SF Has Turned 30 Car Parking Spots Into 336 Bike Parking Spots

One of the newest bike corrals was installed at the crowded corner of 18th and Guerrero Streets in the Mission. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/7457095994/in/photostream##SFBC/Flickr##

Bike corrals are popping up so quickly around San Francisco, who can keep track anymore?

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency has installed 27 corrals since it started rolling them out in 2010, adding 168 bike racks without taking up any sidewalk space. That means 30 on-street spaces normally reserved for one parked car each can now accommodate 336 bikes.

One of the newest corrals, added at 18th and Guerrero Streets in the Mission, freed up some space on a heavily crowded sidewalk. Between the scores of people walking to Dolores Park, patrons eating and waiting for tables at jumping restaurants, and bikes locked to every rack and pole available, the corner was regularly filled to the brim on weekends.

The new corral added 12 bike parking spaces off the curb in front of Pizzeria Delfina, replacing one former car parking space. Andres Burgos, a chef at Delfina who bikes to work, said that by taking bikes off the sidewalk, the corral has made a lot more room for people while helping to meet the high demand for nearby bike parking.

“Most of my co-workers, the first day it got put in, everyone was ecstatic,” said Burgos. “We filled it up the first day. Everyone just went straight for the corral.”

The SFMTA also recently installed a corral with 22 spaces in front of Zeitgeist, a bar on the corner of Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue. A smaller corral was previously installed on the Valencia side of the corner, but it was often filled beyond capacity, and it was removed after a driver damaged some of the racks. The new corral was placed on the Duboce side, where it has the added advantage of making it easier for drivers to see pedestrians crossing the street.

SF’s first five bike corrals were installed along Valencia in 2010 in former bus stops after Muni cancelled the 26-Valencia line. Since then, the SFMTA has installed corrals by request from businesses. Each location is surveyed for suitability and must be approved at a public hearing.

San Francisco isn’t the nation’s leader in bike corrals, however. Portland, Oregon has 85.

The SFMTA’s current application period for bike corrals ends on July 15. An agency report [PDF] says corral applications submitted within that time will be reviewed from July to September, then installed between October and December. The SFMTA has also installed 161 sidewalk bike racks this year.

A full list of bike corral locations, as well as sites being surveyed for new corrals, is available on the SFMTA website.

Note: The number of car spaces was corrected from 27 to 30 because some corrals occupy multiple spaces.

The new bike corral at Zeitgeist, located at Duboce and Valencia. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/7455836022/##SFBC/Flickr##
Haight and Clayton Streets. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/6751838855/##SFBC/Flickr##
18th Street in the Castro. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/6808131189/##SFBC/Flickr##
29th Street and Tiffany Ave. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfbike/7468707584/##SFBC/Flickr##
  • Anonymous

    OT but related- SFMTA have painted out preliminary markings for a separated bike lane on 8th St in Soma following the repaving work. The right-hand traffic lane is now a bike lane plus a painted buffer. Cars are driving all over it, of course.

  • I’ll love to see how the klazy GGT Bus Drivers handle this. They are the worst.

  • Thanks for the update @jonobate:disqus, I had my eye on that.

  • Anonymous

    So what is the total number of publicly provided bike spaces in the city vs. car spaces and how does this align with the city’s transportation objectives?

  • voltairesmistress

    Perhaps I will start to use this on-street bike parking once other street poles and parking meter poles are removed.  As it stands now, however, there are still more convenient objects to use.  I like lashing my bike to a parking meter, because nobody parks their bike up against mine, sometimes scratching it, or shoving a pedal into my bike’s spokes, etc.  The new bike racks, whether on the sidewalk or on the street seem to invite “double parking”.  I don’t care for that.  Do other riders find it doesn’t matter to them?  Just curious.

