Mission Boasts USA’s Largest Bike Corral; 55 Across SF Park 668 Bikes

The new bike corral at Mission Cliffs, six car spaces long, is the “largest bike corral in a U.S. urban environment,” according to the SFMTA. Photo: Jessica Kuo

Four years after the SFMTA started converting curbside car parking into bike parking with bike corrals, the city now has 55 corrals that can lock 668 bikes — and still more are on the way.

Most bike corrals replace one car space with about five bike racks, each parking two bikes, and are requested by merchants who want to efficiently re-purpose street space to serve more customers. As the corrals proliferate, they’ve started to vary a bit in configuration to serve more purposes.

The Mission Cliffs corral uses a different type of rack to squeeze in more bikes. Photo: SFMTA

One of the newest corrals, installed in front of the Mission Cliffs indoor climbing gym at Harrison and 19th Streets, has replaced six car parking spaces with parking for 54 bikes. It’s “the largest bike corral in a U.S. urban environment,” according to an SFMTA report [PDF]. This corral uses a novel type of bike rack, purchased by Mission Cliffs, that fits more bikes into the space by vertically staggering them.

Other bike corrals have been placed strategically to open up visibility at street corners, or “daylight” them, and to help keep Muni trains moving. At Carl and Cole Streets, drivers often used to park in a red curb zone intended to provide turning room for N-Judah trains entering the Sunset Tunnel, thereby blocking Muni’s busiest line. The curb space has been filled with five bike racks placed parallel to the curb, making it impossible to leave a car there (well, without running over the racks) while still leaving space for passing trains.

This corral at Carl and Cole prevents illegal parkers from blocking the N-Judah. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Today’s total of 55 corrals is double the 27 we reported on in June 2012, which had converted 30 car parking spots into 336 bike parking spots. Of the 55 now on the ground, 21 were installed in 2013, yielding 117 bike racks without infringing upon sidewalk space. At press time, the SFMTA didn’t have a count for the number of car spaces replaced with bike corrals.

As of March 24, the SFMTA report said the agency plans “upcoming installation” of six more bike corrals, with 30 bike racks and providing 98 parking spots, and has another 50 locations under review. Businesses can find info on requesting bike corrals on the SFMTA website.

It’s worth noting that the SFMTA is also considering installing on-street bike lockers [PDF] for residential bike parking, as the SF Examiner reported in November.

The Mission Cliffs bike corral filled up on the first day. Photo: Mission Cliffs via SFMTA