Tell the State Health Officer that Bike Repair Shops Are Essential

Bike repair shops are essential services

Bike Repair Shops Provide Essential Services

Add your name to our letter requesting the state Public Health Officer to clarify the stay-at-home order so that bike repair shops may stay open. Californians need bike repair to conduct essential travel in a safe manner and to support physical and mental health during this difficult time. The full text of the letter is below the petition.

Keep bike repair shops open

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Sign-on letter to the state health officer:

March 20, 2020

Sonia Y. Angell, MD, MPH
Director, California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer

Dear Dr. Angell:

We are writing to request clarification of the stay-at-home order N-33-20 to specify that bike shops and mobile bicycle repair services are essential businesses. 

We are grateful for yours and the Governor’s leadership in getting Californians to self-isolate and prevent the deadly spread of COVID19. We have supported that order, including by advising bike clubs to cancel organized rides because we believe that social distancing will be difficult among such groups. 

However, solo bicycling is a permitted “outdoor activity” and incredibly valuable for mental and physical health. It is a lifeline for those who don’t own a car and should not take transit yet need to travel for work in an essential industry. Therefore, it is imperative that bike repair services remain open in order to service this transportation resource. 

In response to significant confusion and concern, Mayors London Breed of San Francisco and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles have each clarified that bike shops perform essential transportation services. In San Francisco, “bicycle repair shops and mobile bicycle repair companies“ are considered essential, while “social distancing and consistent cleaning requirements continue to be required.” In the City of Los Angeles, “bicycle repair shops” are listed along with auto service stations and related facilities as exempt from the “safe at home” order. The Counties of Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Sonoma have also declared that bike shops are essential businesses. 

It will be extremely helpful to have clarification and consistency at the state level. As it stands, Executive Order N-33-20 refers to federally designated essential industries including “transportation infrastructure” but bicycle repair is not included in the definition of “transportation infrastructure.” California should declare that bicycle repair shops and mobile bicycle repair operations are essential businesses that may remain open, provided they follow social distancing guidelines, in order to allow for the on-going maintenance of bikes. 

Bicycling is a safe mode of travel in a pandemic and should be supported as a means of essential travel. Please clarify that the state’s stay-at-home order exempts bike repair shops as essential industries during this time. 

Thank you, again, for your leadership in these difficult times. 

Sincerely,

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Central Valley Bikeways Project - Bakersfield

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