Support for Bike Share in North Beach
August 9, 2018
TO: SFMTA, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Ford GoBike & Motivate
SUBJECT: Ford GoBike bike share in North Beach
North Beach Neighbors strongly supports plans to expand the GoBike BikeShare Network to North Beach.
Members of our group, including The Neighbors’ Complete Streets Committee, received welcome outreach from, and have subsequently met with representatives of Motivate, the operator of the BikeShare Network, as well as the SFMTA Planner in charge of the project, and members of committee have visited the sites where docking stations would be located. We believe the project merits full implementation of all identified potential stations in North Beach. We also previously received outreach from representatives from JUMP bikes, and similarly believe these electric bikes (which, though dockless, are locked to existing infrastructure) would also improve access for North Beach residents and others who wish to visit our neighborhood.
The BikeShare project as planned will add a sorely needed transit mode as a green and sustainable alternative to driving. Despite it’s proximity to downtown, North Beach suffers from a lack of transit connections to the rest of the city, and a supply of readily-available, well-maintained bicycles will be a welcome development.
We understand there are some concerns from merchants that the BikeShare will have adverse effects on their businesses through the loss of several parking spaces, and in particular the rental bike businesses that are a part of North Beach business community. We appreciate their concerns, and yet we still feel, given the positive data on BikeShare’s and bicycling's effects in general on business, as well as personal experiences with the system both here in San Francisco as well as in other cities across the country, that BikeShare will be a positive contribution to our neighborhood’s vitality.
The short hop, 30 minute rental nature of BikeShare will likely not significantly impact the day-long, extended journey format of regular bike rental, but will encourage more people to travel to our neighborhood from Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina, Cow Hollow, Downtown, and even SoMa. Studies show that bicyclists are more likely to stop and shop than motorists, and more people bicycling will mean fewer people circling for parking in their automobiles, which will more than make up for the loss of a small number of parking spaces. Additionally, fewer cars in North Beach means better air quality, safer streets, and more people walking around.
We look forward to welcoming these stations in our neighborhood soon.
Complete Streets Chair