Valencia's Bike-Friendly Traffic Signals Becoming Permanent

According to Streetsblog, the traffic lights along Valencia will remain timed for 13 MPH travel for years to come:

Valencia Street’s nearly two-year-old Green Wave signal re-timing aimed at prioritizing bicycle traffic speeds continues to please street users, city leaders, and advocates alike. What started as a temporary pilot will become a permanent institution this week with the installation of four new Green Wave signs along the corridor. […]

Following examples in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Portland, the signal optimization keeps vehicles traveling at a steady cycle-friendly 13 mph from 16th to 25th streets while garnering benefits for all users.

The Green Wave signals and the safer, calmer speeds are another step in the right direction for Valencia Street, which is already a thriving commercial corridor thanks to its wide sidewalks and bike lanes and plentiful on-street bike parking,” said Renee Rivera, acting executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The article goes on to say that the program has not only made biking down Valencia better, but has actually decreased travel times for cars and reduced the amount of air pollution emitted along the street.  Unfortunately, the city does not plan to expand the program (why not?), but is considering doing another “Green Wave” pilot program on the already bike-friendly 14th Street.

Read on.

Deep's Rickshaw Arsenal

Deep, the friendly fellow who makes it out to all the cycling events around town with his blue 3-wheeler equipped with an Michael Jackson-bumpin' soundsystem, was doing a bit of garage cleaning this afternoon and had is epic array of bikes out on display.  To say his collection of rickshaws is badass is to say the least, but this particular ride really stole the show:

Deep says he scored this 1957 Thai rickshaw on eBay while hunting for the red rickshaw seen to the left of the first pic.  Rather than pick one or the other, he just bought both.  He says the thing weighs a ton so he rarely takes it out, but the details on this beast are incredible.


Needless to say, if anyone has a spare 1957 Thai rickshaw that they don't want anymore, do let me know.

SF Bike Party Rolls Out This Friday

Scene from the first SF Bike Party Ride in December 2010, via Bikes and the City

After years of unexpected jealously towards our neighbors in San Jose and Oakland, San Francisco finally has its very own monthly Bike Party.  The party is much like Critical Mass in which it is a regularly-scheduled group ride (second first Friday of every month) that everyone is welcome to attend.  However, they eschew many of Critical Mass's more anarchic and, ahem, controversial practices: no riding in the left lane, stop at all lights, no splitting up the group, ride predetermined routes, and ride past all conflict.  But perhaps best of all, every month has a party theme, such as zombies and pizza sandwiches.  Yes, pizza sandwiches.  And while Critical Mass will always be king thanks to its pioneering legacy and spontaneous parking garage acrobatics, it's always nice to see an upstart bicycle dance party rolling through the city giving us a second group ride fix every month.

If you want to check out this inaugural 2011 ride, head over to the Willie Mays Gate at Giants Stadium this Friday at 7:30.

(SF Bike Party)

Bike Thief Caught in the Act Last Night at Pop's

Speaking of bike theft in the Mission, it sounds like shit also went down at Pop's last night.  From a reader who'd prefer to stay anonymous:

major drama at pop's last night. i guess some dude caught this latino guy wearing ed hardy trying to steal his bike and started confronting him. the bartender got in the middle of it, got up into the thiefs face and started yelling at him to get a real job and stop stealing peoples shit. i started taking pictures, but the thief's buddy started yelling “this girls taking pictures! this girls taking pictures!” i went back into the bar and the friend followed me and cornered me in the bar to make sure i didn't take his pic. i have no idea if they called the cops or what happened to the bike thief because i got the fuck outta there.

For the interested, this is the same dude that we posted about back in August.  Lock yer shit up, people.

Update: Bike Thieves Still Suck

A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine cracked his bike frame in four places.  So, less than a week ago, he picked up a new frame and some parts from Mission Bicycle that set him back a few hundred dollars.  All good, right?  Well, last night I had persuaded him to roll down the hill from Alamo Square to Doc's Clock.  After a couple of pints and a pinball ass-whooping delivered by yours truly, we made our way to the sidewalk only to find his bike short a few necessary components.

While you might think the story ends there, it doesn't.  His girlfriend picks him up in her car at 1:30am, they toss the bike on her bike rack and drive off.  Well, at some point during the drive home, the entire rack fell off the car.  As you can imagine, they couldn't find it.

In short:

  1. Fuck bike thieves.
  2. Bad luck does come in threes.
  3. If you happened to come across an reddish fixie missing a front wheel attached to a bike rack in the middle of the road late last night, do let us know.

Take it away, Bruce McCulloch:

Bernalwood Wants to Know Why There Aren't Any "Hipsters" In Bernal Heights

The answer to that question is there is no such thing as a “hipster.”  But, let us allow them to explain their theory anyway:

It’s a question that’s no doubt top-of-mind for every armchair sociologist in the neighborhood: Given our proximity to the Mission, to say nothing of our spiritual and aesthetic affinity to same, why doesn’t Bernal Heights have a higher concentration of hipsters?

My analysis suggests the answer lies squarely at the intersection of Fashion Boulevard and Topography Way. Specifically, the relative dearth of hipsters in Bernalwood can only be explained by the fact that riding around here on a fixie just plain sucks. In the hipster’s obligatory skinny jeans, it may even be impossible. Ergo, few hipsters.

Nope, that's not it.  In fact, two of the biggest industry dirt bags I know lived up in Bernal before moving out of town.  One, in fact, used to co-own a messenger company, so if their theory is solely baked around the tired “hipsters ride fixies” stereotype, they got it wrong.

So, why don't cool kids want to live in Bernal Heights?  Is it because there is no critical mass of people migrating there?  Is it because the view from the top of Dolores is all one needs?  It's too quiet?  No bars?  Too many kids??  Because Bernal Heights residents generalize and mock modern urban culture???

(photo by Bernalwood)