When he’s not fomenting insurrection, agitating for territorial autonomy, or weaponizing Mexican food, Burrito Justice, the rebel Spokeblogger for the La Lenguan people of the Bernal flatlands, also likes to dabble in cartography and map-making.
Last week,Burrito Justice applied those skils to analyze the controversial new bike share station on 29th Street (which just happens to be around the corner from his secret command post). Today, by permission — and in the spirit of science —Bernalwood shares this communique from Burrito Justice:
Before I rode my bike to work, I used to think people who biked, even from La Lengua to Civic Center, were CRAZYTOWN. Now, well, I think they are less crazy. I can bike downtown faster than via transit, and often driving.
It’s pretty hard to get sense of how long it takes to ride places. How long does it take to bike a mile? Two miles? A half mile? I ride every day, and I still don’t have a great feel for distance. Anyway, there is one way to solve this: MAPS. (Shocking I know).
There are these cool things called isochrones, which show travel distances of equal time as lines (thank the ancient Greeks, iso = equal, chronos = time). I happen to work for a mapping company that has an isochrone service, and now I know how to make these things.
Here’s a map showing 5, 10, 15 and 20 minute bike isochrones from La Lengua:
These isochrones take into account hills, prefer bike lanes, and use a relatively moderate biking speed. Actual travel times might be a little slower or faster for some folks, but this gives a pretty reasonable indication of how far you can get on a bike across town.
You can get surprisingly far in just 5 or 10 minutes (the two darkest blue rings).
Speaking of bike lanes, it’s always nice to see where it’s safe/less dangerous to bike. It just so happens I have the technology to put bike lanes into this map.
Green indicates protected bike lanes, while orange are OK bike lanes based on a bunch of different parameters (bike infrastructure, road type, etc). Here’s the key:
While I love to walk, it’s a haul. Here are 5/10/15/20 minute walking isochrones for La Lengua. (No wonder I never go to Noe Valley OMG SO FAR. And no wonder I rarely see the Valley People in La Lengua — you might as well need a visa.)
OK this may shock you, but I made a GIF of walking vs biking isochrones (the same shades of blue indicate 5, 10, 15, 20 min travel time whether by bike or by foot):
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that they’re expanding bike share stations throughout the Mission and La Lengua (sorry Bernal). While you think that this would be celebrated, there are… opinions. These involve parking spots (shocking) and gentrification (shocking). But just look at how many bikeshare stations (pink circles) you can get to in five or ten or 15 minutes!
And guess what — you can bike TO La Lengua! (Oh man, biking from 24th St. BART to the 29th St bikeshare station, that will be sweet.)
While it may take some effort to realize that biking is a possibility, don’t stress about the bikeshare stations! They let you get places fast, and they let people get HERE easily. Here’s a quick map of just some of the restaurants, bars and businesses that are within 200 yards from the bikeshare station on 29th and Tiffany:
Wwe have a pretty sweet little commercial corridor along 29th and on Mission in La Lengua, and you can look at these isochrones the other way around — folks who might never walk over can bike here in 5 or 10 minutes and enjoy our superior food and drinking and shopping establishments such as Rock Bar, The Front Porch, Good Frickin Chicken, PizzaHacker, Fumi Curry, Ichi Sushi, Coco Ramen, Old Bus Tavern, Mitchell’s, Iron & Gold, Los Panchos, Royal Cuckoo, Secession, and many, many more. And won’t have to worry about parking.
You can drill into a dynamic slippy map here (work in progress!) Drop me a line if you want me to show you how to make isochrones from your neighborhood or business district.
15 thoughts on “Rebel Cartographer Burrito Justice Analyzes New 29th Street Bike Share Station”
There is also another station on 30th just east of San Jose. I first noticed it on Sunday evening.
As I walked by the station on 30th at San Jose, EVERY SINGLE BIKE was gone.
While [some] people in comment sections are complaining about these bikes, they are definitely being used by others!
that is awsome!!!! thanks so much for this. i might start biking more!
