Back in the bike messenger era of the 1990s and 2000s, the Financial District was the hub of San Francisco bicycle culture. But there have never been any protected bike lanes in the Financial District, and in the recent pandemic years, there’s been a lack of people downtown anyway.
But the SFMTA thinks bike lanes are a way to get people back to the Financial District. And on Tuesday, they unveiled what they call the “first protected bike lane in the Financial District” on Battery Street.
Today in partnership with @sfcta @AaronPeskin @BarbaryCoast_sf @sf_downtown, we celebrated the first protected bike lane in the Financial District (back right). To watch the event, visit https://t.co/CUBXCrZFsH To learn more, visit https://t.co/sLafpz36lR. pic.twitter.com/et2DYEMWxY— SFMTA (@SFMTA_Muni) March 15, 2023
“This the first protected bikeway in downtown,” District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin said at a Wednesday bike lane opening ceremony. “I hope in the end, it is going to be one of many protected bikeways.”
The ceremony is seen in the video above, and visually, what might jump out at you more than the bike lanes is the 1,900-square-foot mural by Claudio Talavera-Ballón. According to Downtown SF Partnership executive director Robbie Silver, this area will be a “new public plaza” and “a beautiful, activated space with music at lunchtime throughout the summer.”
You get a better sense of these bike lanes (green pavement on the right) in the rendering above from SFMTA. That agency’s director Jeffrey Tumlin said Wednesday that there are now 43 miles of protected bike lanes in San Francisco, with more to come. According to the SFMTA, there will eventually be “new bike lanes along Sansome, Battery, Vallejo, and Davis streets from the Embarcadero to Jackson Street.”