Eyes on the Street: Market Street Bikeway a Favorite SFPD Parking Spot

A police cruiser parked in the bike lane in May. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Just as one problem improves for bike commuters on Market Street, another arises. Some San Francisco police officers have apparently grown fond of parking their cruisers in the westbound protected bike lane on Market at Polk/Tenth Street, next to Fox Plaza.

Back in May I snapped the above photo of a cruiser forcing a platoon of bike commuters to stop and squeeze by. I peered into the adjacent Starbucks for any officers, but seeing none, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, presuming it may have been a fluke. I don’t regularly commute on Market, so it was hard for me to tell if this was a recurring problem.

But this morning, bike commuter Stephanie May sent in photos of a cruiser parked in the same spot, and she said she sees it all the time. In fact, she returned this afternoon and snapped more photos, saying the same police car seems to have been parked there all day.

The same location this afternoon (note the progress on the building construction). Photo: Stephanie May

“I understand if there were an emergency, but there are no officers in sight,” said May. She said she sees street sweepers parked there as well.

Protected bike infrastructure is meant to be just that — protected from motor vehicles. But these officers apparently haven’t picked up the message from the green paint and poles. And why is the SFMTA (headquartered one block away) allowing SFPD to park on one of the city’s most frequently touted bike improvements?

Someone needs to nip this problem in the bud before it grows to be as rampant as it is in New York.