This morning, together with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, we made our demands for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency clear: Bike racks belong on the street, not in storage. Install 2,000 of them in 2019.
While not a new issue, the scarcity of bike racks in San Francisco is getting renewed attention thanks to Supervisor Mandelman. “With the demand for bike racks dramatically outpacing the rate at which we’re getting new racks installed, we need to catch up and get ahead of the curve,” said Sup. Mandelman. “The more options people have for safely securing bikes and scooters, the faster we can decrease congestion and realize our Vision Zero and Transit First goals.”
The two new racks that were installed overnight at Maxfield’s House of Caffeine, where the press conference was held, are a small step toward 2,000. Unfortunately, the SFMTA has been neglecting the bicycle parking program they’re charged with managing, especially now that more people are biking and the newly permitted bike share and scooter share pilots have exploded the demand for bike racks.
The delay in installing isn’t due to a lack of racks or places to put them. Hundreds of our members have submitted installation requests, and thousands of bike racks are languishing in SFMTA’s warehouses rather than being installed on sidewalks.
Robin Kutner, an SF Bicycle Coalition member, experienced delays firsthand when a rack she requested faced multiple roadblocks and barriers. “I was frustrated by the SFMTA’s lack of follow through on their own bike parking program,” said Kutner. “Without a place to store a bike at the beginning and end trips, biking isn’t a viable transportation option.”
In addition to tripling the number of bike racks installed annually, we are also calling on the SFMTA to streamline its processes and install racks within three months of receiving a new request.
With a strong call from our members and now Sup. Mandelman, it’s time for the SFMTA to step up to do their duty. We know that they can do it. It’s not rocket science — drill eight holes and bolt the thing in.