letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Against Removing Parking Spaces for Bikeshare

Editor:

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Dear Sustainable Streets, Ms. Stonehill, Mr. Leung, and Supervisor-Elect Joel Engardio:

I am strongly against your plan, promoted by then-District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, who was defeated in the last election exactly for stunts like this, putting the Bike Coalition over his own constituents, that will remove parking and put a commercial enterprise in a residential neighborhood. Shall you include a taco truck why you are at it? This is  an insulting and outrageous exercise in undemocratic decision-making by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

 In a recent email to a member of Concerned Residents of the Sunset, Mr. Adrian Leung, program manager for Bikeshare and Bike Parking, stated, “… we are all in agreement for how bikeshare is generally a preferred use over general parking.”  Just who exactly is “we?” Members of SFMTA agency and the Bike Coalition? Have you surveyed the residents of the streets on which you will be removing parking to install private, for-profit corporation, Bay Wheels, rental bikes? Do you care what the taxpaying residents think about this plan? Or are you just following your anti-car agenda for a district that voted out Gordon Mar for being anti-car?

  1. No private profit-making commercial enterprise should be allowed to engage in business in a zoned residential neighborhood.
  2. These bike rental stations will remove parking places needed by residents and increase the glut of traffic for people looking for a place to park.
  3. The removal of parking near commercial corridors will increase the burden of struggling small businesses to attract customers.
  4. This is an unethical taking of parking spaces for tax-paying residents’ rightful access to parking places near their homes.
  5. According to SF County Transportation Authority’s survey, about 1-2% of residents in D-4 ride bikes. Ten such bike rental spaces, besides being illegal, are unneeded.
  6. Choose a better location for bike rentals, such as by the SF Zoo. These do not belong in front of residents’ homes.
  7. No decision about bike rentals in front of our homes should be made until the duly-elected new supervisor has had a change to investigate this outrageous plan and weigh in on it. 

Mar was voted out in large part because of his favoritism to the bike lobby over his constituents. His recommendation to put a for-profit enterprise on residential streets in D-4 should not be tolerated. Supervisor-elect Joel Engardio will be sworn in on Saturday, Jan. 7. Postpone any decision until he has a chance to do due diligence on this issue. Rest assured that this is not a popular policy among the taxpayers of D-4. Do not commercialize streets where we live. Do not remove parking that will further increase the economic burden of small businesses in the Sunset.

Patricia Arack, Leader

Concerned Residents of the Sunset

2 replies »

  1. Addendum to the above letter: The issue at stake is the installation of bike rental stations in ten (10) different locations throughout the Sunset District, in front of residents’ homes, taking up needed parking space, increasing traffic while drivers seek out parking, and increasing unsafe conditions for pedestrians and drivers. This is a residential family neighborhood, not a tourist destination.

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    • You’ve been so spoiled getting to use this incredibly valuable real estate to park your private vehicles at taxpayer expense for so long that you don’t even see it as a subsidy anymore. Not everyone in the city owns a car, but we are all still paying for your use of the “free” parking spaces in front of your home. So, you’re welcome? If you really want to claim those spaces for yourselves and be able to legitimately block other uses for them, you would have to rent them from the city for their fair-market value. I think a fair price for one parking space would be about what, $500/month? That might be a little high, but I guarantee you the value of that spot is not “free”. The abomination is not that this public streetspace is used for the benefit of people who don’t have cars, but that any curbside parking in the entire city is ever given away as if it was worth nothing. That was a huge public-policy error to begin with, and now that it is starting to be reformed you are outraged about that — because you’re losing something that never belonged to you to begin with, and that you’ve been using for free on the public dime. Just be grateful for all the years and years you’ve had exclusive access to an incredibly valuable amenity that you’ve been allowed to use for nothing. The tax money used to maintain all those free spaces could and should be so much better spent. I’m glad we’re finally taking little baby steps in that direction. No one ever comes up to me and offers me things for free like that. Parking your private vehicles in the public realm shouldn’t be free, either. It’s time you started paying for this service instead of freeloading and then getting all self-righteous when it gets taken back. If parking is so valuable to you then you should be paying for it. Instead, you’re paying nothing and then demanding that no one else uses it. This is incredibly selfish of you, and it shows you’ve completely lost perspective. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, & that includes parking.

      Liked by 2 people

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