Businesses in SF's Mission file legal claims over Valencia St. center bike lane

Several business owners in San Francisco's Mission District filed legal claims with the city on Tuesday, saying a center bike lane on Valencia Street as led to a drop in customers - or entire shop closures.

"This has been a project that has, for lack of better words, failed, spectacularly, said Kevin Ortiz, a community organizer and co-president of SF Latinx Democratic Club. "We've seen businesses closing and folks that are losing their ability to have their own livelihoods."

David Quinby owned Amado's, a live music bar at 21st and Valencia, but it closed in November - he says, because the two-way, protected bike lane installed by Muni last summer ate up parking spaces for customers. 

"SFMTA leadership have been behaving as if the citizens of San Francisco work for them," Quinby said. "I have lost my business, and dozens of other small-business owners have either already been forced to shut down or on the verge of losing everything."

Attorney Niall Vignoles said he wants the city to remove the bike lane and compensate businesses for lost income.

"We contend that the city would not have built the center bike lane here if the Valencia Street neighborhood did not have a high proportion of people of color residing here," Vignoles said.

Business owners made their announcement at Rossi Mission, an art gallery at 19th and Valencia. 

The city says it's reviewing the claims filed by the businesses and will respond in the appropriate timeframe. 

In a statement, Muni said it's working to address merchants' concerns and has taken 58 of the 71 parking spaces the agency had converted into loading zones and turned them back into public parking after 6 p.m.

 "Valencia is a vibrant corridor that we all love, and we're partnering closely to make it a place where people can bike safely and local businesses can thrive," Muni said in its statement. "The street was not safe for people biking, so we had to act. At the same time, our success must include the success of this beloved destination merchant corridor."

KTVU caught up with bicyclist Ross Rudolph as he rode in the Valencia bike lane in the rain. 

He said he shops at stores and doesn't just pedal past.

"It makes me want to be around the street a lot more and be around their business," Rudolph said.

 He said the old bike lanes at curbside were dangerous.

"It was chaotic. It was hell, because the cars will pull right into people," Rudolph said. "Yeah, it was a nightmare."

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and


New bike lane blamed for drop in business along popular SF Mission corridor

The owner of a small business on Valencia Street is blaming a new center bike lane for its demise and now other business owners in San Francisco's Mission District are letting city leaders know they oppose the lane.