Get Ready for Some New Bike Lanes

Great news for cyclists:  the Bike Plan Injunction that has prevented new bike lanes from being painted in the City for the past 4 years has finally been overturned.  Naturally, this means more cyclist lanes and safer riding for everyone (vehicles and pedestrians included). 

Renée Rivera of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, for one, was happy to hear the news:

San Francisco is seeing firsthand how improvements like the green, fully separated bike lanes on Market Street are increasing everyone’s safety and comfort and attracting more people biking.

While there are a number of projects already lined-up for striping (pun intended), I’m sure they could always use a few more suggestions.  So, what streets in the Mission (or elsewhere) do you think would be best served by the addition of a new bicycle lane (and don’t say Guerrero or South Van Ness–let’s at least let the cars keep those or they’ll get all fussy)?

Bike Racks of Vancouver are Pretty Rad Too

 

No matter where you live, work, walk, or ride throughout the City, you must have noticed the recent installations of  many more bicycle parking racks on sidewalks everywhere.  The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has made significant progress working with the SFMTA to make it much easier to request bike racks for specific sidewalk locations that you may particularly notice need more bike parking. 

While it’s FANTASTIC to see such progressive municipal cooperation in the name of expanding bicycle safety and ridership, am I the only one who’s getting tired of the utilitarian standard grey bike rack design?  Don’t get me wrong; they are clearly sleek, strong, and functional but I feel that a jazzier design would not only help further excite the population about cycling, but would also look way cooler! 

 

A recent trip up North to visit our Canadian neighbors in Vancouver presented a colorful and stylish alternative.  I walked up and down city streets for two days and could not even find two bicycle racks that looked alike!  Perhaps some criticism can be leveled at the apparent flimsiness of those triangles, but no doubt San Francisco’s intelligent creative artistic community can come up with some aesthetically pleasing marriage of form and function. 

H&R Block Bike Racks

 

Also, to the business-minded folks out there:  countless potential branding opportunities! 

More examples of bicycle rack awesomeness (and a locked up lawnmower) after the jump . . . 

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Freshly Painted Green Bike Lanes on Market Apparently Not Quite Enough

Cycle-commuting reader Mickey B. (who also happens to have a great mob nickname) was unable to enjoy the exhilaration of riding down the freshly painted green bike lanes on Market Street this morning thanks to this color-blind driver.  He adds:

A friend of mine passed it after I did and said the car was unlocked and there was a purse on the seat…

I wanna know how this car even managed to get in there!  She obviously wasn’t able to fit through those narrowly spaced posts, so she must have entered the bike lane at the beginning of the block, proceeded about halfway, and then stopped her car and got out.  Do automobile drivers really feel so entitled that they think they can get away with this?

To be fair, on the commute this morning I noticed that even the majority of cyclists themselves prefer to avoid the bike lane when they can in favor of the street, green paint or not (although this stretch of Market is also off-limits to private vehicles so it’s inherently safer):

Anyway, in general the separated green bike lanes are a huge win for cyclists everywhere (not just in SF), and I’m all for them since they encourage cautious people who might be too frightened to bike amongst the cars and buses to try out cycle commuting in somewhat safer fashion.

Don’t forget that this Thursday, May 13, is the 16th annual BIKE TO WORK DAY, so remember to pedal out with your cyclist pride on full display.  As usual, the SFBC will be hosting recharging stations throughout the city with free schwag that’s actually useful and awesome (bags, patch kits, water), so volunteer if you have a chance!  See you out there!

Previously:

Posts Be Posting Up All Over Market Street

Wouldn’t It Be Nice If SF Had Bike Lanes Like Copenhagen’s?

Market and 10th St. Finally Get it Right

Not long ago, well-intentioned yet completely clueless city planning folks changed the traffic flow on Market to force drivers to turn right on 10th St. rather than continue to cause congestion problems while attempting to turn on the ill-suited 8th St.  However, this unfortunately put the squeeze on bicycle commuters as they tried to navigate the narrow, somewhat dangerous bike lane bestowed upon them.  It seemed a lot of valuable space was wasted, being used as an unnecessary “buffer zone.”

Fortunately, logic has prevailed and the buffer zone is history, replaced by a wider, safer bike lane. Cyclists win!  How often does that happen in San Francisco?

BEFORE courtesy of Streetsblog SF

Childishly amateur stop motion traverse through the new scene after the jump . . .

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Construction Camp on V-Street

Valencia Street is a dangerous place, more or less. We’ve all heard the debate: are there so many bike accidents on Valencia and Market because they are such dangerous (bad) bike routes, or because they are such well-used (good) bike routes? I say a combination of the two.

Today, though, I’m interested in making this a more nuanced discussion: is Valencia so dangerous because of the potholes or because of the constant construction fixing the potholes? I am not, of course, some freaky pothole fan, but I can get used to them. I ride Valencia twice a day, every day, and it’s not potholes that set up camp a block or two at a time and leave a single lane for both directions of car + bike traffic, and travel leisurely up and down the road for months on end. Potholes don’t make that awful, numbing noise, and potholes don’t have the terrifying visual impact of a cavernous hole cut in the asphalt with only a sparse line of orange cones to shield it. A pothole did not spray me with muddy water yesterday as it cut a chunk out of the pavement.

Do not go putting the potholes up on pedestals, now. They need fixin’. I love the SFBC for marking them to increase visibility and encourage municipal action, with events like Crater Invaders getting lots of folks involved. I love the people who are actually doing the work – and it’s not easy, pleasant, or pretty – to keep San Francisco roads rideable, driveable, and walkable for all of us. What I am asking is a pothole-neutral question: why has there been construction on Valencia Street almost every day since I moved to San Francisco? It’s only 2 miles long, from beginning to end. It is only the middle part of my commute. What is going on?

Construction workers, perhaps, enjoy the culture they’ve discovered in the Mission. It might be the greatest agreement forged between hipsters and wage earners since the trucker hat: Valencia Street is the finest drag in San Francisco.

Mission Mission’s “Cycling” category here.

Complete Mission Mission Valencia Street coverage here.