Big Chron Gets It Right

Update: Biking on Valencia Is Still Kinda Not Great

As most Mission cyclists have known for years, riding along Valencia at rush hour is the real life cycling equivalent of Frogger.  The only way not to get doored, squished, swiped, or furious at everything is to just forgo the bike lane entirely and just take the lane.  It's a bummer experience that usually leaves motorists hostile over the perception we're slowing them down, but it's better than the alternative mouth full of blood and bill for a new front wheel.

Fortunately for us, the usually cycling-adverse watchdogs over at The Chronicle are now on the case:

[Cyclists] feel that heightened enforcement, especially during the evening hours, could help send the message that cars and bikes need to share the road and make all parties more aware of each other.

“I don't think they're doing enough to protect cyclists,” said Walsh, the registered nurse. “Why don't they hang a sign on every stoplight telling drivers to share the lane?”

Leaders of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said they hope eventually to have separated bikeways on Valencia like the city already has in Golden Gate Park and is establishing along Fell and Oak streets.

“Simple white posts are really easy for the city to install,” said Leah Shahum, the bicycle coalition's executive director. “Anything to have full separation between moving car traffic. We hear anecdotally from folks it's a big difference.”

Separated bike lanes sure do sound great, but hopefully they are more of a Manhattan-style separated lane through the middle of traffic, rather than Golden Gate Park's that put us between the curb and row of parked cars (because, between aloof pedestrians, opening doors with no way to dodge them, slow cyclists you cannot get around, and sketchy navigation of stop signs, those lanes on Valencia would be a total disaster).

For more on the subject, see Stanley Roberts' always delightful People Behaving Badly segment on the topic, which coincidentally aired a few weeks ago: