In 2012 the SFMTA implemented San Francisco’s first parking-separated bikeway on John F Kennedy (JFK) Drive in Golden Gate Park. The goal of the project was to make JFK Drive accessible and safe for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities. In public meetings and through online surveys, San Franciscans expressed their interest in slowing down traffic, increasing safety, and maintaining the family-friendly nature of Golden Gate Park. In order to determine the benefits of the new bikeway configuration, SFMTA staff collected data on traffic volumes, bicycle speeds, vehicle speeds, and user perceptions.
This preliminary report documents the results of data collection for which the SFMTA has been able to conduct the “after” data collection, including bicycle and vehicle speeds and intercept survey results. A final report will be produced in early 2013 which will include data that remains to be collected, including changes to vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian volumes. Key findings from the preliminary evaluation include:
- Motor vehicle and bicycle speeds decreased roughly 2-3 miles per hour on average after the project was implemented.
- Public perception of bike safety on JFK Drive increased after the project was implemented, especially among bicyclists who were surveyed.
- After the cycle track installation, 87% of all survey responders feel like they understand the configuration of the street and 61% of all survey responders like the configuration.
- Despite the conversion of roughly 80 parking spaces to accommodate the cycle track, only 14% of survey responders thought that parking availability on JFK Drive was somewhat or very bad.
The final report, which will be produced in early 2013, will also include operational observations and design recommendations for future bikeways in San Francisco.
Click here to read the JFK Preliminary Evaluation (pdf).
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is excited to announce the completion of a new bikeway in Golden Gate Park: the eastern end of John F. Kennedy Drive is now home to San Francisco’s first parking-protected bikeway. The bikeway, or cycle track, offers a wide, comfortable place for cyclists to ride that is protected from moving vehicles, while freeing the adjacent paths for people walking or jogging, as shown here:
The goal of the John F. Kennedy Drive (JFK) cycle track is to make JFK Drive accessible and safe for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists of all abilities. In public meetings and through our online surveys, San Franciscans expressed their interest in slowing down traffic, increasing safety, and maintaining the family-friendly nature of Golden Gate Park. Here is how the new design addresses the project goals:
- Safer Speeds: Before the cycle track was implemented, JFK Drive served as a fast-moving thoroughfare, with an average speed of over 30 mph. The new reduced width of JFK Drive is expected to significantly reduce automobile speeds. Also, by adding protection from moving cars, new and cautious cyclists can ride at a speed that is more comfortable for them, while fast and fearless cyclists are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the park.
- Increased Cycling: Designs like the JFK bikeway have been successful in other cities at encouraging more people to try cycling by giving them a separate and distinct space, away from the rush of moving vehicles. It is important to note that this facility is not designed for cyclists who are already comfortable riding with car traffic throughout San Francisco; it is designed for the new or cautious cyclist who does not mind going a little more slowly in exchange for the protection that a cycle track offers.
- Family-Friendly Park: JFK Drive was chosen over other streets in the city for a number of different reasons. One of these is that the park is a place for recreation and family enjoyment; the purpose of JFK Drive should not be to get people to their destinations as quickly as possible, but to provide a community environment where different types of road users are patient and respectful of others. Though there has been some initial confusion, we fully expect that as people get used to the new layout we will see a more relaxed pace in Golden Gate Park and increased courtesy among all users.
We also are aware that many users of JFK Drive have had questions and concerns about the new design. We are working to address some of the common concerns we have heard, and continuing to conduct outreach, solicit feedback, and observe conditions along the bikeway:
- We recognize that this innovative new design will take some time for people to adjust to. Everyone who uses the street will need to be more attentive and courteous. To help with this, SFMTA staff have been in Golden Gate Park helping visitors use the cycle track properly and distributing informational fliers. Large banners are displayed along the cycle track to help people understand its use and benefits. We are working with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to reach out to bicyclists about using the new cycle track safely and respectfully.
- SFMTA staff have been observing JFK drive closely, and we are considering potential adjustments that may help the cycle track be more intuitive and user friendly. We will also complete before/after analysis of vehicle and bicycle speeds, traffic volumes, parking occupancy, and user perceptions.
Have you tried the new bikeway? Please share your thoughts using the JFK Drive Bikeway Feedback Form.
How to use the Bikeway:
- Enter and leave the bikeway at intersections and stay clear of the buffer zone.
- Be alert for people crossing the bikeway to/from parked vehicles and loading/unloading in the buffer zone.
- Obey all signs and markings and yield to pedestrians using crosswalks.
- To make left turns, either:
- Ride through to the far side of the intersection, stop, turn to the left, and wait in the buffer zone next to the bike lane to cross when it is safe; or
- Merge before the intersection and turn from the left-most travel lane that is shared with vehicles.
- At intersections and driveways, be alert for turning vehicles.
- Always be alert for cyclists and pedestrians at intersections and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- To turn right, yield to cyclists approaching the intersection and then merge into right-turn lanes that are shared with cyclists continuing straight.
PARK & WALK
- Park away from the curb, along the buffer zone.
- Use the buffer zone to exit and access your car.
- Look for cyclists before crossing bikeway.
- Pedestrians requiring a curb ramp should travel along the buffer zone between their vehicle and the nearest ramp.
• June 13, 2011: 1st Community Workshop
• June-July 2011: Review Public Feedback
• July-August 2011: Refine Concept Designs
• August 16, 2011: 2nd Community Workshop
• August-September 2011: Complete Final Design
• October 5, 2011: Present to Concourse Authority: Approved
• October 20, 2011: Present to Recreation and Parks Commission: Approved
• October-December 2011: Meetings with Disability Community, Design Refinements
• November 2011-February 2012: Meetings with Disability Community, Design Refinements
• March-April 2012: Implement Project
• May-July 2012: Project Evaluation
Contact & Further Information:
If you have questions or would like more information on the project, please email email@example.com or call 415.701.4770.
This project is being made possible by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and through a San Francisco County Transportation Authority grant of Proposition K Local Transportation Sales Tax funds.