NIMBYs Fight Glen Park GoBike Station
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It’s nearly two miles from 24th and Mission BART to Glen Park BART. That’s a long distance between stations and it’s where last-mile solutions, such as share bikes, are needed most. But, once again, we find neighborhood objections tying up the program, this time because of a planned bike share rack at the corner of Chenery and Randall Streets.
From an email written by Mike Schiraldi (forwarded to Streetsblog) who is lobbying hard to get Glen Park bikeshare on track:
The plan to bring bikeshare to Glen Park–now entering its third year of community outreach, far more than any other dock in the city–has been blocked by a single member of the SFMTA board of directors. Why? Two Glen Park residents by the names of Lori and Chris went over the heads of the SFMTA staff, directly to the board, and lied, saying that the community opposition to the project was near-unanimous. As a result, as crews were preparing the logistics of physically installing the station a couple weeks ago, this boardmember took the unprecedented step of placing an emergency hold on the permit.
That board member is Art Torres, who apparently put an emergency hold on the deployment of the bikes at the behest of some neighbors in Glen Park.
“I was at one of the Glen Park association meetings about this, where the comments were mostly in support of the program,” said Dan Crosby, the advocate who first brought this matter to Streetsblog’s attention. “It’s so frustrating to see people complain about ‘lack of outreach’ and then, when the outreach shows that people support the program, do an end run around the process.”
“Locating bike share stations near BART is a key way to support public transit and promote connections between sustainable modes. Over the past two years, we have done extensive community outreach at this site, received a large degree of local support, and now stand ready to work with our partners to install this station as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson for GoBike.
Lori Stasukelis (the ‘Lori’ that Schiraldi mentioned in his email) commented to the SFMTA board on January 15. Her testimony is at 46 minutes 30 seconds and contains the usual hyperbole familiar to anyone who attends these meetings. She claimed Motivate had a deceptive campaign and the adjacent school got no notice and that a majority of those who were in support don’t live in the area.
She also said: “We know the area. We live there. We are concerned about the safety of the kids and the school.”
Safety of the kids at the nearby Dolores Huerta Elementary School?
It’s a rack full of blue bicycles.
Meanwhile, Schiraldi recommends the following:
- Search your email for the letter you wrote last July to firstname.lastname@example.org support of the station–this was received by the SFMTA staff, but not passed along to the Board of Directors
- Copy and paste it into a new email, addressed to MTABoard@sfmta.com
- Edit it to make sure you hit these key points, if true:
- You have a bona fide connection to the site. If you live nearby, say so. If not, do you ever visit the area around 30th & Church to shop or eat? Mention that. Do you ever use the Glen Park BART station? The Randall dock is a prerequisite to bikeshare coming to the BART station, and in fact, much of Sunnyside, Ocean Avenue, and beyond.
- You wish you could attend the SFMTA board meeting, but you have a job (etc) that’s not compatible with showing up at City Hall at 1pm on a weekday
- You want to see this station installed without further delay
- Put email@example.com on the cc: line.
- If you have a significant other, roommate, or child of appropriate age, and they care about this sort of thing, encourage them do it as well. If you instead write one email on behalf of, say, you and your spouse, it shows up in the tally as one person.
Finally, if you are somehow able to show up at City Hall on a weekday, the next SFMTA board meeting is this coming Tuesday [tomorrow!] at 1pm. Here’s the agenda; Item #11 is a discussion of bikeshare community outreach, but they won’t be accepting public comment at this agenda item. If you’d like to speak up about any of this, your opportunity will be Item #9, general public comment.
“I think it’s insane that it takes two years to get permission to re-purpose three of the city’s 275,000 parking spaces,” Schiraldi told the Examiner’s Sally Stephens in an article about the location last December.