Parking sought for San Francisco's cycling commuters 

click to enlarge In San Francisco, 3.5 percent of commutes in 2010 were by bicycle, up from 2.1 percent in 2002, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner File photo
  • In San Francisco, 3.5 percent of commutes in 2010 were by bicycle, up from 2.1 percent in 2002, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

As more and more people bike to work in downtown San Francisco, the demand is rising for safe storage.

Downtown buildings would be required to provide commuters with a “safe, secure place” to store their bikes while at work, under legislation introduced by Supervisor John Avalos.

Avalos has proposed requiring all downtown building owners to allow bicycles to be brought inside. Buildings that don’t allow that would have to provide parking within three blocks, or within 750 feet, of the building and submit a “bicycle access plan” to the Department of the Environment detailing where those who work in the buildings can park their bikes.

The legislation is being voted on Thursday by the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee, which is expected to approve it and send it to the full board for a vote.

Avalos said the legislation is meant to provide safer storage for bicycles, but also to encourage more bike commuting.

“It will be great if we could get bikes into those buildings,” Avalos said.

Ken Cleaveland, director of public affairs for the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco, which represents the interests of downtown building owners, is supportive of the proposal and said many of the buildings already are bike-friendly.

“This really is aimed at the smaller, older buildings that don’t have garages,” he said. And some building owners are “a little skittish” about allowing bikes inside if they have historic lobbies or small elevators.

If a building owner needs to rent out garage space for bike parking nearby, the costs can be passed on to tenants, Cleaveland said.

In San Francisco, about 75,000 people ride bikes every day, and 3.5 percent of commutes in 2010 were by bicycle, up from 2.1 percent in 2002, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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