Ford GoBike share on 19th and Mission Streets. Photo by Lola M. Chavez

The new bikeshare station originally planned for the 24th Mission Street BART plaza will instead be installed at the neighboring Mission Branch Library, making the Ford GoBikes available at 300 Bartlett Street.

The compromise was agreed on Thursday morning at the BART board meeting in downtown Oakland, after impassioned Mission residents spoke their opposition to the bike station in the plaza. The motion was made by board director Bevan Dufty, over objections from colleagues who argued that the new location makes the bikes less accessible.

“I timed how much it took me to walk from the Plaza to the library and it was only 45 seconds. A hundred steps. Saying otherwise is dishonest,” Dufty said.

The solution will only be temporary, given the pending retrofitting of the library building, and will have to be revisited in 16 months.

Mission residents and activists took turns at the mic, protesting what they called the “corporate intrusion” and poor community outreach of Motivate, operator of Ford GoBike in the city.

“People talking about accessibility do not belong to our communities, and do not care about the plazas we respect and love so much,” said Vicky Castro, executive director of La Raza Centro Legal.

Ford GoBikes are at the 16th Street BART Station and more than a dozen other Mission locations.

Occupying two corners of the 24th Street and Mission intersection, the Plaza has long served as a community hub and a meeting place for citizens and vendors who set up booths during weekends and for special festivities.

“I’m tired of white, affluent people coming with their first-world problems when there are communities being displaced and public spaces overridden,” added Mission resident Larisa Pedroncelli.

Bike supporters in the room stressed the importance of seamless connection between transportation services (train, bus, bikes) to discourage people from using Uber or Lyft as a last-mile solution.

However, Mission residents countered saying that Lyft-owned Motivate was not making much of a difference. “They are trying to put their corporate advertisement on a vital part of our community,” complained resident Carlos Bocanegra.

The decision by the board of directors will now result in the installation of 15 docks in front of the library. Jean Walsh, Motivate’s director of external affairs,  said previously that they needed 30 docks in the vicinity of the BART station to meet the rider demand.

“I just ask that we put the bikes at the library, and maybe Motivate can do a better job at listening to the community, and show some respect,” Dufty said.

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4 Comments

  1. Better than nothing, I guess- I wish the bike share system had better coverage in my neighborhood, but they’ve managed to sneak a few in around the 24th st. dead zone. I’m surprised gobike doesn’t do more outreach to it’s subscribers about this kind of meeting if they want their users to speak up, although how many people who live in the neighborhood can show up to a BART meeting on a weekday morning?

  2. “I timed how much it took me to walk from the Plaza to the library and it was only 45 seconds. A hundred steps. Saying otherwise is dishonest,” Dufty said.

    No saying “a hundred steps” is a deliberately dissembling characterization and it’s patently offensive to dismiss the concerns of reasonable people in this manner.

    A “hundred steps” is 200 feet — which is half a City block — in the “long direction”.

    The bike racks should be directly adjacent to the BART station; that’s what every other reasonable jurisdiction would do — not half a block away based upon the petulant demands of the nativist mob.

    Dufty is simply caving to the mob.

    1. Ah, the YimbyTech developer has the same privileged views on for-profit corporate bike rentals as he does on MR housing. No surprise – the bike rental business was started by real estate developers to be a gentrification inducing amenity for real estate speculator profit and the Montreal study show that it work – they increase gentrification.

  3. I’m can’t really believe that blocking bike stations from the narrow strip down 24th Street has done anything to slow the gentrification of the neighborhood. Can you post a link to the Montreal study?

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