The owner of Valencia Street art gallery Rossi and Mediterranean restaurant Yasmin has declared a hunger strike to protest the center-running bike lane on that corridor, and his graffiti declaration is quite a mouthful.

Valencia Street small business owners have been bellyaching about that street’s unconventional center-running bike lane since it was completed last summer. Now one of those small business owners is taking his bellyaching to the most literal level possible.

KGO reports that Eiad Eltawil, owner of Rossi Mission SF Gallery and the Mediterranean restaurant Yasmin, has declared a 30-day hunger strike to protest the new bike lane. And he declared this in a rather lengthy graffiti rant posted on the parklet outside Rossi, which was still up as of 3 pm Friday.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

The graffiti reads in run-on sentence fashion, “Eiad, the owner of Rossi & Yasmin, is commiting to a 30 day hunger strike starting April 7 to protest the unfair, racist, & Islamophobic policies enacted on his businesses by the mayor’s office, the MTA, & the Valencia Street Merchants Association. Free Palestine.”

There are certainly some legitimate criticisms of the center-running bike lane, bit “racist, & Islamophobic” seems a stretch. Moreover, the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association, to whom he is presumably referring, actually opposes the bike lane.

“This is my last resort,” Eltawil told KGO. “I don't know how long I can go. I got a lot of loans. I'm in debt and I just want to fight before I go away."

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

That report notes that Eltawil built an “an unpermitted parklet,” which still sits outside that Valencia and 19th streets shop today. Both Rossi and Yasmin also have signage in their windows protesting the bike lane.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

And both businesses filed legal claims against the city over the bike lane in February. Per KGO, attorney Nile Vignoles said in the complaint that the bike lane “violates not only our clients' civil rights but also the city's charter which mandates that the city protect the economic welfare of its business. The center bike lane has been a catastrophic failure to the businesses on Valencia Street.”

But if Eltawil is hoping to change a city department's decision with a hunger strike, he probably picked the wrong agency. Honestly, have you seen how long it takes for the SFMTA to make a decision on anything?

Related: SFMTA Claims New Valencia Bike Lane Is Safer, But They Might Bow to Pressure and Redesign It Anyway [SFist]

Images: Joe Kukura