Bikes Get Street Cred In SF

Precious parking slots for two wheelers
bike corral 1.jpgIt used to be that coveted street parking spaces in San Francisco were only for cars, but some are now being set aside for bicycles.

Theyre called bike corrals racks bolted into the street, using a spot that typically would go to a vehicle. This month a handful of corrals popped up in the city, like the one on Valencia at 22nd Street outside insanely popular Boogaloos restaurant.

A sweet street parking space in this hipster part of the Mission is more valuable than a pair of clam digger jeans so why give it up to bikes? Cant they just be chained up on the sidewalk like everywhere else?

Its a sign of changing times. Sure, go to the Mission on a Friday or Saturday night and car parking is scarce. But with the surge in cycling in recent years, just about every available place to lock up a bike is also taken, according to Renee Rivera, acting Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Rivera said there used to be only one bike corral in the Civic Center. It was put in front of the Main Library in 2006. But a court battle over the citys cycling policies put the idea of any more on hold until an injunction was recently lifted.

And before drivers get angry that all this is just the latest example of the citys anti-car agenda, its important to point out that existing street parking spots were not harmed or killed to make room for the bike corrals. The space was reclaimed from the old bus stops for the 26 Valencia route, which was eliminated in December, according to Kristen Holland of the city transit authority.

A few car parking spaces were also added in that change. In fact, an additional car spot in front of Boogaloos has yet to have a parking meter installed. Get that freebie while it lasts.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
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