Curbing bicycle thefts in San Francisco 

click to enlarge A hit for the cycle: Advocates say proposed legislation will reduce bicycle thefts in The City. (Examiner file photo) - A HIT FOR THE CYCLE: ADVOCATES SAY PROPOSED LEGISLATION WILL REDUCE BICYCLE THEFTS IN THE CITY. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)
  • A hit for the cycle: Advocates say proposed legislation will reduce bicycle thefts in The City. (Examiner file photo)
  • A hit for the cycle: Advocates say proposed legislation will reduce bicycle thefts in The City. (Examiner file photo)

Commuting to work in downtown San Francisco on a bike has its drawbacks — figuring out where to lock it up, and risking whether it will be stolen or vandalized.

As bicycling becomes more popular, so does the importance of bike accommodations.

As soon as January, San Francisco’s downtown building owners could be required to allow employees to bring their bicycles into offices, or provide secure storage onsite or within 750 feet of a building. 

“This is actually really important in a number of ways,” said Supervisor John Avalos, who introduced legislation Tuesday that would enact the requirement in January. “Often, cyclists will go downtown with their bikes and will not have a space to secure them, will lock them up on the streets, clogging up some of our sidewalk space and making them less accessible.”

The law also is meant to reduce bike thefts.

“We also have a bike theft problem — it happens every day,” Avalos said. “I’ve had one bike stolen here in San Francisco. This is something that is a critical problem for a lot of cyclists.”

Ken Cleaveland, director of public affairs for the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco, which represents the interests of downtown building owners, said the group is open to the proposal.

“We’re working with the supervisor,” Cleaveland said.

He agreed bike theft is a problem in The City.

“If I had a $5,000 bicycle, I would want it right next to my desk every day,” he said.

Under the proposal, employers would decide if workers could bring bikes inside businesses, such as by work stations.

“It will reduce theft,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The legislation is supported by Supervisors Jane Kim, Eric Mar and David Campos. It will be heard by a board committee after 30 days. It would require approval by the full Board of Supervisors to become law.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Safe and secure

What you can do to prevent bike theft:

  • Use a high-quality lock or heavy chain.
  • Don’t lock bike to a pole or post that’s loose, and don’t just lock the wheel.
  • Remove parts that are easy to take off.

Source: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

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