bike lanes

New Bike Lanes to Help Cyclists Crossing Muni Tracks Not Fall On Their Faces

Striking a blow to the schadenfreude of watching fellow cyclists eat it while biking across Muni tracks, SFMTA has decided to experiment with new bike lanes that cross 17th and Church's front wheel slip-n-slide:

The SFMTA added guidance markings this week to the intersection of 17th and Church Streets, where the 17th Street bike lane meets Muni’s F-Market and J-Church streetcar lines. Car parking spots near the corners were also removed to improve visibility and provide more room for cyclists to maneuver safely.

The dashed lines and sharrows direct cyclists to cross the tracks at nearly a perpendicular angle, which minimizes the risk that bike wheels will get caught in the track crevices — a common bicycling hazard in San Francisco. Similar treatments have been used in Seattle.

More pics of paint and people not falling over at Streetsblog.

Market Street Bike Lanes Getting Repaved This Month!

The notoriously bumpy, spine-jarring bike lane along Market Street that seemingly every bike commuter is forced to endure is finally getting repaved this month.  Here's what a press release from the SF Bike Coalition had to say about it:

We heard from many of you that Market Street pavement was your number one concern, so we made it our focus. SF Bicycle Coalition staff literally walked every block of Market with the DPW, pointing out the most unsafe areas for those of us biking. The initial repaving was a simple patch job over a few small areas, and after working with the City, we helped expand the repaving to 30 locations, and over 15,000 square feet of new pavement.

Repaving is scheduled for September 10-23, and work will happen at night to reduce disruptions to your commute. New pavement has already been laid down in a few locations, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the streets to make sure that all of those unsafe spots get fresh and smooth pavement.

Whew.  Thanks, SFBC!

(Now, if they could only do something to make all the wayward crackheads, pushers, and hustlers from jumping out in front of us…)

The Wiggle's Bike Lanes: Now With Wayfinding Sharrows

We've heard a bit about police getting a tad more harsh on cyclists in the Wiggle lately, so it's nice to see some positive change come to the meandering bike route.  Streetsblog reports:

Commuters on the Wiggle got a Bike to Work Day surprise this morning: green-backed sharrows guiding bicycle riders through the intersection of Steiner and Waller Streets.

The “sharrows were painted VERY early this morning and they are permanent,” says a post on the SFMTA’s Livable Streets Facebook page. Agency staff wrote that more will be added “as wayfinding guides all through the Wiggle” along each block and through other intersections in coming weeks.

Sure, the change is largely cosmetic and to the benefit of disoriented newcomers to the city, but change is change.  And change is good.

(Also, maybe motorists in the opposing lane won't seem so shocked and horrified when I make a left turn anymore because, you know, the road says it's okay.)

[Photo by Streetsblog]

Cesar Chavez Bike Lanes Canned

Looks like the bike lanes along Chavez that would have established a safe route from the Mission to the Dogpatch that everyone was so psyched about has been scrapped due to concerns about its impact on traffic. Mission Local reports:

The cause of the abrupt change of plan, said David Beaupre, planner for the Port of San Francisco, was lack of communication between groups working on different transportation plans for the city. […]

Removing one eastbound lane on Cesar Chavez and replacing it with a bike lane on each side of the street has been a part of MTA plans for Cesar Chavez since at least 2009. The plans themselves were the result of two years of collaboration between the San Francisco Planning Department, the SFTMA, Department of Public Works, the Public Utilities Commission, and multiple community groups.

But, said Beaupre, when the Cesar Chavez redesign was being planned by the MTA, the Planning Department’s visions for Cesar Chavez were not taken into account. Although the two agencies have been in talks for many months now, it was only recently that the MTA abandoned the bike lane plan as it stands now. […]
Turning an eastbound lane of an already narrow and busy street could lead to 1,200 to 1,500 foot-long columns of idling trucks, said James Shahamiri, an assistant engineer for the MTA. A number of businesses in the area had expressed concern about the lanes impacts on the flow of goods, he added. Belatedly, the MTA realized that their project was not being real consistent with the Planning Department’s  goals, he said.

Read on.

Help Bring Bike Lanes to Folsom St.

If you're anything like me, you only ride Folsom when coming back from SOMA, even though it's fairly sketch riding compared to Harrison.  Well, it looks like our days of having to go an entire block out of the way for safe riding might be numbered.  Reader Brian C. hips us to the SFMTA Public Hearing happening TODAY at 10am to establish more bike lanes in the Mission:

I noticed one of those “SFMTA Public Hearing” notices near my house at 24th and Folsom today, and the item that caught my eye was:


Folsom Street, northbound, 14th Street to 24th Street
Folsom Street, southbound, 13th Street to 24th Street”

I hadn't heard anything about this until I saw the sign, but that would be pretty great for the cyclists in the neighborhood. So the hearing is Friday, Feb 4, at 10 am, in Room 416 of City Hall. We should really get people out there to support this, because almost certainly there will be car/NIMBY types there to try to shoot it down.

Not only will you be able to ride your bike all the way from Philz to the Embarcadero without having to make a turn, but they are also planning other pedestrian-friendly improvements to Folsom such as additional “bus zones” and sidewalk extensions.  So give your boss a good excuse to skip work and head over to City Hall in a few hours to slap down those NIMBY's, fulfill your civic duty AND spend the rest of the afternoon at Dolores Park.

(photo by ravengirl1220 | PSA - Don't search for “Folsom” on Flickr unless you're ready for your screen to fill up with hella naked man.)