|Participants ride to work for the 20th annual Bike to Work Day on May 8, 2014. (People’s Daily Online/Han Shasha)|
San Francisco, May 8 (People’s Daily Online) -- Seeing tens of thousands pedal to work in San Francisco today put me into an illusion that China seems to be losing its appellation of the "kingdom of bicycles".
Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of the annual “Bike to Work Day” in San Francisco. Mayor Edwin Lee with other local government officials joined the growing participants riding to work.
San Francisco transportation agency counts that bikes accounted for 76 percent of all morning traffic on Market Street between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. in the city.
Riding bicycles has gained more popularity these years in the San Francisco bay area. According to the SF Bicycle Coalition, since the city began annual bike counts in 2006, the number of people biking in the city has grown a dramatic 96 percent. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency estimates that 128,000 bike trips are made each day.
Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of Americans who bike to work jumped by about 60 percent since 2000. Though nearly 90 percent of commuters still drive to work, the number of those biking grew the most over the past decade when compared to other types of transportation.
“I was proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bike to Work Day by riding this morning from my neighborhood, Glen Park, accompanied by a growing number of bike commuters, including families, who are taking advantage of the benefits of a fun, healthy, affordable way to move around our City,” said the mayor.
Many local businesses encourage their staff to ride to the company and make it part of the office culture. Corporate bike legion has become commonplace on Silicon Valley campuses over the past years. When visiting Google's campus, people can find the special “clown bikes” designed by Google engineers. It’s said that there are thirteen hundred bicycles provided to the employees. The bikes are dropped at shuttle bus stops across campus where employees can peddle to work.
Some commuters in the Bay Area place the bike on the Caltrain, get off of the train at the closest station and then ride to the company. Oliver, who lives in Burlingame, takes the bike-train-bike way to work for three years because the company is more than 10 miles away.