Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dave Snyder and the Marin Museum of Bicycling

After 11 years as head of San Francisco's Bicycle Coalition, Dave Snyder is now Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition. Earlier this month, he helped inaugurate the Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax:

Your California Bicycle Coalition’s own Dave Snyder spoke at the grand opening celebration on June 6, welcoming the museum and Mountain Biking Hall of Fame to the birthplace of mountain biking in Marin County. He praised Joe Breeze and the museum’s other founders for their ongoing support of everything that bicycling brings to people, from the thrill of screaming down the mountain on the Repack trail to the simple joy of pedaling across town.

Hey, how come Marin gets the Hall of Fame, not San Francisco? After all, this is where Critical Mass was born! 

It must have been a close call: Whether to honor city cyclists for screwing up rush hour traffic for more than 20 years or honor cyclists in Marin, famous for terrorizing hikers and people on horseback on Marin's fire roads. And also notorious for trashing Marin's open space by carving out their own bike trails.

But Dave Snyder is a moderate compared to Leah Shahum, his successor in San Francisco. She wanted to make city streets safe enough for six-year-olds to ride bikes, while Snyder only wanted to make them safe enough for eight-year-olds.

Recall that Dave Snyder and the Bicycle Coalition opposed the popular and successful parking garage under the Concourse in Golden Gate Park because it would be built for "the most pernicious form of urban pressure: the automobile."

Snyder was also the Big Thinker who formulated the failed city strategy to sneak the 500-page Bicycle Plan illegally through the administrative process ("Nobody will contest this...").

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Let them ride bikes---and shop somewhere else

SocketSite on this building planned for Market Street between Franklin and Van Ness: 109 condos, only 28 parking spaces, and three retail spaces on the ground floor:

The proposed development is composed of two distinct structures designed by Handel Architects and connected by a skybridge: one fronting Market Street with the project’s two main retail spaces, and the second fronting Oak Street with the building’s lobby, garage entrance and the third little retail space, likely a café.

What kind of cafe or retail businesses could survive in a high-end condo building? Maybe a Starbucks or other chains.

The comments are interesting, like these on the retail space issue:

Posted by Sierrajeff
A friend of mine recently moved to the northern end of Mission Bay/Mission Rock…there was actually a fair amount of sidewalk traffic (and this wasn’t even a game day), but I was startled to see that virtually every retail space was empty. And adding more buildings won’t necessarily help, because most of them will have ground-floor retail spaces too. I hope the city knows what it’s doing…

Posted by Dave
I’ve noticed this too. And Mission Bay is up and coming. A lot of mid-Market retail fronts are vacant. Despite Twitter, despite the condos that have been built in the area. Don’t see how more retail is all that viable here. Maybe some of the space will be taken by professional offices.

Posted by JWS
I continue to have hope that as these buildings actually fill up with residents, that the neighborhoods will grow. My one concern with the Mission Bay footprints vs Mid-Market is that they are the same that we see on King by the ballpark…extremely large and wide. Harder to get niche restaurants and cafes to pay those big rents, while the smaller Mid-Market lots being developed necessitate smaller retail.

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