Well there I was looking for four Norwegian gals, trying to find Dow Alley without Google Maps (not functioning due to its monomaniacal obsession with upgrading the software on my so-called smart phone) and I stumbled upon the biggest motorcycle free parking lot that’s anywhere close to Union Square. I’m all like, why aren’t there meters for all the bikes here?
Anywho, take a gander, on the MapJack (as the view from Google StreetView was just too hard to figure out). It’s like a motorcycle showroom just out the back door of the ThirstyBear Restaurant and Brewery (ask about their Great Recesssion lunch specials).
See? On the sidewalk, in marked spaces, unmarked spaces, both sides of the street, not a ticket in sight (uh oh, see the comments, but still…) - it’s Biker’s Heaven. Click to expand:
How on Earth did the City neglect to meterize this lane when rates have gone up 180% (that’s $100 extra per month for a typical biker, and the SFMTA wanted to raise rates higher) so far this year?
Leave us travel back to 2004, when the towaway signs got took down and unmetered parking began:
“TOW-AWAY, NO STOPPING ANYTIME – RESCIND
UNMETERED MOTORCYCLE PARKING – ESTABLISH
Kaplan Lane, east side, from Clementina Street to the northern terminus.”
See that? The MUNI people, the people so rich they could afford to run CultureBuses all over town pretty much completely empty for months and months just for their own pride, actually turned down a chance to raise revenue. It’s amazing. It’s like a trip back in time when you take Clementina off of third to encounter The Alley of Free Parking.
So spread the word to all your two-wheeled buddies. Hurray!
Oh, wait a second, some of the hundreds of riders who regularly use Kaplan to Stick It To The Man want to keep things a secret. For example, Mark W. says:
So let’s keep things on the low down. This is a secret worth keeping, despite the occasional hit-and-run chain reaction accident. Of course, there are other places to park for free in San Francisco, but they’re not all hidden away like Kaplan.
So, this is how it’ll be. When I see you carrying your helmet at the Gold Club or the Metreon, I’ll just offer my knuckles for your knocking and we’ll both say, in unison: “Kaplan, baby!”
Let’s let Yelp‘s Rachel S. make the final pitch:
“*a*b*u*n*d*a*n*t* motorcycle parking that’s strides away from Moscone center, Yerba Beuna Gardens and SFMOMA. Tiny note that’s, y’know, likely of little interest… it’s free. Gratis. No cuesta nada. Really. And what’s more, it’s safe at most all hours in my experience. Which sort’ve stands to reason given the surrounding businesses: the early-morning dark is monitored by the Starbucks’ clientele, the late-evening hours are overseen by Thirsty Bear’s patrons. Plus, the walk from your parked bike back to the real world is through either an architecturally rich alleyway or a sculpture garden, depending on which direction you’re headed. Win all around.”
See you there!
Kaplan Lane is in my ears and in my eyes/
There beneath the gray-ish urban skies