November 8, 2012

S.F. MTA, bike group partner on safety initiative

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) are working together to increase the visibility and safety of people riding bicycles at night by installing bicycle lights and handing out safety information as part of their annual “Light up the Night” campaign, which coincides with the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Starting on Nov. 8 and continuing into December, the SFMTA, SFBC, San Francisco Police Department, and other volunteers will be distributing and installing front and rear bicycle lights to people on bikes who do not already have lights at various locations throughout the city.

“Through partnerships like this one, we are working to ensure cyclists in San Francisco ride legally and are seen,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Getting these lights on bikes will make our city streets safer for everyone and support our continued efforts to increase bicycle ridership and create a more sustainable San Francisco.”

“We’re proud to be partnering with the SFMTA once again on this important safety campaign. Bicycling is booming in San Francisco, with more than 71 percent more people biking today than just five years ago. The ‘Light up the Night’ campaign is a great way to ensure that both new and experienced bicycle commuters are safe and visible during the darkest time of the year,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the 12,000-member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

A white front light and red rear reflector — or light — are required by law when riding at night, yet many people are biking without them. In addition to the free bike lights, “Light up the Night” staff and volunteers will provide other bicycle safety materials, including the “Bicycle Rules of the Road” tip sheet, in English, Spanish and Chinese. The SFMTA purchased front and rear lights with local sales tax funding from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Along with the on-street campaign, SFMTA staff has coordinated with local groups and organizations to help them light up the night in their own communities. These organizations will help distribute bicycle lights to members of their community who are in need of bicycle lights and are biking without them.

The SFMTA and the SFBC encourage every cyclist to be visible and safe on city streets. Light-colored, bright or reflective clothing are recommended for people riding bicycles at any time of the day.

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