Bicycling continues to increase in The City — up seven percent from last year 

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San Francisco continues to notch impressive statistics when it comes to the growth of The City’s cyclists.

Biking increased by an estimated seven percent in 2011 from the previous year, and it has risen 71 percent since 2006, according to annual cycling counts that were released today by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

The SFMTA, which regulates biking in The City, is in the midst of changing the methodology of its bike count, which is carried out during the evening commute at busy intersections. Historically, the agency does the counts in early August, but in 2011 it opted to conduct the study in late September.

During the latest observations, SFMTA checkers observed 10,139 cyclists, a number that would have represented a 30 percent increase from 2010 levels. However, since more people bike in September, the SFMTA revised the numbers to estimate that 8,314 cyclists would have taken the streets in August, a number that represents the seven percent growth.

Along with the increase in the bike counts, the percent of total trips made by bikes went up in 2011. The SFMTA now projects that 75,000 people use their bike a day, representing 3.5 percent of total trips made in San Francisco. That total was just 2 percent in 2000.

In a release issued Tuesday, Leah Shahum executive director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, said the strong bike numbers indicate The City is on track to meet its 2020 goal of having 20 percent of all trips made by bike.

“These counts back up what is apparent on our streets everyday — that San Franciscans love bicycling, and that bicycling has never been more popular,” Shahum said.

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Will Reisman

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