. whether they are doing it just with paint, some of them are simply paint, or if you are doing it with full separation, that is the way that we need to be moving on many of our streets. if we are to reach the 80-year- old, the grandparents, will need this kind of infrastructure. this is our goal. when these folks are not making a conscious choice. it is just about what is the best way to get the little guy to preschool. it is mindboggling at how the
verse the number of users were. you don't have an image of bicyclist. you have an image of people, and sometimes they ride a bike. i hope we will learn a lot from that and steal it, but they are not shy about their love of bicycling. this is the 10,000 by a station in front of the central station and in the center of amsterdam. you see the amsterdam of the viking posters all over the city. very proud of the strong black culture. -- bike culture. and how increasingly proud we are of the bike culture that we are building. hopefully, we saw it yesterday in chinatown and north beach.
we saw it in a western addition area. i think it reference a 60% increase in the last four years in the number of bicycle trips. most of them are saying i want to bike more. there's our opportunity. there's where we can grow and we can learn. some folks are coming out for special events like sunday streets. more and more are riding every day. more and more are riding because we're making it easier and more convenient and more comfortable for them to ride. i want to thank the city family that helped deliver the separated green on market street. we've seen huge increases here on market street and we know this is what it will take. when we build it, they will come. we know we need to start at a younger and younger age. i'm proud of the safe roots program we're part of along with the city. we know that the appetite for
bike suggest there when we're young. how do we cultivate that and keep it going and how do we make sure that our traffic jams in the future are bike parking log jams. we know we need to invest. the important bike routes along oak and fell streets, a key route from the bay to the beach, connecting a complete crosstown bike route so folks ages 8 to 80 will feel safe, comfortable, welcome riding. and it was thrilling to ride with the mayor a few months ago on oak street and as soon as we finished that few blocks on oak street he turned and said, why don't we have a bikeway there? it's a great idea. fantastic. let's work together for this. similarly, market street, we have huge opportunities as market street is going to be repaved and we look forward to working with the city agencies to make sure we take the opportunity to put it back better. we know it can be done. we have such opportunity to put it back better.
our vision at the bicycle coalition, and we shared this with many of you, is to help the city meet its official goal. the mayor referenced 20% of all trips made by bicycle by 2020 to meet climate change goals, public health goals, our liveability goals and economic viability goals. we cannot accommodate 100,000 more residents the same way we've been doing business. we've got to change and think differently and our hope for that is to have your help in building out 100 miles of bikeways by 2020. we're not asking the dutch to help us with all 100 miles. i think we've given you three or five miles or so. we will take it, we will take the five miles. and this is why we're doing it. in conclusion, the reason i know that we can do what the netherlands has done, perhaps even better, is we have the same kind of investment. we know we're doing it for the next generation. we know that we need to do these things to make sure we're leaving san francisco a better
place than how we've found it. i want to say we have all the elements in place -- the political support, the city leadership, the public enthusiasm has never been greater. the economic need has never been greater, whether it be a need to drive tourism greater in our city or a need to accommodate the population growth. we have the urgency in front of us, as well. i will end by saying i am thrilled and proud that san francisco is such a good bicycling city. we can be a great bicycling city. we look forward to your help. i want to invite everyone here, please come and invite friends to tomorrow night's closing ceremony. as hille mentioned, we're now going to lock these good folks in a room for two days to help us come up with exciting and doable, that's important, implementable plans for mid market street, for polk street and the wiggle route through the lower haight. they'll be coming back
miraculously tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. to share their design ideas with all of us. this is open to the public. 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night at the war memorial building in the green room just across the street, across van ness avenue. please come, and you will learn what the dutch experts and what our local experts and stakeholders think we need to make san francisco a truly great bicycling city, which i am sure we can do. thank you so much for coming today. we appreciate your enthusiasm and hope to see you tomorrow night. [applause]