Sausalito leaders consider cap on bikes entering city streets

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Thursday, March 12, 2015
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Some Sausalito leaders are looking into limiting the number of tourists biking into the city, claiming it leaves city streets unsafe.

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KGO) -- One of the Bay Area's top tourist destinations is hoping to detour some tourists away from their city, at least the ones riding bikes.

Sausalito is looking to regulate the number of rental bikes coming into town. Some people say it's just too many.

If you're a tourist visiting the Bay Area, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito is almost required.

At least it was for Carla Meehan from Ireland.

"It was brilliant. We were on the bridge and said, 'Oh my God, it was spectacular, " Carla Meehan said.

Between April and October tourists rent bikes in record numbers. They bike from San Francisco to Sausalito and then ride the ferry back, leaving few places to sit on board. Some downtown streets are blocked off for bike parking alone.

"That's 1,000 rental bikes a day coming into our small town, and it's just unsustainable to have those numbers exponentially increase every year," said Linda Pfeifer, a Sausalito City Council member.

Sausalito city council woman Linda Pfiefer says it's a matter of safety with cars and pedestrians. She wants to regulate the number of rental bikes coming into town.

The idea of a bike restriction isn't peddling very far with companies like Blazing Saddles. Most of their rental bikes are headed to Sausalito.

Owners are aware that crowded roads are a problem.

"We have been working with the Sausalito city council, police department and ferries companies to help improve the situation over there," said Jeff Sears, Blazing Saddles owner.

Sausalito business owners like Ken Robinson say bikes bring tourists who spend money.

"You can't prevent them from coming into town," Robinson said. "If you're going to live here, you can't keep people out."

"Limit the number of bikes? Stupid," said Grant Darlow.

Tourists are scratching their heads.

"We're trying to ensure that people, who our our guests, will have good memories, not sad memories of bicycle accidents," Pfeifer added.

The idea is still in first gear and will need more research to move forward.