San Francisco bike advocates and District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman are demanding The City’s transportation agency triple its efforts to install more bike racks citywide.

Mandelman and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier announced Thursday in front of Maxfield’s House of Caffeine on Dolores Street that they want the SFMTA to install 2,000 new bike racks this year to meet the growing demand of more bike parking due to the uptick of new two-wheeled vehicles.

Public bike racks on the street are not just used by bicyclists, but also by users who ride electric dockless bikes from Jump and by people who use the two-wheeled powered scooters.

Jump bikes and scooters from Skip and Scoot, companies permitted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to operate in The City, have locking devices that allows users to lock the bike or scooter to a bike rack.

Wiedenmeier applauded the SFMTA for permitting operators with locking mechanisms so that the electric bikes and scooters are kept clear from the public right of way, but said the new mobility options are it making harder to find bike parking:

“What it does also present though is a challenge in terms of available of bike parking, especially for the high number of folks who continue to ride their own bicycles in San Francisco every day.”

Mandelaman said:

“The MTA has been quite slow in responding in that demand.”

Additionally, Wiedenmeier wants the SFMTA expedite the process from when a person requests a bike rack to installation and to allow for SF 311 to take bike rack requests.

Wiedenmeier said he had heard anecdotally that the time it takes for the transit agency to install a bike rack can vary and wants to see a better process at the transit agency when a person requests a rack:

“You request a rack. It kind of goes into a black hole and there’s not a lot of follow-up.”

SFMTA spokesperson Ben Jose wrote a blog post on the transit agency’s website on Wednesday that they install up to 600 bike racks a year, which equates to 1,200 spaces for bikes. Each rack can hold up to two bikes.

The SFMTA currently has installed over 6,000 bike racks citywide. Last year, the transit agency received 500 requests from the public.

Additionally, the SFMTA provides bicycle parking at some of its parking garages.

The bicycle coalition has started an online campaign asking its members and the public to make requests for new bike racks at locations where the racks are needed.

In the SFMTA blog post, there is photo that includes a warehouse full of bike racks just waiting for installation and requests, said Jose.

Anyone who wants to request a bike rack on the sidewalk can fill out a form on the SFMTA website.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay and covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Follow Jerold on Twitter @jerold_chinn. Email tips to jerold@sfbay.ca.

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