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Friday, April 27, 2007

Bike advocacy beyond Critical Mass

Image of bicyclists in San Francisco's Critical Mass
Having published a series of inflammatory articles on Critical Mass, the San Francisco Chronicle recognizes the obvious with a highly favorable article in today's edition. From the San Francisco Chronicle, 04.27.07:

Bike advocacy evolves from Critical Mass to political know-how

The political influence of San Francisco's pro-bike movement has risen steadily over the past decade to the point where the chief advocate for cyclists sits on a powerful city commission and elected officials rarely tell them no.

It's a long way from the early days, when bike enthusiasts could barely get city officials to return their calls.

"We've achieved a lot. There's no doubt about it," said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which boasts a membership on the plus side of 6,000, making it one of the largest advocacy groups in the city.

It was Shahum whom Mayor Gavin Newsom tapped last year to serve as a commissioner overseeing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which is in charge of transit, traffic and parking operations in the city. (Read more.)
Challenged by San Francisco's media-savvy cycling community, the Chronicle seems to be backpedaling from its inaccurate and biased early reporting on an incident at the end of the March Critical Mass in San Francisco.

Critical Mass
contributed greatly to the progress made in San Francisco. However, as this article acknowledges, the organized energy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has succeeded in giving effective focus to bicyclist's dissatisfaction with existing conditions on the street. Advocacy works for bicyclists.

Image: Kim Komenich/San Francisco Chronicle
Visit: Critical Mass Ride Goes Peacefully After Last Month's Conflict
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A tangible sign of bicycle unity is Critical Mass in San Francisco.

If you want to see what Halloween looks like from the perspective of thousands of bike riders, watch the video on youtube.

Critical Mass San Francisco October 07