Creating and testing ideas for new public spaces in San Francisco.

Portable Bicycle Corral

Portable Bicycle Corral / Image by Sergio Ruiz (SPUR)
Location: Various Locations throughout the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District
Launched: December 2013
Detail Design and Fabrication: Noah Brezel, Spoke Systems
Concept Design: Kevin Capo, Marissa Gurevitz, and Jill McDonald


Adequate bicycle parking can be a challenge to create in downtown San Francisco, especially during large cultural events and festivals. Space for bicycle racks can be extremely limited on sidewalks, which must carry high volumes of pedestrian traffic while serving a numerous other demands. There are also few viable places for permanent onstreet bicycle corrals, which are groups of about eight bicycle racks placed in the roadway in the place of a curbside parking space.

In order to test solutions for bicycle parking needs downtown, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD), San Francisco Planning and Research Association (SPUR), and Pavement to Parks sponsored a student competition in Spring 2013 to design a portable on-street bike corral. This concept blends the traditional onstreet bike corral idea with mobile openspace infrastructure like the Parkmobiles which are deployed throughout downtown San Francisco. The design guidelines required the unit to be easily deployed in the parking lane when needed; moved by 1-2 people, secure, easily compressed, visually engaging, and easy to use by cyclists.

“Our goal was to tap into the creativity of design students to provide us with unique ideas that reflect the creativity of our neighborhood. And they succeeded with flying colors,” said Cathy Maupin, YBCBD executive director. “This is another element of our Street Life plan of more than 30 projects that we’d like to implement over the next decade to improve our neighborhood.”

Student design teams from the Bay Area and from many other countries including Slovenia, Spain, India, and Iran participated in the competition, submitting over thirty entries. All team entries were presented at an exhibition at the San Francisco Planning and Research Association (SPUR) from May 21-31 2013. The winning team ‘Pedalution’ (Kevin Capo, Marissa Gurevitz, and Jill McDonald) received a cash prize and the opportunity to work with Spoke Systems, a local design-build firm, to fabricate a prototype. In addition to the winner, the finalists included two other teams from the Academy of Art University, UC Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, and San Jose State University. The judging panel included representatives from the YBCBD, neighborhood residents, local nonprofits and city agencies with experience in engineering, art, architecture and transportation.

“All of the designs were beautiful, versatile and compressible,” said Leah Shahum, executive director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and jury member. “The portable corral is an innovative way to meet the ever growing demand for more bike parking in the Yerba Buena neighborhood. We commend YBCBD for once again creating smart ways to solve real neighborhood problems.


The prototype was fabricated in San Francisco by Noah Brezel of Spoke Systems. Taking the concept submitted by the student design team, Brezel fleshed out mechanical and functional details by using scale models, mockups and other techniques in his shop. Brezel created construction documents for the design and oversaw its assembly and finishing.


The prototype was unveiled in December 2013 and is available for borrowing on an per-event basis. If you are interested in borrowing the Portable Bicycle Corral, please contact the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.



Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and San Francisco Pavement to Parks


Community Partners: Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD), the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR)



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