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Aaron Bialick

Friday, May 19, 2017

People board a Muni bus at a stop using a new bus boarding island, with a bike lane placed between the island and the sidewalk, on the 9R San Bruno Rapid route.
A 9R San Bruno Rapid Muni bus at a stop with a new bus boarding island on Bayshore Boulevard at Flower Street.

Starting July 1, Muni fare rates will increase for single-trip fares, by up to 25 cents, and for monthly passes, by up to three dollars.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Two photos of the new parking-protected bike lane on 7th Street.
A new parking-protected bike lane on 7th Street. The bike lane runs between the sidewalk and new Muni boarding islands to make it easier for everyone to navigate.

There's good reason to celebrate Bike to Work Day this year, with new protected bike lanes on three streets and a new SFMTA webpage dedicated to bike count data.

New parking-protected bike lanes are ready on 7th and 8th streets in SoMa and on 13th / Division Street. Those were completed in time for the May 4 deadline set in Mayor Ed Lee's Executive Directive on Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety (PDF) in August, which called for three protected bike lane projects to be completed within nine months.

“The SFMTA is committed to creating better, safer streets for people who bike and all other road users, and that starts with infrastructure that separates cars, bikes and pedestrians,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “Over the next five years, we will invest more than $112 million into 92 miles of bikeway projects. These projects don’t just create safer streets, they help us reduce congestion and air pollution at a time when more people are trying to get around San Francisco than ever before.”

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bike commuters in a protected bike lane on Polk Street at Hayes Street on Bike to Work Day 2016.
Bike commuters in a protected bike lane on Polk Street at Hayes Street on Bike to Work Day last year.

This Thursday is Bike to Work Day, which means it's the perfect time once again to pedal out and join the two-wheeled commute crowd (if you're not a regular already).

As with each year's event (this is the Bay Area's 23rd), bike commuters in San Francisco can stop by one of 26 "energizer stations" on major bike routes for free snacks, beverages, tote bags and other goodies to reward them for getting to work in a sustainable and healthy way.

And like every year, SF has more bike commuters and bike lanes than ever. With new protected bike lanes to enjoy on streets like 13th and Division, 7th and 8th, and the south end of Valencia, there are more reasons than ever to hop on and join us.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Two photos. One photo shows a man bicycling on a newly-installed curbside bike lane on 13th Street, separated from traffic lanes by a lane of car parking and a buffer area. Second photo shows a curbside bike lane on eastbound Division Street with newly-installed concrete dividers covered by construction fixtures.
Left: A new parking-protected bike lane on 13th Street, from Harrison to Bryant Street. Right: Freshly-installed concrete dividers on eastbound Division, from Bryant/11th to 10th Street.

Fresh paint and concrete are drying on new bike lanes on 13th and Division streets, where the safety improvements approved earlier this month are under construction.

The road markings for the new bike lane are mostly complete on eastbound 13th, from Folsom Street to Bryant/11th Street. That includes a new curbside, parking-protected bike lane on the block from Harrison to Bryant Street.

Concrete dividers, which help provide a more protective and comfortable barrier between curbside bike lanes and vehicle traffic, are also coming to both directions of Division between 10th and 11th streets (where 13th becomes Division).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Parking-protected bike lane on 13th Street under the Central Freeway.
This existing parking-protected bike lane on westbound 13th Street will get complemented with upgrades in the eastbound direction.

In the coming weeks, 13th Street in SoMa will get safety upgrades, including a block of parking-protected bike lane, in the eastbound direction from Folsom to Bryant streets. This is thanks to approval from our Board of Directors last Tuesday.

Like the existing bike lanes on segments of 13th, the new lane will be separated from traffic using pavement markings, plastic posts and parked vehicles while maintaining visibility between people walking, biking and driving. It’ll also repurpose a traffic lane, which helps calm vehicle traffic by narrowing the roadway.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Photos of one of Muni’s older, standard-length trolley buses at a stop on the 24 Divisadero route and one of Muni’s new, extended trolley buses traveling on the 14 Mission route.
Left: An older electric trolley bus (standard length). Right: A newer trolley bus (extended length).

You’ve seen Muni’s sleek new extended trolley buses roll out over the past couple of years. Now, it’s time for the rest of the electric bus fleet to get upgraded to the next generation.

All of Muni’s standard-length (40-foot) trolley buses, which you may know by the trolley poles that attach them to overhead wires on routes like the 1 California and 24 Divisadero, will be replaced with a new fleet by 2019. Thanks to an approval from our Board of Directors this week, the first new buses are due to arrive by the end of the year.

Like the new generation of Muni trains (which start service this year), these new trolley buses will go a long way towards making Muni more reliable, not to mention quieter and safer.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Market Street bike lane with plastic safe-hit posts of different heights and colors, that feature a raised plastic curb at their base.
In a new experiment on Market Street, we’ve installed four types of safe-hit posts along a block of bike lane.

Plastic “safe-hit” posts may be a relatively quick and low-cost way to separate bike lanes from traffic lanes, but to do their job, they need to last.

This week, we started a new experiment to identify the most durable safe-hit post design by installing four different types of them along a block of Market Street, westbound from 9th to 10th Street. It’s part of our efforts to adopt and improve upon the best practices for building effective protected bike lanes.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A corner on Vicente Street with existing “front-in” angled parking and “daylighting.”
A corner on Vicente Street with existing “front-in” angled parking and “daylighting.”

Like most streets in the Outer Sunset, Vicente Street has road space to spare. We’ve proposed changes to Vicente, from 17th Avenue to the beach, that would re-align parking spaces to add more of them, improve visibility at street corners and add bike lanes.

These changes are on the agenda for our bi-weekly engineering public hearing tomorrow, and there will be other chances to weigh in on them before they’re approved.

Here are the changes proposed for Vicente, between 17th Ave. and Lower Great Highway:

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Muni bus travels down a red transit-only lane on downtown Geary Street as cars travel in the adjacent traffic lanes.
A red transit-only lane on Geary at Jones Street.

It may come as no surprise that using red paint to highlight transit-only lanes causes fewer drivers to violate them, which helps keep them clear to make your Muni trip faster and more reliable. But two new studies have also confirmed that the “red carpet” treatment leads to fewer collisions and risky driving behaviors.

The new findings come from our study on red transit lanes on three downtown streets, and another conducted by the company Zendrive on changes in driving behaviors that resulted from our 14 Mission Rapid Project.

Red transit lanes are a relatively new tool. We’re pioneering them as part of our Muni Forward Rapid Network, which is why the California Traffic Control Devices Committee and the Federal Highway Administration sponsored us to conduct our study on downtown lanes.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A 1968 photo of people riding a cable car at night as it stops at Powell and Bush streets.

It might be hard to believe that until 1965, women were deprived of the joy of standing on the running boards on either side of San Francisco’s cable cars.

Just three years prior to the time of the 1968 photo above, the now-familiar sight of men and women riding a cable car with equal access was unofficially prohibited. The practice was changed after Mona Hutchins, a 19-year-old UC Berkeley student and free speech advocate, stood up and was arrested for refusing to yield an unwritten restriction that didn’t apply to men.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, scenes from our photo archives like these remind us that while social progress may still seem hard-won today, it can be easy to take for granted the changes that have moved us on from eras past.