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{FunnelCast Contributor} Bikes, the Next Wave of "Mass" Transit | By Meade Boutwell

06/19/2014
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I recently sat in a discussion between the local chapter of BOMA and the San Francisco Planning Commission, and when they analyzed how people commute to work today vs. how they will commute  10 years from now, the difference was dramatic for the bicycle.  A 157% increase in bike ridership is projected vs. nominal growth for mass transit and cars.  How is your company or building going to handle this increase in bike commuters?

Let me be clear about my bias.  I ride 21.5 miles to work a few times a week.  The ownership of our office building has found a way to accommodate a fivefold increase in bike commuters – not only providing ample bicycle parking, but going so far as to open the engineers’ shower for riders.  They have also converted unused employee lockers to day use and even hung obsolete ADA bars to manage all the locks and keep the racks clean.  How they will handle the next 150+% increase in bikes is yet to be determined.  What is clear is that improved bicycle access is a benefit for both the building and its tenants as we look to a healthy, cleaner tomorrow.

Here in San Francisco we are blessed by good weather and a city with a vision for the future.  It was not that long ago that “Critical Mass” -- a mass bicycle ride that takes place on the last Friday of each month -- brought scorn and frustration to both riders and car commuters.  It’s amazing to see how far we have come!   Who would have thought that BOMA-SF and the SF Bicycle Coalition would work together to establish bicycle policy that worked for all parties, and continue to keep an open dialogue on how the future of bicycle commuters will change the way we move around the street?

This is a give and take situation.  Bikers (I include myself in this category) need to obey the laws of the street, stay off sidewalks and respect crosswalks/pedestrians.  We all need to get along, so we can all move along.

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By: Meade Boutwell

LEED® AP O&M | Senior Vice President, CBRE

Meade Boutwell, LEED AP O&M, is a senior vice president for CBRE and a 29-year veteran in the industry. During the course of his career, Mr. Boutwell has sold, leased or subleased more than 9 million feet of commercial space in San Francisco. 

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Follow Meade on Twitter: @MeadeSF

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