Due to Gentrification Concerns BART to Put 24th/Mission Bike-Share Dock at Library

After a contentious vote, board approves a bike share location near but not at train station

The BART plaza at 24th and Mission will not get a bike station. Photo: Streetsblog.
The BART plaza at 24th and Mission will not get a bike station. Photo: Streetsblog.

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

The BART board, in a five-to-three vote, opted this morning to shelve plans to put a Ford GoBike station on the plaza at the 24th and Mission station. “I wish things had gone more smoothly, but there has been a stalemate,” said Bevan Dufty, BART Director for District 9, which encompasses the station. “The way to move forward is to bring bikes to the library.”

The “stalemate” Dufty was referring to is between Latino advocates from the Mission who view the 24th/Mission station plaza as an important center for vendors, public meetings and cultural activities versus bike-share advocates who want the Ford GoBike docking stations as close as possible to the station entrances.

“I’ve been in this neighborhood for 24 years and due to gentrification it has seen 10,000 wrongful evictions, 8,000 of them being Latino families,” said John Mendoza of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, during public comment on the issue. He is opposed to putting the bike dock on the plaza “…to combat gentrification, so we can preserve our neighborhood, so we can be respected instead of just walked over.”

BART planning staff, meanwhile, were recommending the board install bike docks in two locations: one at the Mission Branch library and the other along the Bank of the West-edge of the southwest plaza, as indicated by the green lines on the map below:From BART's staff report

The BART board was also presented with the idea of having a dock at the back of the northeast plaza, as indicated by the red and yellow stripe on the map. From BART’s staff report, the idea was to avoid areas of the plaza used for dance and cultural activities–along the edge of Mission Street, for example–and instead only have a dock on a part of the station that is not utilized.

The second station would be located at the Mission Branch Library, about 200 feet to the west.

The recommendations were seen as a compromise by staff, after an earlier proposal to put bike-share stations at both plaza entrances was rejected.

But few at this morning’s meeting seemed interested in compromise.

The stations would be “tucked away against the walls where activity normally does not takes place,” said Jean Walsh, who is in charge of outreach for Bay Area Motivate, operator of Ford GoBikes. “And we can move it for festivals and carnivals.” She added that motivate conducted surveys in the area, and that out of the 620 people who answered it, 82 percent were supportive of putting bike share docks at the station entrances.

“Bicycles are a form of transit,” said Gillian Gillett, formerly the S.F. Mayor’s transportation policy director and one of the speakers. “We would never stop a bus a block away or two blocks away from a transit station.”

The BART board deliberating the question of whether to put Ford GoBike docks on the 24th and Mission plaza. Image: BART TV
The BART board deliberating the question of whether to put Ford GoBike docks on the 24th/Mission plaza. Image: BART TV

Another advocate for bike-share argued that putting it at the library means “far fewer people will see it or use it, and that puts Uber and Lyft above bike-share; lots of TNCs pickups are right at the BART station, not two blocks away, so why should the bikes?”

“I timed and walked from the plaza to the library and it was 100 steps and it was 45 seconds,” said an impassioned Dufty, who supported putting a dock at the library location only. Director Rebecca Saltzman who supported having a dock on the station plaza, pointed out that for women especially, even a short walk from the station to a bike dock can be intimidating at night and encourages more people to use Uber and Lyft, which will come right to the station entrance. “The difference between a block or two at night is really a big difference,” she managed to get out, after Dufty interrupted her to say that it was only one block from the station to the library.

Saltzman pointed out that there were arguments at the Rockridge BART station, in her district, over the placement of a bike dock and its proximity to a mural on the plaza. A compromise was reached and the dock was moved a few feet. “We can have these discussion and make it work for folks who want to use the plaza,” she said. Director Deborah Allen, who ultimately voted for installing the dock only at the library, rejected the idea that a bike dock would really cut into the space on the plaza enough to interfere with cultural activities. “In visiting that plaza, I see homeless people on benches, I saw two people doing a drug deal… I saw vendors, and I asked were these vendor booths permitted, and the answer was ‘no.'”

