The plan, approved 4 to 1, establishes four areas where bicyclists can leave their bikes as they stroll downtown. Last summer many bicyclists left their bikes haphazardly in parks or on sidewalks. The plan also calls for signs to remind bikers to ride single file and to not ride on sidewalks. City officials believe the moves will address 80 percent of the problems seen last year.
The bikers proved a boon for Sausalito, which recorded solid sales tax revenue last year despite the poor economy, but city officials are under pressure from residents to rein in the bikers.
"Hopefully we will have the ability to deal with them," Mayor Jonathan Leone said.
As the weather gets nicer and bikers arrive, this year's rental pace is already ahead of last year's, said Police Chief Scott Paulin, who is heading the city's efforts to address the issue.
"We want to get a ahead of this," Paulin said.
City officials have talked with representatives of three San Francisco bike rental companies - Blazing Saddles, Bay City Bike Rentals and Bike and Roll - to develop a plan.
The companies have provided the city with $8,000 worth of galvanized steel bike racks, adding 360 new spaces for bikes, bringing the total to 480 in Sausalito. The racks are now in place at El Portal and Tracy Way, at the ferry terminal; Tracy Way and Anchor Street; Anchor Street and Bridgeway, in front of the Bank of America; and at Humboldt Street and Spinnaker Drive, near Gabrielson Park.
But Councilwoman Linda Pfeiffer had issues with the ferry terminal and Bank of America sites, saying they clutter those areas.
"I'm concerned about aesthetics," said Pfeiffer, who ultimately voted against the plan.
The opposition drew a pointed response from Councilman Herb Weiner, who asked: "Where do you think we are going to put all these bicycles?"
Signs are also beginning to appear as part of the plan, although new poles will not be erected. Instead the 18- by 12-inch signs will go over outdated signs, be added to existing poles or be posted on trash cans. The bike rental companies also plan to print new material to give to bicyclists reminding them where to park bikes and of the rules of the road.
While there are laws governing bike riding on city streets, there are no such rules to require bikers to leave bikes in designated areas, city officials said.
"There may be a need for a local bike ordinance (to enforce the plan)," Pfeiffer said.
There is also hope the rental companies will provide workers during peak periods to help load bikes onto ferries, speeding the process.
Sausalito ferries were so overwhelmed by tourists on bikes last year that schedules were delayed, forcing evening commuters to wait up to an hour to get back to Marin.
Last summer, upward of 1,000 people would rent bikes in San Francisco, pedal over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito before riding a ferry back to San Francisco, bikes in tow.
During the past three years the number of bicycle rentals has doubled each year, officials say, causing some to dub them the locusts of the city.
Contact reporter Mark Prado at firstname.lastname@example.org