S.F.’s ‘Shared Spaces’ were a pandemic boon. Why do Valencia St. merchants want it canceled?

A group of merchants on San Francisco's Valencia Street abruptly canceled this weekend's Among them is Valencia Cyclery bike shop owner Paul Olszewski, who sent a mass email to his neighbors late Thursday. Yekutiel says he spearheaded Shared Spaces...

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Pokoparis
Pokoparis
134 · 2 months ago · Reddit

I honestly think it comes down to this.. I suspect a bunch of shop owners drive to their own shop for work and can’t imagine that most people also aren’t driving to get there.

mm825
mm825
76 · 2 months ago · Reddit

This guy owns a bike shop on valencia. He opposed bikes lanes long ago, opposed protected bike lanes on valencia and opposes slow streets. Just an all around idiot

operatorloathesome
operatorloathesome
34 · 2 months ago · Reddit

FTA

Valencia Street is among a handful of marquee corridors in San Francisco that have seen high-profile fights over whether to build protected bike lanes or purge cars from certain segments. The famed Mission District artery grabbed headlines two years ago, when then-SFMTA Board Chair Malcolm Heinicke proposed banning cars from Valencia. The big, splashy idea drew immediate pushback from business owners.

Olszewski, the owner of Valencia Cyclery, is often a figure in these fights, usually siding with the motorists that he considers an important customer base. In February 2020 he tried to torpedo plans for a barricaded bike lane that would remove roughly half the parking spaces on his block. The plan, rolled out right before COVID, never came to fruition. A different iteration is now in the works, with support from the merchants association.

On Friday, Olszewski said he believes most of the business owners near his shop agree that “it’s not such a good idea to close the street” to automobile traffic when it rains. He sees an opening for business owners to discuss how to handle Shared Spaces long term.

Cycling advocate Matthew Brezina, who lives near Valencia Street and frequently brings his family out to the car-free Shared Spaces promenades on Friday and Saturday nights, said he was not surprised to hear Olszewski had lobbied to have the event canceled this weekend.

“This is a few scrooge merchants,” Brezina said, contending that many shop owners benefit from having the streets closed to traffic. “Humans still need to go out in their communities when it’s raining,” he added.

giraffable99
giraffable99
16 · 2 months ago · Reddit

There is a giant city parking garage directly behind this shop.