San Francisco May Legalize Storing Bicycles in Garages


Between this and drug legalization, it’s a banner year for legalizing things. But we live in a strange liberal system where drugs are legalized while plastic bags are banned.

Or maybe that’s just California.

Kimberly Conley and Amandeep Jawa don’t have a car, so they use their Mission District garage to store their bicycles – in direct violation of San Francisco law.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Mark Farrell will propose a measure to scrap the garage code – but he’s not stopping there. This new year, Farrell has resolved to use that website,, to clear any unnecessary laws from San Francisco’s books and to tweak laws that need updating.

“We want to make sure that as technology evolves, people’s lives evolve with that technology,” he said. “We are presenting an opportunity for people to engage with city government in a way that works for them.”

Plastic bags however are still banned in San Francisco. Any chance of clearing that insane and unnecessary law from the books?

In the latest legal setback for plastic-bag makers, a state appeals court has issued a ruling upholding San Francisco’s ban on single-use plastic bags as a precedent for future cases. The coalition argued that paper bags take more energy to produce than plastic, leading to an increase in greenhouse gases, and also occupy more space in landfills.

Environmentalism sure is a strange and contradictory ideology.

  • john spielman

    ok, but what was the reason for banning bicycles in garages in the first place?

    • defcon 4

      Really, I’d like to be reading what rationale there was behind this as well. Maybe it’s so people won’t be tempted to park even more cars on the streets of San Francisco — which I heard has a parking problem unlike anything seen anywhere else in CA.

      • objectivefactsmatter


  • Veracious_one

    what idiot outlawed bikes in garages?

    • A Z

      Some idiot(s) between 1989 to 1995 outlawed storing anything but a car in a garage.

      When a village becomes a city, maybe the village idiots get elected to city council.



    • blert

      This twist is due to the fact that some citizens were using their (rare) garage space to start up new businesses, even retailing from their garage. If you knew what the businesses were paying in property taxes you’d understand their screaming. Further, garages were not assessed property taxation (per sq foot) even up to ‘living space’ rates.

      Then, throw in some embarrassing fires in the Mission District. (Chronic — going back a full century.) This regulation proved handy to get the bums out of SF — and to gentrify the Mission. (District) Now that the micro-firms are gone, it’s safe to use bikes again.

      BTW, for Americans elsewhere, SF is DRASTICALLY under-garaged. Major sections of the city were built before the automobile — and on rock or tough ground. (One notable location was, and is, an ex-quarry!)
      So, during the housing boom, the BIG thing in SF was jacking up the Victorian to install a squeeze-fit custom garage underneath.
      Lastly, no-one uses a bike in old SF. It’s strictly a Mission District and such thing. Classic SF is as steep as down-town Seattle. Brutal.

      And, for your historical amusement: Prohibition Era speakeasies were commonly ‘underbuilt’ when the new-fangled garages were errected. These would be ‘retail’ speaks that catered only to the locals — so as to not raise attention. A garage ‘cap’ was used because of its low loading — and because the entire affair could be pulled off without a building inspection. (No water, no power, no-one sleeping, no hearth,… such out-buildings get away with murder even now.)

      • Tim N

        Thank you for replying with a reasonable answer to explain the rationale behind an apparently moronic law.
        Other parts of the country have them too. Some time back there was a guy in (if memory serves me) Georgia who was doing time in prison for having oral sex *with his wife* (This indelicate disclosure apparently came up during a divorce hearing and landed him in jail). If anyone has a good explanation for that I’m all ears.
        There are plenty of antiquated, stupid and bizarre laws on the books all over. I suppose a lot are just unenforced but why have them at all?

      • A Z

        And blert delivers again!

      • Tim N

        Thanks for an informed and articulate insight. It’s easy to pick up something like this with no context and make a sport of it. Your comments clarified the issue a lot.

  • darnellecheri

    I live in the Southern part of CA, and believe me, “we” can’t even comprehend the North.

    • Tim N

      Gee thanks for shoveling in the Norcal/Socal antagonism. We have San Francisco of course. Then again you have Hollywood.. The rest of the country already hates California. Why backbite each other?

    • Fedallah

      Los Angeles makes San Francisco look normal and sane. The most dysfunctional liberal sewer in the US with a government to the left of Venezuela

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Berkeley is worse, but they’re very close physically and politically.

  • A Z

    Bikes were invented before cars. If a person wasn’t walking riding a horse. traveling in a train carriage or trolley, I assume that some of them were riding a bike to work or around town. I assume they kept the bike out of the elements when not in use in a shed or a garage. Those are just assumptions I am making and maybe I am stupid and (x)or the San Francisco city council is the brain trust of the world.

  • A Z

    It is sad when you need a website dedicated to explaining laws passed by a city council.


    San Francisco Decoded
    Accessible, User - Friendly Law for All People

  • Anthony J. Alfidi

    In San Francisco, stupid people are the problem. Genius is the solution.

  • pupsncats

    As with all inventions, at some point in the future, the things touted today as safe and healthy will be banned because there are always those who make money, have a time of fame, or simply don’t like something that rise up against that which is.

  • carltjohnson

    Humanoids do the strangest things and this one takes the cake!
    Illegal to store your bike in a garage??? WTF?!?>!?!?!?!
    2, It is a fact that paper bags are biodegradable and plastic is not.
    3, AND further more…they are gona wish that so called “Greenhouse gasses” actually did warm our climate because our current global, solar and sociological patterns show that indeed, HELL will eventually freeze over!