Do these maps take into consideration the scores of double parkers created by the bicycles?
Please explain the mechanism by which this bike rack retroactively created double parking which has occurred for years prior to its arrival?
Every time i get held up by a double parked a-hole i will remind myself to cut them slack as they are probably bring forced into it by a bike rack
Double parking is not an inevitable thing, it’s a convenience-based behavior that drivers have to take responsibility for. Just yesterday, I was biking on Folsom, and had to veer around a car that was double parked…next to an empty spot at the curb. I frequently see drivers double park when there are passenger loading zones available, driveways, open loading zones, etc. They just don’t want to do the bit of extra work involved in pulling out of the car lane fully.
What I love about this is that it demonstrates a couple of reasons for 29th and Tiffany being the best spot for a station in that immediate neighborhood: Tiffany is the “bike friendly minor road” marked in the bike lane map above, which really is the best/safest route for almost every cyclist traveling through/to/from La Lengua.
First, there are businesses that will benefit! While we might think of Mission St. as being the center of all the action in La Lengua, 29th St. has a good share of it, too, and having a bike share station there will draw people down that street, with some discovering those local businesses that are off the main drag.
Second, there are no better choices, and the other options are all significantly worse. You can’t move the station to Mission and 29th or 30th, since Mission is a busy street with no bike lanes (try getting those through our fierce neighborhood parking and automobile defenders). San Jose could work, but would lose a lot of the business/foot traffic proximity that you get on 29th (and would move perhaps just a little too far from Mission). Where else can it go? The Safeway parking lot? I bike through that twice daily, but I can’t imagine that Safeway is up for making that “route” any more official than it already is. I’d like to see stations head up Cortland, and maybe the corner of Cortland and Mission could work, but again, it’s hard to stick a bunch of bikes on that corner without some street support in the form of bike lanes. As it is, I avoid that intersection and instead use Virginia and Coleridge, like almost every other cyclist heading up/down Cortland. Perhaps a station could go on Virginia, but then you’re losing all the folks who just want to go to La Lengua and not head up the hill at all.
I’m sure that the multiple meetings, task forces, committees, consultants, and public commenters went through the same thought process and realized that there was a very good reason to stick the station on that corner. Yes, it increases the use of the corner and takes away a couple of parking spaces. Yes, the corner has a lot of double–parkers for the UPS store and the USPS office (not to mention the Cavier delivery folks in and out of Front Porch no doubt). But blaming that on the bikes is absurd.
Learn to live with this, folks. My bet is that we all fall in love with these things once we get more used to them.
Yes, the Safeway parking lot would be ideal for a bike rental station. But of course this Safeway is not “up to” anything 21st century… not even a semi-civilized shopping experience.
The Chinese are coming. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-exports-its-bike-sharing-revolution-to-the-us-and-the-world/2017/08/31/474c822a-87f4-11e7-9ce7-9e175d8953fa_story.html?utm_term=.fcf603f7926a&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1
Great flip of the argument ==> folks who might never walk over can bike here in 5 or 10 minutes and enjoy our superior food and drinking and shopping
This! Once the BART stations go in, 29th is a natural destination for folks interested in good food!
Yes… and after dinner they can hop on a bike with a full stomach and several shopping bags to carry on the back of the bike where their kids are riding with them to pick up their other kid at her playdate, then stop for a prescription and then home.
To me, this is a “yes/and” situation rather than “either/or.” There will always be people who can’t or won’t use the bike stations (age, lifestyle, confidence level on a bike, etc.), but there are plenty of folks who can and do use them. Each camp has their reasons for using/not using the bike stations, which are valid. Each camp may be negatively impacted by the other’s perspective, but not so much that they can’t coexist. I probably will never use the bike stations (I’m 66 years old and just not that confident on biking in the City, so I’d rather walk or take MUNI if I’m not in my car) but I support those that do and am not bothered by the reduced parking they have caused. I just walk or take the bus if I don’t think I can park where I’m headed.
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