SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today S.F. Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced that the number of people riding bicycles in San Francisco increased seven percent since last year and increased 71 percent over the past six years.

“Whether people are biking to work, to school or just to have fun, these latest bicycle counts demonstrate that San Francisco is a national leader in bicycle ridership,” said Mayor Lee. “We are using innovative strategies such as bike sharing and installing sharrows, dedicated bike lanes and bike boxes, to make sure that our road network is safe and convenient.”

“The SFMTA is committed to growing bicycle ridership and improving the safety of bicycling in San Francisco. The annual count provides a critical analysis of how we are doing,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “The SFMTA is proud to work with our local, state and federal partners to implement innovative and sustainable solutions that improve bicycling in San Francisco.”

Since 2006 when 4,862 bicycle riders were counted, San Francisco’s bike counts have increased an impressive 71 percent to 8,314 riders, and have increased 7 percent since 2010. Bike trips accounted for 3.5 percent of all trips in the City compared to two percent in 2000.

“These counts back up what is apparent on our streets everyday — that San Franciscans love bicycling, and that bicycling has never been more popular,” said San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum. “We look forward to continuing to work with city leaders, neighbors and local businesses to help even more people bicycle by connecting the city with safe and inviting crosstown bikeways, helping the city reach its goal of 20 percent of trips by bicycle by 2020.”

The SFMTA’s automated and manual counts reached the same conclusion as the national American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau; that there is a steady and measurable increase in bicycle trips in San Francisco.

The 2011 Bicycle Count Report relied on a new methodology and more comprehensive approach which included American Community Survey findings, manual intersection counts, loop-detector automated corridor counts and Metropolitan Transportation Commission manual counts. The purpose of changing the methodology was to bring San Francisco’s data in line with national reporting standards.

Since 2006, the SFMTA Sustainable Streets staff has been conducting annual citywide manual bike counts that are used to track bicycling at key intersections and corridors throughout the city, as well as to determine helmet use and if riders are using bicycling facilities.