Bike lane meeting met with complaints


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Charlie O'Hanlon moved his motorcycle repair shop to 17th Street about a decade ago. If the city's bike plan is approved, parking spaces on the north side of 17th Street for 11 blocks will be gone.

In their place will be one long bike lane.

"Basically, it'll put me out of business," O'Hanlon said.

O'Hanlon has to park his motorcycles on the street because his garage is too small to fit them all.

City parking and traffic administrators heard similar complaints Friday at one of the final public hearings on the city's bike plan.

Most of the crowd supported it, but the administrators only wanted to hear complaints.

At issue are about a dozen bike projects which are scattered throughout the city.

Almost everyone who spoke complained about the loss of parking spaces in their neighborhoods.

John Lum is an architect who will lose all the parking spaces in front of his office. He has mobilized his neighbors.

"I have a petition with 40 signatures in a half hour opposing the project if parking is being removed," Lum said.

There are 56 new projects which would add about 34 miles of bike lanes -- essentially doubling the citywide infrastructure for cyclists.

"We need to make sure we have bike lanes that fill and go from one end of the city to the other so people can travel safely and easily throughout the city," Marc Caswell of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said.

One of the projects is on busy Claremont Boulevard in West Portal. It would eliminate some parking spaces and create a bike lane in the middle of the west side of the street.

May Mason lives on that block. A tow away zone would replace the space where she parks her car.

"We would lose three or four parking spaces we cannot afford to lose," Mason said.

The commission is likely to approve most, if not all, of the projects.

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