Quantcast

Citing Gentrification, Latino Cultural Heritage District Blocks Bike Sharing

Ford GoBikes on Valencia St. | Photo: Ford GoBike/Twitter
By Nathan Falstreau - Published on July 17, 2017.

From downtown San Francisco to Fruitvale, Ford GoBike is expanding across the Bay Area. But there's one area the bike-sharing service isn't headed to: Calle 24, the Latino Cultural Heritage District along 24th Street in the Mission.

Concerned about gentrification, the organization decided against allowing the blue bikes in the district. "Ford GoBikes met with Calle 24 to place them along 24th or in the Latino Cultural District," Erick Arguello, president of Calle 24, told Hoodline. "Our council voted to not have them."

via Ford GoBikes

Arguello said the council is working to preserve and enhance Calle 24's culture and history as a place for working-class families and businesses. Along with SoMa Pilipinas, the entity was recently designated a state Cultural District by the California Arts Council.

The organization is not blocking bike share programs in the Mission as a whole, noted Arguello, who said the council consists of merchants, residents, nonprofits, "and many who ride bikes in the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District."

Photo: Calle 24

"Many of the stations are in the Mission along Valencia Street," he said. "We assume Ford GoBike reached out to the Valencia Street merchants and the neighborhood. We respect the decisions of the Valencia Street Merchants, community and its process."

Arguello said there are other street improvement plans in the works that take precedence and would not necessarily mesh with Ford GoBike's program that was proposed for the 24th Street corridor. 

"We are in the process of creating streetscape improvements for Calle 24," he said. "Our bulb-outs and plazas are used for vendors, cultural events, musicians, rallies and protest. We promote walking on 24th, as it is a narrow two-lane street. Many walking tours are done with guides in the area."

Calle 24's bike-share policy was met with disappointment and anger from some residents. 

"This is shockingly conservative, even reactionary policy," wrote a Reddit user in the San Francisco subreddit. "They believe anything which helps 'those people' is bad, even if it also helps the neighborhood as a whole. There is nothing 'progressive' about that. Note that bike share has a low income rate of $60/yr, $5 for the first year."

The Examiner noted that most bicyclists are low-income people of color, and that the Ford GoBike low-income program was created in an effort to increase bike-share access.

"With transportation being the second-highest household expense behind only housing itself, affordable transportation options are as important as ever in our city," said Chris Cassidy, communications director for San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

"It's crucial that we collaborate with and listen to communities in every corner of our city to ensure that our work serves everyone," he said.

Outside of Calle 24, Mission residents can expect to see the Ford GoBikes, however.

Dani Simon, a spokesperson for Motivate, which runs the bicycle-sharing program, told the Examiner that Ford GoBikes is "working closely with a number of community organizations in the Mission around station siting, and this area will be part of a future wave of expansion."

About 11 hours ago
San Francisco Chinatown

Long-delayed Empress of China reboot Empress by Boon to open June 18

More than six years after we lost the kitschy favorite Empress of China, the opening of its potential Michelin star contender Empress by Boon now looks to be just a month away. Read More

About 13 hours ago
San Francisco NoPa

11-year-old Bistro Central Parc in NoPa to be revived under new owner

Bistro Central Parc, the popular French bistro at 560 Central Avenue in the NoPa neighborhood that closed in December 2019, will be reopening under new ownership but under the same name in June. Read More

May 06, 2021
San Francisco Hayes Valley Mid-Market

Market Street’s upscale Zuni Cafe is eliminating tips altogether

When the James Beard Award-winning Zuni Cafe reopens for indoor dining, they’ll be closing the gap between front-of the-house and back-of-the-house wages by eliminating tips and adding a 20% service fee. Read More

May 05, 2021
San Francisco Castro Mission

Mission Bay coffee truck Spro Coffee expanding to the Castro this summer

Castro residents will soon have another cafe option in the neighborhood. Mission Bay-based mobile cafe Spro Coffee Lab will be opening its second location at 500 Church St., formerly Mauerpark. Read More