No Need to Fight City Hall

23 Feb

If you live or work in San Francisco, you should know that Supervisor John Avalos and other supervisors are watching your back, that is, your bike. Last fall, he proposed legislation that would require building owners to allow bicycles in office buildings where there’s no secure bike parking. I was so stoked I wrote about my reserved parking at the office and why indoor bike parking was important for me.

Last Thursday the legislation went to the San Francisco Public Safety Committee for approval. The meeting allowed for public comments, so the folks at the SF Bike Coalition (who had read my blog) asked me to come up to San Francisco City Hall and give my perspective on workplace bike parking. What an honor!

Built in 1915 to replace the original city hall destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco City Hall is a grand dame with a storied past. In 1923, President Warren Harding’s body lay in state under its rotunda following his death in San Francisco. In 1954, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married at City Hall. In 1978, Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated there by former Supervisor Dan White. And in one short month in early 2004, 4,000 same-sex couples were married at City Hall after a directive by newly-elected Mayor Gavin Newsom, until the courts shut them down.

With its grand history, I was excited and a little nervous to to speak in the lavishly paneled room, especially on camera (I start speaking at the 14 minutes mark). My points were simple: without a safe place to store my bike from theft and damage I wouldn’t commute to work, bringing bikes inside doesn’t damage the building and making bicycles more visible in the workplace encourages more people to ride.

It turned out that no one in the room needed convincing–no one spoke against it. BOMA, the city’s organization for building managers, supported the legislation since most of their members already provide indoor parking. Supervisor Eric Mar wanted to know how it compared with New York City’s similar regulations. The supervisors unanimously voted YES, and asked if they could do more. That was easy.

Have you ever geared up to fight for bicycle rights only to find the person or group said yes immediately?

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Around Town, Issues & Infrastructure


5 responses to “No Need to Fight City Hall

  1. PeterD

    February 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Sure not like that when we go to MidPen meetings…

    • ladyfleur

      February 23, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Peter, If MidPen had a goal of increasing the number of visitors to their preserves, they would be courting mountain bikers with new trails and special features and facilities, and telling equestrians and hikers to quit complaining.

      Mountain bikers outnumber other visitors at the preserves that permit them, and represent the biggest growth potential for the future. If more visitors is what they wanted…

  2. NadiaMac

    February 28, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Fantastic! Totally agree that the ability to bring bikes inside is essential.

    • ladyfleur

      February 28, 2012 at 8:55 am

      It’s such a minimal requirement too. Although it’s been reported otherwise in the news, it doesn’t require building owners to set aside space for bikes. It simply prohibits them from banning bikes from the office space. You’ll still need permission from your employer to keep the bike in the office space they rent from the building owner. Fortunately, most employers are far more supportive than the building owners.


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