On arteries like Valencia Street, a prime route for bicyclists, the trend threatens to worsen what is already an obstacle course, particularly during evening meal times. Many of the restaurants are serial offenders that regularly leave delivery vehicles in bike lanes, slowing everyone down as cyclists are forced into the traffic lane.
At Gajalee Indian Restaurant on Valencia, drivers picking up delivery orders regularly block the bike lane. And with Gajalee's new display of $5-off coupons for deliveries from GrubHub, it's a problem unlikely to improve anytime soon.
"I got four or five tickets from blocking the bike lane in the last couple years," Gajalee manager Kobi Mohan told us. "It's a cost of doing business for us." [...]
Mohan said he's been told the cars he uses for deliveries and stocking his restaurant aren't allowed to use the center lane to parking temporarily and he's been given no legal options, so he still uses the bike lane and just hopes to avoid too many tickets.
"There's nothing we can do," he said, explaining that he needs deliveries to make his business function.
Fuck you, Kobi Mohan. If your business is unsustainable, then you can either, A) fix your business model to be profitable, or B) fail. Declaring yourself a magical unicorn who doesn't have to follow the laws that other people do just makes you a parasite.
You're not even some dot-com whose VC has his hand up the Mayor's ass -- what makes you think you get to participate in this Libertarian I-got-mine "disruption" con, too?
SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the agency is aware of the problem and trying to address it: "As SFMTA is made aware of a problem area/location, SFMTA engineers are sent to the location to evaluate parking management and options such as curbside marking/signage. SFMTA Enforcement reaches out to the proprietor of a business and explains the problem and identifies workable solutions. If all avenues have been evaluated and addressed and there is no change, increased Parking Control Officer presence will occur, until compliance is achieved." [...]
While big delivery companies such as UPS, FedEx, and even many beer distributors have city permits that factor in the cost of blocked lanes and specific rules for minimizing the disruption, food delivery services mostly follow the tech industry's disruption model of asking for forgiveness later instead of official permission up front.
Anyone know what these "special permits" that UPS and FedEx have allow? I had always assumed that when UPS and FedEx park in the bike lane -- and by "when" I mean "always" -- that they were straight up breaking the law, with SFPD straight up refusing to enforce the law on them.
If they are actually legally allowed to park there, I'll be even more enraged. Are they?
I hope this is just a confused and roundabout way of saying "vehicles with commercial plates are allowed to use the 'loading zone' spots that exist on every non-residential block in the city."
In December, Mayor Ed Lee announced plans to crack down on drivers who block traffic, and Rose told us the effort was aimed primarily at SoMa and facilitating commuter traffic headed to the Bay Bridge, with a half-dozen additional parking control officers deployed on Thursdays and Friday to issue tickets for blocking traffic.
A speedy commute back to the suburbs is the only priority. If you're not actually in a car, go fuck yourself:
But SFMTA figures show relatively few citations for blocking bike lanes compared with double-parking, even with December's uptick in citations for both. There were 2,391 double parking citation in December, up from 2,036 in November; and 187 citations for blocking bike lanes, up from just 132 a month earlier.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has tried to highlight the issue with its new #ParkingDirtySF campaign, urging members to send in photos and information when they see someone blocking a bike lane. It has compiled that information into a top 10 list of the worst corridors for blocked bike lanes. [...]
"People who double-park cars in bike lanes and crosswalks are not just causing an inconvenience, they are jeopardizing people's safety as they bicycle and walk. Stepping up enforcement on this dangerous activity should be an easy place for the Mayor and the SF Police Department to send the message that safety is a priority on our streets and to put action behind their Vision Zero commitments," said Leah Shahum, who is stepping down as SFBC's executive director to go study Vision Zero in Europe on a Marshall Memorial Fellowship this spring.
It's the 21st Goddamned Century: why can't I act like a human red-light camera, take a phone-photo of the license plate of a car in the bike lane, text it to 311, and have a ticket automatically issued based on the timestamp and GPS? Yes, I will gladly click the checkbox saying that I will testify to this in court if necessary.