Eyes on the Street: On-Street Bike Parking Striped on Valencia Street

Dosa_3.jpgThe future home of the city’s newest on-street bicycle parking. Photos: Matthew Roth.

Preparations began today for the installation of new on-street bicycle parking on Valencia Street in former bus zones, which were vacated when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency terminated the 26-Valencia line.

The SFMTA’s paint crews painted on-street bike parking spaces in the former bus zones and painted additional yellow loading zones in several locations to facilitate commercial deliveries. The bike racks will be added to the on-street facilities in the next day or two.

In exchange for the increased bicycle parking, businesses like The Freewheel Bike Shop have agreed to maintain the new facilities. Freewheel’s owner Carlos Corujo said he thought this reflected a larger improvement in San Francisco and the effective advocacy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

"I like the wide sidewalks we see down
Valencia Street, I like the bike lanes, I like the improved lanes and
this thing is just over the top, it’s great," he said.

Asked whether he would miss vehicle parking in front of his store, he said, "Oh hell no, are you kidding me? Let’s get rid of all these parking spots and put bikes there."

Bicycle commuters were predictably enthusiastic as well. Maddie Oatman, who regularly commutes by bicycle on Valencia from the Mission to Alamo Square, said San Francisco was a good biking city and said Muni "seems very broken right now."

Though she said she understood that parking a car can be difficult, she noted that increased bike parking could achieve a mode shift. "Maybe it will encourage people to ditch the cars and grab a bike if there’s more bike parking."

freewheels_on_street_2.jpgThe future on-street bike parking space in front of Freewheel.
  • Nick

    I think this is going to be the theme for this year’s Bike to Work Day- people taking to bikes where MUNI used to provide a service.

  • Brian Gould


    Just a nitpick – bicycles are vehicles, so Freewheel is actually getting more “vehicle parking.”

  • Maddog

    Actually, to nitpick further, bikes are NOT defined as vehicles in the CVC. According to section 231, they are “devices”. That said, section 21200 does stipulate that “every person riding a bicycle … has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”

  • Brian Gould

    Fair enough, but I’m going to continue to side with the dictionaries (and other jurisdictions’ traffic statutes) unless specifically discussing the CVC so as not to promote my own second-class status.

  • Er!k

    Are all the former 26 stops on Valencia getting a bike bin? Or just a few select spots in front of bike shops?

  • Sweet! Good signs for bicycling these days.

    (But when I look at Valencia, I still can’t help but think – just switch the bike lanes and parking lanes already!)

  • Also, I really think this is most importantly huge for opening the public up to the idea of more of this.

  • I saw installed bicycle racks, on street, on Valencia at 24th, northbound, and, IIRC, Valencia at 22nd, northbound. Crews were out there putting on the finishing touches. This makes me happy.

  • icarus12

    Bike parking in Valencia street is unnecessary and a waste of precious urban space. We can park and lock our bikes to racks and poles all along the sidewalks. That is space not used by cars or pedestrians. Furthermore, I would be reluctant to leave my beloved classic in a mass of bikes in what is essentially an old bus stop or parking space. What would I lock my bike to? And why would I want to navigate a cluster of bikes stacked near one another in order to park my bike? I thought one of the beauties of cycling was to roll up to wherever you want to go and lock up there, alone, to a pole without anybody scraping your bike with theirs.

    As cyclists we should be prioritizing our infrastructure needs, not wasting our efforts with meaningless, feel-good “victories” like this one.

  • icarus12: What would you lock your bike to? The bike racks that were just installed.

  • icarus12

    Stuart Chuang Matthews, Are there bike racks bolted to the asphalt or something in the new Valencia Street parking spaces? Or are you referring to the many new bike racks installed on sidewalks all around town? Maybe I just haven’t seen what’s up with the Valencia parking space?? Let me know. By the way, all those new single bike racks around town — I love them, and I think they are an example of bike infrastructure to advocate for. Taking street space to park bikes — that’s not something smart, I think.

  • icarus12: Yes, there are bike racks bolted to the street in the new parking spaces. I don’t think you noticed the “eyes on the street” comment I posted to this article a few hours before your comment 🙂

    I am in full support of taking street space to park bikes for a few reasons. Here are two:
    1) Bikes are so popular in front of some locations, like certain coffee shops and bars, that it can really be difficult to find a decent place to lock up your bike.
    2) I have experienced harassment and aggressive driving several times over yesterday and today and was getting quite discouraged/frustrated/depressed by it. Riding to work today and seeing the bike racks installed gave me a little hope, and a reminder that bicycling in this city is slowly but surely improving.

  • @Stuart you’re killing me – Pics or it didn’t happen!

  • icarus:
    Racks on sidewalks are intrusive on pedestrian space while cars are given an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of space to park. Principle aside, there isn’t nearly enough room on the sidewalks to house bike parking demand as it is, let alone the increase in bicycling that we’re all trying to achieve. They aren’t “stacked clusters”, they are well-placed, spaced racks, and an out-of-sight bike off in some tucked away area is much more susceptible to theft than a well-populated, visible area such as the street – particularly if people are coming and going to get their bikes.


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