More secure bike parking is among the top reasons that people in San Francisco point to for not biking more. That’s why your SF Bicycle Coalition’s Bike Parking Coordinators are working to survey and site more bike parking in every corner of our city. (Know of a place that could benefit from additional sidewalk racks? Submit your request at sfbike.org/bikeparking.)
“Providing safe and convenient bike parking for San Francisco’s residents is vital to making biking throughout the city possible,” Bike Parking Coordinator Rourke Healey said as we caught up recently. “Bike parking contributes towards reaching the goals of the SF Bicycle Coalition and City leaders to dramatically increase the number of people biking in San Francisco.”
Rourke has served on the SF Bicycle Coalition staff as a Bike Parking Coordinator for one year as of this October. Before joining the staff, Rourke went to school in Los Angeles where he used his bike for everyday transportation. After returning to his native Bay Area, he worked in several community outreach positions with nonprofits before combining these two passions in the Bike Parking Coordinator position.
“I enjoy this work because it connects me with the community in a very personal and tangible way,” he said. “On numerous occasions, people have hugged me or introduced me to their friends because of their excitement for more secure bike parking.”
To help meet the increasing demand for bicycle parking, we brought on a second Bike Parking Coordinator this summer. Bridget Zapata brings a history steeped in biking to the team. A past mountain bike competitor, Bridget recently transitioned from international education NGO work and now splits her time between working with women’s cycling apparel startup Redfrog Athletics and helping meet the needs of people requesting improved bike parking in San Francisco.
“I was looking for opportunities to get involved in the movement to make San Francisco a more bicycle-friendly city as well as opportunities to engage with the community,” Bridget said of joining the team recently. “Providing infrastructure that supports biking is critical to welcoming more people to bike and decreasing traffic congestion. Clear, convenient bicycle parking is just one of the many aspects of that infrastructure.”
The process for seeing more bike racks and corrals installed everywhere San Franciscans need them starts best with you. Bridget and Rourke are proactively surveying and siting racks along key corridors throughout our city, but by submitting a bike parking request, anyone can help prioritize bike racks where they are needed most. And it takes just 60 seconds to submit an official request at sfbike.org/bikeparking.
Those requests are initially reviewed by staff at the SFMTA who then turn them over to our Bike Parking Coordinators. Bridget and Rourke next conduct site visits and connect with the person who filed the request. Wherever possible they survey and site new bike racks using spray-paint markings to guide installation. With that work done, the SFMTA completes the process by installing the new racks and corrals.
“The best part of this job is representing the SF Bicycle Coalition and the City of San Francisco positively in the community,” Rourke said of the work. “Providing meaningful change that specifically benefits the small businesses of San Francisco is particularly rewarding.”
Bridget echoed that sentiment.
“As someone new to the role, it’s been interesting to speak with local business-owners and residents to understand both their enthusiasm and concerns related to biking in San Francisco,” Bridget said. “My favorite interaction so far has been with a coffee shop owner who was so pleased to see a bike rack in front of his shop for the business he expected it to bring, but also to help encourage a culture of active transportation in his community.”
Rourke and Bridget are excited to help deliver bike parking where you need it. Anyone can file an official bike parking request with the City at sfbike.org/bikeparking. And when you do, keep an eye out for Rourke and Bridget siting those racks or corrals at a location near you.
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