Biking from SF to Oakland—no Bay Bridge required

By : sfgate – excerpt

This past week, the Bay Area’s bridge authority held a public meeting about long-range plans to build a bike path on the west span of the Bay Bridge, between San Francisco and Yerba Buena Island. These plans involve corkscrew ramps, high-capacity elevators, bike paths suspended from tunnel ceilings, and adjustments to the tension of the bridge’s steel cables to compensate for the path’s extra weight. The details and options make for fascinating renderings but are doubly dispiriting. First, the more complicated and expensive a project is, the smaller the chance of seeing it in our lifetimes, and this one needs $300 million and would give Rube Goldberg a headache. Second, the plans only need to be this complicated and expensive because planners ruled out from the get-go any plan that would take even a single square inch of space away from cars. A concrete barrier converting one of the bridge’s 10 car lanes into a bike and pedestrian path could, from a technical perspective, be completed quickly and cheaply, but so far planners have refused to even discuss this option(more)

Coming to 13th Street: SF’s First Downtown Parking-Protected Bike Lane

Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

13th Street is set to get a westbound parking-protected bike lane between Bryant and Folsom Streets, among other improvements this spring. Image: SFMTA

San Francisco may get its first downtown parking-protected bike lane on 13th Street this spring. The SFMTA will be taking comments on the plans at a hearing tomorrow morning.

The bike lane would be installed only in the westbound direction of 13th underneath the Central Freeway, from Bryant to Folsom Streets. It would complement the existing eastbound bike lane on 14th Street, providing a safer route on a “key east-west corridor for people biking to destinations like the Caltrain Station, the Mission District, AT&T Ballpark, and the South Beach area in general,” said SFMTA Livable Streets spokesperson Ben Jose… (more)

We saw no notice about this plan. Discovered it when we went to protest the Polk Streetscape Project. Why do they want cyclists near freeway on and off-ramps? This is a dangerous street for cars. There is no reason to have bikes on this street when there are better options nearby.

On further examination, we see that these lanes are the awful design that they have in Golden Gate Park that people detest. Let’s confuse everyone, especially those dreaded out-of town visitor who have the nerve to try to drive in our city by imposing “unique” new confusing bike lanes along-side the freeway access roads. That will be a welcoming experience.

‘Contraflow’ bike lane opens on Polk Street as bike month gets into gear

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco city leaders and bike advocates kicked off Bike Month this morning with the opening of a “contraflow” bike lane at the corner of Polk and Market streets.

The $2.5-million project came together in the past year to build a smooth connection from Market Street to northbound Polk Street by funneling bicyclists traveling against traffic onto a green bike lane that passes City Hall.

The city’s Department of Public Works director Mohammed Nuru joined San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency transportation director Ed Reiskin and San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim to cut the ribbon on the lane as dozens of riders perched on bikes watched…

Most of the funding for the new ($2.5 million) lane came from Proposition B, the $248-million Road Repaving and Street Repair bond, which San Francisco voters passed in 2011, and from the SFMTA’s 2009 Bike Plan… (more)

Voters please note what the Prop “B” (sold as a Road repaving and street repair bond) bond money was spent on and vote accordingly the next time SFMTA wants more money.

Eyes on the Street: Bike Lane Replaces Car Parking at Fort Mason

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

This bike lane appeared on the northern end of Van Ness Avenue at the east end of the Fort Mason Tunnel.

A new contra-flow bike lane separated by paint and plastic posts has appeared at the northern end of Van Ness Avenue, providing a safer link between the ped/bike paths that run through Fort Mason and Fisherman’s Wharf… (more)

Time to start boycotting these areas if you drive a car. If you live there you better start looking for some new representation. If enough businesses scream loud enough, they do reverse these things.

SFMTA needs to educate the public about merging right turn lanes with bike lanes

Posted by concerned cyclist :

SFMTA needs to spend some of their PR funds on educating the public on the proper ways to merge right turning traffic with bike lanes at intersections. They also need to re-stripe the bike lanes and post signs so that motorists and cyclists know that right turning cars and cycles are supposed to merge as they approach an intersection. Cyclists should either queue up behind right-turning cars, or pass them on the left, (NEVER ON THE RIGHT) when it is safe to do so. There are plenty of signs indicating bus and right turn only lanes, but no signs indicating the same for bike lanes. Most people are probably unaware of Vehicle code section 21717.

Vehicle code section 21717 obligates cars to merge into bike lanes when making right turns in the presence of a bike lane. Unfortunately, most drivers do not know this, and try to avoid the bike lanes entirely, which results in them crossing the bike lanes to makes their turns at the last possible moment. Often their right turn signal is either missed or ignored by the cyclists who is passing on the right on their car without regard to their intention to turn right into the intersection, crossing the bike lane.

