S.F. Giants: Valet Bike Parking 81 Games Per Year
Barry Bonds may almost have the home run record, but the San Francisco Giants have another milestone that is much more admirable: the first to have a free, convienent, attended bike parking service at all 81 of their home games.
As part of an arrangement with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, you can bicycle to a Giants game at AT&T Park, check your bike with up to 200+ other fans, and go catch America's pastime. Kash, Valet Bike Parking Coordinator for SFBC, runs the operation and gives us the scoop. As you'll see, fans overwhelmingly endorse it.
A regulation passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1999 states all events incurring a street closure require monitored bicycle parking if the event anticipates 2000 or more participants. This only makes sense in a city like New York, too. Why not encourage something like this at Madison Square Garden, Yankee or Shea Stadium? Or at the very least, some quality racks in a secure, protected location.
Kash: [00:02] It’s bike parking. I mean it’s not bicycle science, it’s not hard. You sign the claim check, I give you the stub, at the end we switch, your bike is safe. That’s it.
Kash: [00:23] We’re doing over 100 bikes per game on average, maybe 180 day games. When the Giants were getting ready to build the stadium there was a lot of worry about traffic congestion. But they did such a good job bringing muni down to stadium, putting in the bike parking and hammering people with the idea that if you drive, you’ll be stuck in traffic, don’t do it.
Speaker: [00:47] It encourages me not to drive cos driving here would be a mess. This is definitely my preferred mode of transportation.
Speaker: [00:53] We’re season ticket holders so we come to a lot of games. But it also convinces us to come to concerts and other events that are down here too.
Speaker: [00:59] I think it’s the best thing ever, cos I was really shocked when I came down here and I’m looking for a place to lock my bike somewhere, and they provide free parking, and that is like A-1. Especially with the price of gas and everything, you could either walk or ride your bike round here. You know a lot of people do take public transportation.
Kash: [01:18] Unlike just about every other large gathering place in the US, over half the people who attend the Giants game do not drive here. That’s almost unheard of.
Speaker: [01:28] I was on my way home from work and thought I’d join this guy for a game and had my padlock without my u-lock so it’s really nice to be able to just drop the bike off and not have to worry about leaving it on the street.
Speaker: [01:38] I’ve been a season ticket holder for seven years now and it’s the only way I’ve ever gotten to the Giants game, which is by bicycle. It’s really the best way, save $20, put 20 years on your life.
Kash: [01:50] People hear by word of mouth or they walk by and they see it, and in fact most people are kind of leery so they have to walk by and check it out. And the big thing is, oh, wow, this is great, I expected just some racks or something. Cyclists are so used to dealing with scraps, and they’ve been that way for so long, that they’re shocked when they get anything that satisfies their needs.
Speaker: [02:12] It’d be great to see it up on the scoreboard once in a while. I think it’s fabulous, I use it every time I come out, which is probably 25 times a year, so it’s a great service. Everyone should use it.
I run the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s valet bike parking programme
which provides valet bike parking at major events around the city, concerts,
festivals, pretty much anywhere where people congregate. Some
of our bigger events we park six or eight hundred bikes at a time.
I mean I would like to see this happen everywhere, and not just baseball,
any major event. I mean bike parking makes sense.