“One Bike Lane Could Destroy Our Venue”

Bottom of the Hill, Potrero Hill music venue, is fighting safe bike infrastructure

Bottom of the Hill, with a car parked in the bike lane. Photo: Cliff Bargar
Bottom of the Hill, with a car parked in the bike lane. Photo: Cliff Bargar

Ever bike to Bottom of the Hill (BOTH) in Potrero Hill on 17th to see a music show? Maybe it’s time to reconsider whether to patronize the venue.

Apparently, one of its owners, Lynn Schwarz, doesn’t think your life and safety are as important as the handful of free parking spots in front of the venue. From a tweet sent out Wednesday:

Screenshot from 2022-08-11 10-18-50

Not exaggerating in the slightest?

Schwarz was quickly ratioed by safe-streets advocates over her anti-bike-lane petition:

Screenshot from 2022-08-11 10-21-19

“I bike 17th street every day. I’ve spent years biking all over the city and I’m a confident cyclist,” said Cliff Bargar, an advocate who lives a few blocks from BOTH. He took the lead image, above, of a car parked in the bike lane, next to an empty curb. “The amount of blocked bike lane on 17th–it’s a big deterrent from cycling.” The only way to stop bike lanes from being blocked all the time, he added, was to build protected bike lanes.

As Streetsblog readers are surely aware, 17th Street is part of the high-injury network–the streets with the most fatal and serious injury causing crashes. From the SFMTA’s page on this important safety project:

The 17th Street Quick-Build Project aims to implement safety and comfort improvements on 17th Street between Potrero and Pennsylvania Avenues. This section of roadway is a key connection in San Francisco’s bikeway network, linking areas east—like the Dogpatch and Mission Bay—with neighborhoods to the west, such as the Mission and Lower Haight.

The project will prioritize the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and consider the varied needs of this mixed-use neighborhood, which includes large multi-family residences, eateries, parks, retail, commercial, manufacturing, services, and nightlife.

There’s no shortage of data showing that good, safe bicycle facilities also increase business for merchants. Sometimes merchants even band together to demand protected bike lanes. They almost always bring more money, as this Bloomberg report breaks down.

To point out the obvious, if Schwarz is for safe bike lanes, just not in front of her venue, than she’s not for safe bike lanes. And people who care about making safer streets in San Francisco can surely find music venues owned by people who don’t think having some free and easy place to park their car all the time is more important than human life.

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