Bike lanes draw ire of Ocean Avenue merchants

Shopping at the Wiley’s Liquor store on Ocean Avenue used to be easy. Park your car, pop a few quarters into the meter, run in and grab some provisions, then leave.

In recent weeks, however, that simple excursion has become a lot more complicated, much to the chagrin of shop owner Senait Afewerki.

As part of the citywide bike plan, new cycling lanes have been installed on a six-block stretch of Ocean Avenue, taking away on-street parking spots in the Ingleside and Excelsior district neighborhoods.

Since the bike lanes were added in October, Afewerki said business at her convenience store has fallen by 15 percent. She also said that motorists who unknowingly park in the bike lanes have been quickly slapped with a $105 citation.

“No one can park in front anymore,” Afewerki said. “Our customers come here and then drive away because they’re afraid of getting parking tickets.”

With the street meters gone, motorists are now parking illegally at other places, notably in the lot at the Ocean Avenue Veterinary Hospital near the liquor store, which takes away spots from the center’s clients, said Sylvia Morrison, the site’s administrative coordinator.

The new bike plan aims to add 34 miles of cycling-only lanes to city streets, part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s initiative to transition residents to more sustainable modes of travel.

Renee Rivera, acting executive director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, said cyclists have applauded the new upgrades on Ocean Avenue. The lanes instill a sense of safety for cyclists, and make it easier for them to get to destination points, Rivera said.

However, public transit options are limited in the Excelsior and Ingleside neighborhoods, leaving cars as the preferred mode of travel for many residents, said Supervisor John Avalos, whose district includes Ocean Avenue.
In January, Avalos plans on meeting with merchants and planners to discuss the issue of lost parking spaces on Ocean Avenue. He said he hopes to find a reasonable compromise, such as some sort of shared-parking plan at the Beep’s Burger lot, at the corner of Ocean and Lee avenues, which is rarely full.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the agency is also working with the community to find parking alternatives that make up for losses to the commercial district.

Until a parking agreement is reached, merchants on the corridor said they will continue to lose business because of the new bike lanes.

“This is a huge inconvenience for us,” said Mary Toong, who runs Bay Circle Printing on Ocean Avenue. “Our customers are parking three blocks away just to run in and pick up a stack of papers.”

Bay Area NewsLocalParkingSupervisor John AvalosTransittransportation

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read