SF Shop Owners, Bike Advocates Battle Over Polk Street Bike Lane Proposal

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s Polk Street is filled with restaurants, bars and shops and a new transportation plan is drawing the line between merchants and bike advocates.

Polk Street is due to be repaved in 2015 and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is looking at ways to improve flow and make the corridor more safe for everyone.

SF Shop Owners, Bike Advocates Battle Over Polk Street Bike Lane Proposal

One plan being looked at would eliminate the majority of parking, turning one side of the street into a designated bike lane.

That’s not sitting well with some in the neighborhood, including Sherri Ziesche, who owns Beauty Company on Polk between Green and Union streets.

“The parking is already bad enough so removing it is going to make it even harder on them and on us,” she said.

Others said businesses may even have to close if parking on the busy thoroughfare is taken away.

But Nik Kaestner, a member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, said recent data out of New York, where select parking has been eliminated, paints another picture.

“They’ve seen that revenue actually goes up because people who walk and bike tend to spend more in their local community than people who drive,” Kaestner said.

Both sides have said they hope to work out a compromise.

The MTA has held several informational meetings on the issue and will be hosting two more later this month, on April 27 and April 30.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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