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'Green Waves' Sweeping SF Streets

Valencia Street, San Francisco's first "green wave"; Photo by Paul Krueger

Anyone who’s ever biked down Valencia Street knows the joy of encountering green light after green light. You’re not just lucky for catching the green lights—the street’s designed that way.

In 2010, San Francisco added the first two-way “green wave” in the world to Valencia Street, one of our city’s busiest biking routes. On a green wave, lights are timed at bike speed, allowing people to pedal comfortably along busy bike routes, and slowing down car traffic on busy streets.

And now the City is adding four more green waves across San Francisco. This latest round of green waves will be added to other busy bike routes: Arguello Street (from Lake to Clement); Folsom Street (from 15th-24th); Fulton Street (from Laguna to Steiner); and North Point Street (from Stockton to Polk). If you commute along one of these streets, your ride just got a heck of a lot more enjoyable.

Simple additions like Green Waves are one of the tools the SFMTA is using to reach its ambitious goal of 20% of trips by 2020. And it’s one of the ways that San Francisco is keeping pace and sometimes out-pedaling other cities.

You can expect to surf the emerald waves starting this spring. For now, you can try out the green waves on Valencia Street, 14th Street, and 11th Street.