Letter from a friend about the latest plan to replace a major traffic lane with a bike lane. This time the victims are Oak and Fell streets.
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
SFMTA is considering implementing bike lanes on Fell and Oak along the Panhandle, from Baker through Stanyan. Attached is a feasibility study contained in a final memorandum dated August 22, 2016 from MTA.
The proposal includes:
· Moving the parking lanes on the South side of Fell and the North side of Oak away from the Panhandle, and installing one-way bike lanes. The parking lanes would “float” away from the curb, like those on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park; people parking wouldn’t have a curb to guide them.
· Reducing the number of vehicular travel lanes on Fell and Oak from four to three.
· Bicyclists in the bike lanes wouldn’t be required to stop for red lights at the intersections of Lyon, Central, Ashbury, Clayton, Cole and Shrader – pedestrians crossing Fell and Oak couldn’t rely on the red lights but would have to make sure no cyclist is coming. Indeed, the ability of cyclists to go fast and not have to stop at traffic signals would be a major attraction of the bike lanes. (See page 12.)
· Around 75 of 280 parking spaces on the South side of Fell and North side of Oak along the Panhandle would be removed. (This would be in addition to the parking spaces being lost on Masonic due to the Masonic project, and those lost in the neighborhood for corporate shuttle buses and car sharing rentals.)
· Cyclists could continue to use the existing pedestrian/bicycle path in the Panhandle, besides using the new bike lanes.
Another version of the proposal envisions a two-way bike lane along the South side of Fell, and no bike lane along Oak. This would require removing all parking spaces on the South side of Fell.
These bike lanes are being promoted by North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (according to its bylaws, its Western boundary is Masonic) and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
I oppose this proposal because I believe it would endanger pedestrians (especially seniors, people with mobility and vision disabilities, small children and those in strollers), increase congestion and pollution, make the shortage of on street parking even worse, and increase conflicts between motorists and cyclists. I don’t know how far along the proposal is. I live on Fell and haven’t received any communication from MTA about it.
Instead of this proposal, the existing pedestrian/bicycle path in the Panhandle should be repaved, smoothened, better lit, and, perhaps, widened and otherwise improved.
Tricia Stauber, PRO|SF (Panhandle Residents Organization) Community Coordinator, has put together an online survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PndleSurvey
The survey is open until January 12 at 11:30 PM.
To express your opinion to Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for considering this email.