Thursday, May 10, 2012

Green cleansing: bike lanes vs. RV campers

Look at the China Basin and #Dogpatch parts of this San Francisco municipal bike map. See the green lines marked as bike lanes, all down eastern Sixteenth Street, all down the waterfront on Terry Francois Boulevard, Illinois Street, over near the freeway on Indiana Street?

Those used to be important parking streets for people who lived in their vehicles -- cars, RVs, trucks. Still are for a few brave holdouts. Hm.

Talked recently with some people who work in China Basin, over in those new buildings south of the ballpark. They have a theory that the city is using bike lanes as a pretext to get rid of parked RVs.

Sad if true, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to believe. The city used to do the same in those areas with "street cleaning" hours when the streets were not always literally cleaned. Such a San Francisco thing to do, to claim a shiny environmentalist liberal motive for doing something illiberal like denying people their housing. It's so sad, how the city keeps refusing to accept that vehicles are a substantial, useful type of housing here.

Admit it's hard to tell from here how widespread the anti-RV effect would be yet. The fairly dated-looking Google Maps pictures don't show actual bike lane striping on most of those streets, though 16th has had striping for a long time. I admit not walking around there lately enough to remember if bike lane stripes are on the pavement now. Will report back here if I look around there any time soon.

But if bike lanes are designated on the map, striping is anyway likely to follow, and it wouldn't be surprising if the tow trucks were to follow that.

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