Living in the city of San Francisco in 2015, you are constantly confronted with issues of class struggle and gentrification. In most parts of the city the rent you’d pay for 1 month in a 1 bedroom apartment could buy you a functional used car elsewhere in the country. I also happen to live in a neighborhood that was, until recently, one of the most affordable (relatively) in the city. As a predominately African American community, this puts the area directly in the crosshairs of everything potentially bad about gentrification and displacement. Lots of new people moving in, demanding change. Lots of established families that have been in the neighborhood for generations feeling pushed out and both socially and economically.
It is against this backdrop that I came face to face with an issue that at first seemed completely unfathomable for me: for many, cycling is a sign of gentrification.
It started with a post I put on Facebook about expanding the local bike share program to my neighborhood. The Bay Area Bike Share, when initially launched, was concentrated in the more affluent areas of the city. Makes sense – when you are testing …read more