SF looks to reduce thefts while boosting transit alternative 

click to enlarge SFMTA is poised to receive a grant to install more BikeLink lockers, like the ones pictured here at the Fifth and Mission streets garage, in its facilities across The City. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • SFMTA is poised to receive a grant to install more BikeLink lockers, like the ones pictured here at the Fifth and Mission streets garage, in its facilities across The City.
Ample secure parking for bicycles is considered a key component to increasing trips made by bike and decreasing thefts, although the existing inventory does not meet San Francisco’s transit goals.

But the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is improving its inventory with the help of a $70,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

For a total of $117,870, the agency plans to install 28 BikeLink electronic lockers in four SFMTA-owned parking garages. They will replace old lockers that appear to be in dire straits.

“Currently, there are 52 bicycle lockers located in SFMTA owned parking garages, but they are traditional lock and key lockers, and many are broken and misused,” said a report by city budget analyst Harvey Rose.

The lockers are accessed and paid for using a special card, which functions like a credit card. The card opens the locker. Each locker is expected to be able to store between five and seven bicycles.

“The provision of secure long-term bicycle parking is a key strategy for supporting and promoting bicycle transportation in The City, as well as reducing motor vehicle emissions by providing trip reducing transportation alternatives that would result in a reduction of vehicle miles traveled,” the report said.

With expected approval of the grant Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, it will take until January 2017 to install the lockers at four locations: 174 West Portal Ave., near the West Portal Muni station; 1340 Seventh Ave., in the Inner Sunset near a Muni station and commercial corridor; Moscone Garage at 255 Third St., located in South of Market near the Moscone Center; and Golden Gateway Garage at 250 Clay St., located in the Financial District.

Supervisor Eric Mar, who held past public hearings on the need for more bike parking, praised the effort but encouraged more. “I think the 28 electronic bicycle lockers are really needed. We need much more, though.”

The transit agency has a goal that by 2020, 20 percent of trips taken in The City are done on bicycles. The City also imposed a goal in 2013 to reduce bike thefts by 50 percent within five years.

Citywide, there are total of 8,500 bike parking spaces, including sidewalk bike racks and on-street bike corrals, according to the SFMTA.

“We are excited to get this modest but interesting project launched,” said Joel Goldberg, an SFMTA manager.

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