The Board’s plan, meanwhile, is to revisit the question in the future when the library will undergo renovations and the dock may have to be moved again. “I’m willing to go with the proposals to put the bikes before the library for 18 months, but when it comes back I believe there should be bikes on those plazas,” said Allen.

  • Really? The library? Common sense protocol would just be to put the station at the plaza. But all you need is some people arguing saying “it’s gentrification!” and all goes down the toilet.

  • *sad trombone*

  • John Murphy

    Bevan Dufty blocked the Noe Valley Plaza project for a couple of weenie parklets, he is putting bike share on the same back burner.

    Brutal.

  • mx

    Severely disappointing. Uber and Lyft can stop in front of the plazas all the time, but tucking some bikes into an unused back corner against the wall is going to destroy the neighborhood?

  • Jeffrey Baker

    As much as I would like to dunk on the Calle 24 people, let’s be realistic: the dock at 16th is not exactly a raging success. Normally it has a dozen derelicts draped over it, with their belongings strewn about. Putting the docks in the street makes a lot more sense.

  • jd_x

    This is absurd: why can’t they just put the stations on the street by removing parking spaces? I can sort of get the issue with the plazas, but it is completely irrational to argue that private, two-ton vehicles get to park right next to the station but a public bike share system cannot use the same space. This is so simple to solve and I haven’t heard a single good reason why using street parking wouldn’t work. Oh right: Calle 24 is actually stuck in an outdated car-centric mindset and doesn’t even know what’s best for its community. Calle 24 is a barrier to common sense transportation policy (putting a bike share station right at public transit stations) that benefits everyone, including the Latino community they claim to represent.

    And you know what is actually gentrifying (as well more dangerous and polluting which, Latino or not, is bad for the neighborhood)? People taking Uber and Lyft (or getting dropped off by friends or family on private cars) to Bart because bike share there is a pain in the ass. I cannot understand how a car-centric, anachronistic, and irrational group like Calle 24 can overrule commonsense policy that benefits all.

    And Duffy needs to go. We need leadership that isn’t beholden to anachronistic concepts like car-centrism or groups like Calle 24.

  • Maxwell

    Can we boycott Calle 24?

  • mx

    I ride bike share at least weekly to 24th St, and already have to walk to/from the docks on Valencia or Garfield Square because Calle 24 won’t allow stations (or even Jump bike parking, they got them to create an exclusion zone) anywhere near the merchants. I’m done with that now and will take my business elsewhere.

  • I didn’t realize that gentrification = bike ownership. Funny how Calle 24 thinks it’s fine to keep vagrants and drug dealers loitering the plaza, but bikes are somehow verboten. Only in San Francisco.

  • crazyvag

    Why not let bike uses vote? How about all anything who rented the bone at least in 10 different days all what they feel is a convenient location.

    Also, how the heck does does some Calla group get to have any day at all about transit? This shouldn’t even have been a debate.

  • sf in sf

    I live by 16th and am there all the time and that is not my experience. The docks there are working great.

  • p_chazz

    You’re still bitter about that? Get over it, John. The Noe Valley Town Square which was the end result of that process is a vast improvement over the Noe Valley Plaza that you were pitching.

    https://noevalleytownsquare.com/

  • p_chazz

    I suppose you could boycott the businesses of the members of Calle 24’s council, or those that have businesses. The Calle 24 Council are:

