Cyclists Asked to Help Enforce Garage Bike Parking Law by Dave Snyder

Every parking garage in San Francisco with 10 or more car parking spaces is supposed to provide bicycle racks. This applies to all garages, public or private, commercial or residential. Garages are also supposed to have signs advertising the existence of bicycle parking. When fully implemented, the law could solve most of the employee parking problems in downtown San Francisco.

However, more than 30 months after the law went into effect, most garages are still out of compliance. Enforcement has been nonexistent. A recent survey by SFBC volunteer Tim Shea found about 70% of all garages, including some city garages, out of compliance.

The Department of Parking & Traffic (DPT) has responded to this problem by getting a grant to hire a planner to help garage owners comply with the law. Deirdre Weinberg, the new DPT Bicycle Parking Czar, will meet with garage owners, remind them of the law, and advise them about the best ways to comply with the ordinance. This kind of approach is best, because without help, garage owners could place racks in the wrong places.

If a garage is still out of compliance after receiving advice from the DPT, the Bicycle Coalition will seek legal action against them. It is beyond the scope of DPT's authority to enforce the law.

Legal action will start with a complaint of noncompliance to the Planning Department which, if not rectified, will be passed to the City Attorney to initiate a lawsuit. However, we expect most garages will comply without trouble.

Cyclists can help by identifying garages that need bicycle parking. Call the city's bike information hotline at 585-BIKE and report violations today!