The SFMTA Wants to Remove Ever More Parking from Folsom Street: Presenting the Folsom-Essex Bikeway “Improvement” Project

Here it is, via the Rincon Hill Blog, it’s  the “Folsom-Essex Bikeway Improvement Project.”

Speaking as somebody with more hours, years, decades and miles on bikes in San Francisco County than any SFMTA Livable Streets person or SFMTA Project Manager or, really, anybody at the sainted SFMTA (with the possible exception of one or two $25 an hour interns that they might have recently hired on), many times what the SFMTA calls an IMPROVEMENT actually doesn’t turn out to be an improvement.

But at that point, the SFMTA becomes seemingly powerless to fix its mistakes, oh well.

Anyway, the project manager behind this effort doesn’t care – all s/he cares about is pushing this thing through. If the project gets approved, that’s success and if it doesn’t, that’s failure. It’s as simple as that…

A public hearing on this project will be held on Friday, June 20th at  10:00 AM in City Hall, Room 416.

Please contact Ellen Robinson of the SFMTA at (415) 701-4322 or Ellen.Robinson@sfmta.com with any questions or comments.”… (more)

I think removal of parking lanes is the least of their worries with this hair-brained scheme. Right turns are the most dangerous for cyclists so let’s force right turns in front of thousands of cars trying to get on the Bay Bridge during rush hour. Somebody needs a new job.

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.