Proposed 'Bike Freeway' in S.F. Faces Backlash

At a raucous community meeting held last week, the opposition to a proposal to replace curbside parking along Polk Street with bike lanes and parklets made their opinions known to city planners, reports Maria L. La Ganga.
March 26, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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San Francisco's Polk Street, where a planned street redesign would replace curbside parking with bicycle, transit, and pedestrian amenities, has become ground zero for debates over the city's efforts to reduce residents' reliance on automobiles.  

"To urban planners and bicycle enthusiasts, Polk Street is a key to San Francisco's 4-decade-old 'transit-first' policy, designed to reduce the reliance on private cars in the second-most-densely populated city in the U.S.," explains La Ganga. "But to the more than 300 vocal denizens of Polk Gulch, who packed a standing-room-only neighborhood meeting last week, the proposal is a commerce killer, one that would create 'a freeway for bikes,' with little benefit to shops along the route."

"The agenda is that they really want to get rid of cars," Velvet Da Vinci co-owner Mike Holmes said. "There's no better way of doing that than making sure there [is] no place to park.… This is social engineering on a really crazy scale."

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Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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