Bike commuters have reason to rejoice.
The Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 Tuesday to adopt an ordinance requiring commercial buildings in The City to allow bicycles be brought inside or provide offsite bike parking within 750 feet.
The legislation, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos, is meant to encourage bicycling and reduce bicycle thefts.
The new law should please bikers like Katherine Rosa, who wrote the board an email lamenting how the building at 4th and Market where she works doesn’t allow bicycles inside.
“Not knowing where I could safely leave my bike was actually the biggest deterrent for me when I first considered biking to work,” she said. “When I decided to take the plunge anyway, I was shocked to find that my best option was leaving it on Market street. The first day I left it outside, I worried about it constantly; I made up excuses to go down to the street just so I could make sure it was ok. I still worry about my bike every single day.”
Supervisors Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd opposed the measure. Chu said the law was too onerous for city departments like Department of Building Inspection and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which are already stretched thin. Those departments will have to ensure compliance with the law.
Avalos, however, said the necessary staff time would be “very minimal.”
“This would allow many bicycles to not have to be locked up on the streets, on the sidewalks where they can clog our right-of-way, and also could often get stolen,” Avalos said. “We’re removing a barrier.”
The Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco, which represents the interests of downtown building owners, supported the legislation.
The city’s bicycle plan set a 2020 goal of making 20 percent of all trips in the city bike-based
2.1 percent of city commutes in 2002 were by bicycle
3.5 percent of commutes in 2010 were by bicycle
75,000 people ride bikes every day
Source: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency