By: Joshua Sabatini : SFExaminer – excerpt
After hundreds of merchants and residents gathered this week to blast a proposal to remove parking spaces along Polk Street in favor of bike lanes, the head of San Francisco’s transit agency agreed to go back to the drawing board.
Amid the show of solidarity, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency transportation director Ed Reiskin said he would return with proposals “that would have significantly less parking loss.”
Reiskin had a bumpy ride Monday night. When asked for specific removal numbers, he admitted to not having them — which prompted laughter and booing from the crowd. The agency had proposed eliminating parking from one side of Polk Street and partially from the other side to make way for dedicated bike lanes.
Merchants had spent weeks drumming up opposition to the proposal, even posting signs on their shop windows saying “Save Polk Street.” Business owners worry that loss of parking will mean loss of business.
“We really count on parking,” said Dan Kowalski, owner of the furniture store Flipp on Polk and Green streets. Any parking removal “we just think is wrong,” Kowalski said, adding that “Polk Street’s different; it’s different than Valencia Street.”… (more)