Thursday, June 7, 2012

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Law

BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - June 7, 2012

Your BOMA Advocacy Team held a conference call with the staff of the San Francisco Department of Environment (DOE), the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Supervisor John Avalos' office this afternoon.  The purpose of the call was to discuss the development of the Bicycle Access Plan (BAP) as required by the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Law and clarifications to DOE guidelines.  BOMA thanks all of the stakeholders for their time today.

Once the BAP has been approved by the DOE, your BOMA Advocacy Team will publish it on the blog, the website and our social media channels for you to fill out and distribute to your tenants.   At that time, we will also include instructions  on notifying your tenants of this new law and the availability of the BAP.

Supervisor Avalos is planning to introduce follow-up legislation to amend language in the current law.  Specifically, references to planning code sections that will be updated by the Planning Department this year and to remove references to subtenants - all stakeholders have agreed that this legislation is intended for only commercial building tenants of record that request bicycle parking.

We published the 'next steps' for BOMA members, below, on the blog recently.  Please take a moment to re-review this information as some of it has been updated:

What are the next steps for BOMA San Francisco Members?

Please click here to access a FAQ sheet to review what this ordinance now requires of commercial building owners and managers.  BOMA members (and non-BOMA members) will, at a tenant’s request, now have to:
  • Allow bicycles to be brought into the tenant space/or into a bike room on site for tenant employees only.
    • A building owner and manager will have to allow bicycles in the building without restriction (e.g., no prescription on path of travel, elevator use), but if they choose to restrict full access in anyway, they must fill out a Bicycle Access Plan (BAP)  provided by San Francisco Department of Environment. The form does not have to be submitted to the City. NOTE: as previously mentioned, the San Francisco Department of Environment is currently developing the BAP. 
      • For example, if a building owner and manager chooses to restrict bicycle access to a secure bike room they must detail the location of the parking area and access to it in a BAP.
  • OR a building owner and manager can fully restrict bicycle access to the building based specific exceptions as detailed in the new law.  
    • If the building owner wants to file an exception to bicycle access to the building, there are two allowable exceptions in the law: 1) building elevators not available due to unique safety risks or 2) alternate no-cost secure parking is available within a prescribed distance.  More details in the ordinance. 
    • The Department of Environment will have to review and approve an exception application based on recommendation from - referencing the aforementioned exceptions - 1) The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) OR 2) the San Francisco Municipal Transpiration Agency. 
      • NOTE: There may be a fee for the SFDBI to conduct an inspection assessed the building owner or manager requesting the exemption.  
The new law does not require building owners to build a bike room or dedicate a specific space for bicycle parking. It allows the tenant’s employees to bring their bikes inside their rented space or provide an alternative.  If a building owner chooses to build a bike room, this legislation does not prohibit charging a reasonable fee for use.

If you have any questions please contact John Bozeman at or (415) 686-9652 x 116.  Our Department of Environment partners can be reached at (415) 355-3727 or

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