  • Anonymous

    I love the side (or would that be corner) benefit of improving visibility around corners.  The only thing I don’t like about on street parking is that you have to pay attention when you lock up because the traffic is often flying by pretty close.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, though I’m not as concerned as you are. I mostly find it annoying trying to work out the geometry of how to fit my bike in when another bike is on the rack and get my lock to capture everything it needs to. That to me is the worst part (I haven’t noticed any major problems with people screwing up my bike by jamming it into mine, but my bike is old so I don’t really care). I feel like somebody needs to come up with a design for a bike rack that allows two bikes to be locked up without having to solve a geometric puzzle.

    I still prefer the bike corral (with the “staple” bike racks) over the parking meter because the parking meters are so thick that it’s much harder to get my u-lock on. Also, sometimes the parking meters have metal signs on the poles which prevent them from being used for locking your bike.

  • Anonymouse

    29th Street and Tiffany Avenue is in La Lengua. The Outer Mission begins south of I-280.

  • Unpainted Ti – problem solved.

  • Anonymous

     I mostly ride my MTB in the city when I expect to be locking it up on the street. It is an older bike, and much loved. I have never had any damage that I have observed with people going two up on a bike rack. I find it pretty easy to share those comfortably with another bike without causing any damage putting in or taking out my bike. Turning the bike in the opposite direction so you are handlebars to seat usually makes it easier. I admit to sometimes getting annoyed when the first bike on a rack is parked derailleur side to the rack – as this forces the second bike to do the same to avoid the previously noted geometry puzzle. I guess I fear getting a bent derailleur hanger more than a scratch in the paint. I have never felt these racks are for one bike only. Seeing more bikes generally makes me happy.

  • Guest

     I actually think that GGT has the most skilled drivers.  I’m sure it can’t be easy driving a 45-foot bus with the aerodynamics of a brick across the narrow Golden Gate Bridge lanes along with a heavy crosswind.

  • voltairesmistress

     It’s interesting to me see how we all feel a little bit different about our bikes — whether we want to share racks or not, how to do so, what peeves and what delights.  A bit of evolving bike culture or, at least, bike etiquette.  Not for the first time I find myself wanting a bit more space — my spouse teases me about that need for country and quiet and space.  She grew up in a crowded city herself and couldn’t be happier than crammed into a tiny cafe seat overhearing two conversations just off each elbow.

  • voltairesmistress

     La Lengua is a really new term for that neighborhood, maybe coined in the last five years or so?  When I lived Tiffany and 29th back in the 1980s residents called it either the Mission or the Outer Mission, and I think a lot of maps called it the Outer Mission.  South of I-280 seemed like Siberia to a lot of people back then.

  • Anonymous

    How about this design? (and I apologize in advance for the sparkle sound effects, you may want to turn down your speakers): http://bikerack.com/twisT.html

    Maybe not quite as strong or cheap as a square-tube U rack, but it gets the job done in a similar footprint.

  • Anonymous

    Also related- for the first time today, I got down Folsom to 8th St without hitting a red light. Have SFMTA re-timed the lights for bicycles?

  • Anonymous

    @Prinzrob:disqus Nice. Thanks for sharing. I think that pretty much exactly solves my problems with existing bike racks. Clearly a bit more expensive and take up a bit more room, but they are a brilliant design. I need to spread the word on these.

  •  @guest skill is only worthwhile if it is used. On 8th Street they frequently just slide through the bike lane regardless of whether it is occupied.

  • Abe

    AFAIK it’s the Outer Mission south of Chavez, and the Excelsior once Mission goes over the freeway.

  • 29th St and Tiffany Ave is certainly NOT the Outer Mission. Not even close. You know, there are maps that show the boundaries of this often misplaced neighborhood. Check it out: http://bit.ly/LRHzrr is a Google Map showing Outer Mission. Commit this to memory, please.

  • mikesonn

    Clearly, the most important thing to glean from this article is place names.

  • So the racks at Zeitgeist all got plowed over tonight, along with a huge collection of nice bikes and a man 🙁

  • Artheals4u

    Traumatic!
     7/14/12

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