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Sales Increase on Valencia Street Despite Controversial Bike Lane



Sales Increase On Valencia Street Despite Controversial Bike Lane

Sales tax revenue along Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco has shown an upward trend, despite ongoing concerns raised by local businesses regarding the controversial center bike lane. According to data sourced from the San Francisco Controller’s Office, sales tax revenue in the months of July, August, and September 2023 increased by 3.2 percent compared to the same period in 2022. This significant boost in revenue highlights Valencia Street’s position as a thriving business hub.

The construction of the bike lane, which commenced in April and opened to the public in August, has been met with mixed responses from businesses and the surrounding community. However, the data suggests that businesses along Valencia Street experienced higher sales compared to the previous year during the same period. In contrast, sales tax revenue along the identical stretch of Mission Street dropped by 0.9 percent. For the entire 94110 zip code, overall sales tax revenue declined by 1.9 percent.

The pilot bike lane project on Valencia Street has been a topic of controversy since its inception, with some local merchants expressing dissatisfaction with decreased parking availability and concerns over traffic disruptions. However, the sales tax data indicates a positive impact on business activity along Valencia Street.

While some merchants, such as Sean Quigley, the owner of Paxton Gate, noted that they did not observe any significant changes in sales following the bike lane implementation, the overall sales for the year showed a decline of 13 to 15 percent month over month. Quigley speculates that other factors may be contributing to this decline, suggesting that the introduction of the bike lane is not the sole culprit. This assertion aligns with the sales tax data, reflecting a decline in sales throughout the zip code.

These findings echo a previous report by Mission Local, which examined the economic impact of the bike lane. The data collected from April to June of the previous year, during the construction phase of the bike lane, revealed a 6 percent decrease in sales tax revenue, countering claims made by some businesses of a 30 to 40 percent decline. The newly released data provides further evidence of the bike lane’s positive influence, encompassing the months of July through August.

Rachel Adams

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