San Francisco Business Owner Starts Hunger Strike to Protest Controversial New Bike Lane

By Jace Dela Cruz

Apr 15, 2024 03:37 AM EDT

business owner in San Francisco has embarked on a hunger strike to bring attention to a new bike lane on Valencia Street, which he believes will negatively affect business operations along the corridor. 

Bridge Bike Lane

(Photo : Silviu on the street from Pixabay)

San Francisco Business Owner Starts a 30-Day Hunger Strike

According to NBC News, Eiad Eltawil, owner of Yasmin Restaurant and Rossi Mission SF, has committed to a 30-day hunger strike to raise awareness of the consequences of installing the bike lane.

Eltawil said he would only consume water and sometimes juice. He expressed dissatisfaction with the bike lane, which resulted in removing 79 parking spots and transforming the area into a commercial zone.

He noted that the lane, part of a pilot project to protect cyclists, also resulted in a decline in customers due to limited parking availability, leading to significant business losses.

"There is no more customer that want to come here because there is no parking. Customer sit outside and ask me what to do, and it is very frustrating. So there is a huge loss of business because of this bike lane," Eltawil said, as NBC Bay Area reported.

He also lamented that efforts to communicate with city authorities had yielded little progress. According to Eltawil, he witnessed negative changes along the corridor, including the closure of five businesses last week.

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San Francisco New Bike Lane Prompts Mixed Reactions

The bike lanes, positioned in the center of the street while cars use the outer lanes, have prompted mixed reactions from cyclists. While some find them beneficial and safer, others have also expressed dissatisfaction.

David Quinby told NBC Bay Area that he had to close his venue in November, though it was hard to tell how much the bike lanes contributed to this. Eltawil remains resolute in his demand to remove the bike lane, urging the city to reconsider and explore alternative solutions.

In response, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency noted that it is engaging with business owners on Valencia Street and committed to finding solutions to protect both businesses and bicyclists on the corridor.

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