It looks like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition may have successfully spun The City’s wheels.
Neighborhood requests to install bike racks on sidewalks have seen a sharp uptick since the coalition launched its social media campaign to see 2,000 new bike racks installed across The City.
That’s according to data the San Francisco Examiner obtained from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which show 136 requests this February for bike racks, to date. The bike coalition launched its campaign in mid-February.
Though far from the goal of 2,000 new bike racks, the numbers for just one month alone are a big bump considering the agency netted 464 bike rack requests during all of 2018. SFMTA confirmed they have seen an “uptick” in the number of requests.
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman also joined the bike coalition in its call to install more bike racks. Previously, Mandelman said increasing bicycle ridership is vital to reaching Vision Zero, San Francisco’s stated goal to reduce traffic collisions to zero by 2024.
There are some caveats with the February bike rack numbers: 20 of those requests were either duplicates, on sidewalks not in SFMTA’s jurisdiction, or were sidewalks where bike racks were already planned. About 54 of those requests are still undergoing review to determine if they are within SFMTA jurisdiction or have already been surveyed for bike racks, according to SFMTA.
Charles Deffarges, senior community organizer with the bike coalition, touted the organization’s success.
“The jump in the number of racks requested confirms what we knew anecdotally: people need more bicycle parking in San Francisco,” Deffarges said, in a statement. “The real question is whether or not SFMTA will listen to that demand. Will they do their job and deliver more racks on a better timeline?”
SFMTA said it installed 501 bike racks last year.
“If public demand for racks increases, the SFMTA will continue to strive to meet demand,” said SFMTA spokesperson Ben Jose, in a statement.
There are 6,000 existing bike racks out of the 12,000 bicycle parking spaces citywide, according to SFMTA.