    Erick Arguello, President | Non-Profit, Resident, Homeowner
    Jon Jacobo, Vice President | City Employee, Resident, Renter
    Martha Sanchez, Treasurer | Business Owner, Homeowner
    Rafael Moreno, Secretary | Non-Profit, Resident
    Wendy Bardsley, Parliamentarian | Self-Employed, Resident
    John Mendoza, Sergeant at Arms | City Employee, Resident, Renter
    Susan Cervantes | Non-Profit, Artist, Homeowner
    Marcia Contreras | Non-Profit, Resident, Renter
    Lou Dematteis | Artist, Non-Profit, Homeowner
    Luis Estrada | Business Owner, Renter
    Lamea Abuelros | Business Owner, Renter
    Frank Gonzalez | Non-Profit, Business Owner, Renter
    Roberto Hernandez | Event Producer, Resident, Homeowner
    Vicky Castro | Non-Profit, Attorney, Renter
    Gabriela Aleman | Youth, Resident, Renter
    Jaqueline Nuila | Resident, Renter
    Anna Lisa Escobedo | Artist, Non-Profit, Renter
    Maria de La Mora | Resident, Renter

    Interesting that the Calle 24 Council members choose not to identify the businesses, nonprofits or city agencies where they work. A Mission Local article identified Martha Sanchez as the owner of Casa Sanchez, the purveyor of tortillas and tortilla chips. Lamea Abuelros was identified in an article in El Tecolote as the owner of Temo’s Café at 3000 Mission Street. Roberto Hernandez produces Carnaval according to that organization’s Facebook page. Frank Gonzalez’s Facebook page shows him as a family services specialist at Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Vicky Castro’s Facebook page shows that she is the former director of La Raza Centro Legal. Curiously, the California Bar website does not show an attorney named Vicky or Victoria Castro. I wasn’t able to readily identify Luis Estrada.

    So there you go. Have at it!

  • Bruce

    Not even bike ownership! Just using a shared bike (a communal resource!) is apparently now considered gentrification.

  • mx

    I’ve seen a couple of Mission District folks cite a study that predicted a small (I think it was 2-3%) increase in property values for Montreal homes near bike share stations. Setting aside the issues around proving causality, where does this argument lead?

    If their argument really is that anything that could possibly improve property values at all (nevermind that they’re increasing massively every day) is gentrification and must be stopped, isn’t this an argument against any possible civic endeavor? If that’s really their argument, surely they should be opposing trash cleanup and street cleaning, because clean streets are good for property values too? If this is the operating economic theory of Calle 24, why not go all the way and bulldoze parks, increase noise and pollution, and spread filth to actively reduce property values?

    It seems entirely untenable that the self-appointed guardians of a neighborhood have declared that the neighborhood can’t ever have nice things, lest property values increase.

  • LazyReader

    Hate to break it to ya but SF is just one big Gentified lot, the rich live in towers, the poor poop on the sidewalks

  • George Joseph Lane

    So they are concerned that improving amenities in an area may cause gentrification, so the solution is to not improve the amenities?

  • Megan G

    If you don’t see the bikes you won’t use the bikes. I’m sorry Calle 24 but you’re fighting the wrong battles. Are we really against ungentrified areas (as if this was one) having access to better transportation options?

  • neroden

    Yes. “Anti-gentrification”, at its core, means making your neighborhood worse and less attractive. It’s completely misguided.

    Anti-*displacement* is a good movement — you want your own local community to get richer and become gentry themselves, not be displaced.

    Anti-*gentrification* is just pro-misery.

  • neroden

    These people are misguided enough that it might make sense to just *talk* to them about why they’re wrong.

  • neroden

    At its core, “gentrification” means “making neighborhoods nicer and making the people in the neighborhood richer”. Think about what it means to oppose that — it’s absolutely nutty to oppose that. Of course an “anti-gentrification” group would be opposed to anything which improves the neighborhood — they’re nuts.

    Now, what would be good would be anti-*displacement* groups. You want the neighborhood to get better *with the same people living and working there*, without displacing anyone. But that’s different. Totally different.

    Anti-displacement, pro-gentrification groups make sense. Anti-gentrification groups are basically supporting misery.

  • George Joseph Lane

    My particular favourite is opposing more housing in an area on the basis of opposition to gentrification. Guess what; restricting housing supply increases prices which means that your neighbourhood is only available to a literal landed gentry.

  • mx

    Why don’t they go all the way and campaign to close the 24th St BART station? After all, it’s known that proximity to transit often increases property values, so surely shutting down the station will help combat gentrification.

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