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Supervisor Avalos Would Like to See Public Bike Pump Stations in SF

10:44 AM PDT on May 15, 2009

If you pedaled around the city yesterday for Bike to Work Day you were no doubt happy to see the SFBC's energizer stations -- with fresh coffee and bagels -- and the occasional sidewalk bike mechanic ready to align your spokes or pump a little air in your tires. But back to reality today. How many times have you forgotten your pump, pedaled somewhere where there's no air around, and been left in a lurch? It's happened more than once to Supervisor John Avalos, who tells Streetsblog San Francisco he's asked the MTA to look into installing a number of bike pump stations around the city, similar to those that exist in some European and Asian countries:

I am very interested in having the pump stations installed and will be working with the MTA to move forward on them. Ibelieve cyclists have an enormous interest in the stations.

I can'ttell you how many times I have been in need of a little air while beingin parts of SF without a pump nearby. The stations will also help toencourage greater cycle amenities throughout the city, encouraginggreater bicycle use.

Avalos became even more interested in the idea after a constituent, Adam Burgess, wrote to him, relaying his flat tire experience at Ellis and Franklin on his way to Golden Gate Park:

In that area there are no gas stations and thus no air pumps.  The closest gas station was at Pine and Franklin, but I was not ready to walk my bicycle up that hill.  So, I walked my bike to Divisadero and Fell (the direction I should be headed) where an air pump cost me 75 cents.

Burgess, in his letter to the Board of Supervisors, explained that he got used to public bike bumps while living in Japan:

I lived in Yokohama for a year before moving to SF, a "sister city" of SF, according to  There is a large amount of bicycle commuters in Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan and they do provide public air pumps.  Thus, I am comparing my last residency with my current home.

Some of the bike pump stations could also double as bike racks.  Avalos said he's been told by the MTA they're pretty busy working on the the much-anticipated implementation of the Bike Plan, but he's been assured bike staffers will look into it after the bike injunction is lifted. 

"This is one of those creative policy ideas we will consider for the future," said MTA spokesperson Judson True. "Right now our focus is on completing the EIR and preparing to implement the Bike Plan."

What do you think? Would you like to see bike pump stations around the city?

bike_lock_pump_1.jpgA bike pump station in the Netherlands. Photo:
40797425_90ca5b6112.jpgAn inflation station in Stockholm. Flickr photo: jvoss

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