Cycling in the Bay Area, Key Stats and Facts for 2023

Cycling is a huge part of the culture here in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as an important way that people get around. We gathered some key stats about cycling in San Francisco, including commuting and safety stats.

Note that most data goes through 2022, since 2023 is still underway as we write this.

  • Automated counters in San Francisco clocked 4.7 million bikes in total in 2021, a noticeable decline from the 10.8 million counted in 2019. However, 2022 counts were again trending upward, and are still being processed.​2​.
  • In the US, only about 1% of commuters cycle to work​1​.
  • Bicycling moves people around San Francisco using less space per person than when people go by driving. The SFMTA encourages bicycling and makes yearly ridership and trend data public. Bike ridership in San Francisco is now the highest it’s been since 2019​2​.
  • In 2021, 17.7 new or upgraded bikeway miles were established in San Francisco, building off of 15.3 in 2020. The Slow Streets program created 33.8 miles of low-stress, bicycle and pedestrian priority corridors on select residential streets​2​.
  • As of spring 2022, there are 280 bikeshare stations across San Francisco, and bike share trips have remained steady despite the pandemic​2​.
  • Bike parking has dramatically expanded across San Francisco. Up from a pre-pandemic yearly average of 328 new racks per year, in 2020, 1,024 new racks (2,048 new parking spots) were added, and in 2021, 660 new racks (1,320 new parking spots) were added​2​.

Cycling safety stats for the Bay Area:

  • California often has the highest number of bicycle-related fatalities of any state in the U.S. Almost 20 percent of the 743 nationwide deaths in 2013 (for which we found reliable data) occurred in California. The number of bicyclists who were fatally injured decreased to 128 in 2014, but California still leads in deadly bicycle accidents. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been calling for increased safety measures to eliminate traffic-related bicycle accidents​1​.
  • Some risk factors for bicycle accidents include age (20-24 years had the highest rate of injury, 55-59 years had the highest rate of fatal accidents), location (68% of serious accidents happened in urban areas), time (most accidents occurred between 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm), and gender (83% of those killed and/or injured were male). Also, about 24 percent of bicyclists who died in accidents had alcohol in their system and 20 percent had a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Not wearing helmets also contributed to fatalities, with 464 riders who were killed in 2013 not wearing helmets​. 2.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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