Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bicycling tourists in San Francisco

Headless  Panda on the Golden Gate Bridge
Tourists on bikes delay ferry commutes. Tourists to San Francisco, many of them from overseas, rent bicycles from several locations in The City. They ride their bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, then catch the ferry back to the city.

Because of unprecented bike use, though, the offloading tourists with bikes are delaying ferry service for commuters. From the Marin Independent Journal:
For the past month, weekdays have also become prime time for bikers. While there are fewer problems mid-day, that changes during the evening commute run when Southern Marin residents who work in San Francisco are looking to hop on the ferry to go home.

As dozens and dozens of bikes are loaded in Sausalito, then unloaded in San Francisco, commuters wait and wait.

We have never seen it this busy," said co-owner Elena Sears, a Marin resident, who has run the San Francisco business with her husband for 20 years. They rent the bikes for about $7 an hour. "We are seeing a lot of Europeans. The dollar is weak, the euro is strong. This is a beautiful area to bike."
Read more.


Adriel said...

Sounds like a wonderful problem to have.

We need to have the problem that there are so many bikes, the infrastructure needs to grow to accommodate them :)

Glenn A - Webmaster said...

Send them across the country to Long Island NY.

They can ride the north and south fork of LI and take TWO different ferries to and from Shelter Island.

I'll even give them cue sheets.

Yokota Fritz said...

@adriel -- yep. We're seeing that a lot of bike capacity issues in the SF Bay Area these days.

@Glenn -- We have 9 daily ferries from Sausalito to San Francisco. The cyclists can go a little farther north to the Larkspur terminal to catch one of nearly two dozen daily ferries from there to S.F.

Or they can just ride their bikes back to the City. The Golden Gate Bridge approach is very steep, however, and the ferry is a nice trip in itself. The Sausalito Ferry takes you right alongside Alcatraz Island.
Your Bicycle Site looks interesting -- I'll need to browse around and take a look at it sometime. Any suggestions on where I should start?

murphstahoe said...

Larkspur is not a simple ride, logistically, and most of these tourists are completely shot by the time they get to Sausalito. They rent the bikes somewhere in North Beach, and Lincoln Ave up to the Bridge causes some near coronaries.

The canonical place to take the ferry back from is actually Tiburon - that's not too tricky to get to. Larkspur requires some tricky spots.