Drivers violate VC 21717 by right-hooking the bike lane instead of mixing and merging. They mistakenly believe they are forbidden to merge into the bike lane (despite the dashed lane marking near intersections). Uninformed cyclists exacerbate the problem by squeezing between the car and the curb even when the car is doing the right thing. Some cyclists verbally abuse drivers in the bike lane near intersections when drivers are merging as required by law.

The Bicycle Coalition, in its taxi-driver training class, tells the cabbies that “If a cyclist can fit between your cab and the curb, you’re not close enough.” Everyone needs to get this message.

Driver: “Is It Okay If I Kill That Cyclist?”

By Ben Christopher : sfweekly – excerpt

“So if I’m driving down Divisadero,” she said, setting the scene from her previous afternoon, “And there’s a bicyclist pedaling in front of me, and she’s going really slowly along the entire length of the street, and there’s a line of cars forming behind me, and there’s traffic speeding by to our left, and the bicyclist has planted herself in the middle of the lane, and there’s a perfectly good bike lane just a few blocks over — it still my fault if I accidentally run her over?”
I like to think of myself as a fair-minded person and, in any event, I am conflict-averse above all. So, after careful consideration, I responded to her question as dispassionately as possible, with one of my own:
“Do you mean, legally or morally?”
The answer to both questions is pretty straightforward: Yep, it’s the driver’s fault…
It is possible to acknowledge and appreciate a legal right without exercising it thoughtlessly.
Obviously, I don’t know the cyclist who was slowing down my coworker. Maybe she had a perfectly good reason to be moseying down the full length of one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city. But given that she had the alternative of a quieter street with a bike path within a few blocks ride and given that there was a line of cars cropping up behind her waiting to get by, I will join my coworker in pronouncing that choice to be both absolutely within a cyclist’s legal rights and kind of a dick move… (more)

Contra-Flow Bike Lane May Finally Come to Polk Street Next Summer

by Aaron Bialick : sfstreetsblog.org – excerpt

An SFMTA Bike Plan project would install a contra-flow bike lane on Polk Street, separated from motor traffic by a concrete median, where a car parking lane now exists..

A long-awaited bicycle connection linking Market Street to northbound Polk Street is on the horizon. The two southernmost blocks of Polk, which currently only allow southbound traffic, could get a protected contra-flow bike lane by this time next year.

The project, which would add a northbound bike lane separated by a concrete median [PDF], was part of the 2009 SF Bike Plan but left unapproved by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors — one of 15 such projects. The space for the contra-flow lane would come from a car parking lane and some existing buffer space, and it would extend as a painted bike lane past City Hall to connect to the existing bike lane which begins at McAllister Street…

Construction on the contra-flow lane is roughly scheduled for the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which runs from July to September, according to the 2011 Prop B Street Improvement Bond funding plan [PDF] approved last week by the multi-agency SF Capital Planning Committee. Of the estimated $959,369 needed for the project, $240,000 would come from the Prop B bond. The majority, $584,000, would come from a Safe Routes to Transit grant also approved last week by the SFMTA Board. “The remaining $375,369 will be secured from SFCTA Prop. K funds ($88,039), San Francisco Red Light Photo Enforcement Program ($10,000) and from Metropolitan Transportation Commission Regional Bike and Pedestrian Program funds ($37,630),” according to an SFMTA grant document [PDF]…

Although advocates had hoped a protected bike lane might come to Polk in time for America’s Cup, construction on the Complete Street project is scheduled to take place from July 2014 to July 2015, according to the list of Prop B bond streetscape projects. $5,356,000 of the bond money has been set aside for the project

(more)

Are there any SF streets the SFMTA deems worthy of free flowing cars without restrictions? If so where and when should cars be given preference to other vehicles?

Where are the millions of dollars for these bike lanes coming from?

What is the Complete Street Project?

Voters beware of approving any more Muni bonds if you want to keep any lanes for cars.

8th St. Buffered Bike Lane a Step Up, But When Will SoMa Really Feel Safe?

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

A new buffered bike lane was striped on 8th Street last week, re-purposing a traffic lane for bicycles on one of SoMa’s fast, one-way motorways. The new configuration, which removes bicyclists from the door zone and provides a much wider lane, is an improvement over the four speed-inducing traffic lanes and skinny bike lane that previously existed. Still, many say it’s just a small step toward a truly safer street.

The bike lane upgrade was included as part of a re-paving project at the urging of bike advocates and D6 Supervisor Jane Kim, who wanted to seize the opportunity to re-configure the street striping as a cost-effective way to help calm motor traffic, create a more comfortable space for bicycling, and reduce crossing distances for pedestrians…

(more)

Look what your D6 Supervisor just did. Remember next time she runs for office who she works for.