As work on the city's various Vision Zero initiatives to prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths continues, the latest addition is an entirely new bike lane—the first raised, parking-protected one in the city. The downside? For the moment, it's only a block long.
SFMTA's blog explains the ins and outs of the new bike lane, which is being installed on Valencia between Cesar Chavez and Duncan streets. The lane, which will be six feet wide, will be adjacent to the sidewalk, with a five-foot loading lane serving as a buffer between it and the parking lane. Cyclists can currently ride on a preliminary version of the bike lane during construction; it's expected to be completed next month.
The new bike lane is part of the Mission Valencia Green Gateway Project, which will also add greenery and stormwater collection on Valencia near Mission Street. The full project is expected to wrap up in January.
While it's not the first parking-protected bike lane in the city (there are some in Golden Gate Park, on 13th Street, and on the southern end of Polk Street near Market), the new lane is the first to be both parking-protected and raised.
The city installed its first raised lane earlier this year on Market Street between 12th and Gough, but many cyclists have argued that raising the lane was insufficient to prevent cars from entering it, and vigilante safety group SF Transformation (SFMTrA) has been raising funds to install unpermitted soft-hit posts at the intersection, to prevent cars from entering the bikeway.
SFMTrA also installed soft-hit posts in the bike lane on Valencia from 14th to 17th streets earlier this month, but they were quickly removed by the city, according to Capp Street Crap.
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