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Delivering Protected Bike Lanes at Double the Pace

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Bike to work day energizer station.

As bike month wraps up, we wanted to provide updates about our efforts to improve safety for people riding bikes in San Francisco. In response to Mayor London Breed’s focus on improving street safety, we’re committed to creating at least 20 miles of new, protected bike lanes over the next two years. With this goal, we will double the rate of delivering protected bike lanes from the past year. These upgraded streets will create a safer, more connected network for anyone traveling by bike. As part of this year’s Bike to Work Day, Mayor Breed rode through our newly installed Valencia Street protected bike lane on her way to City Hall.

“Since 2006, bicycling in San Francisco has almost tripled. As our city continues to grow, we know we need more protected bike lanes, not only to keep people safe, but also to encourage more people to bike in the City and reduce congestion.”

Bike to work day at City Hall

To ensure success in delivering these projects, we will be taking a few specific steps:

  • Deliver as many projects as possible through City crews rather than contractors and use low-cost materials such as paint and posts. This won’t work everywhere, but where it does can reduce project delivery times from years to months.
  • Recommit additional funds to specifically expand our capacity for sign and paint crews
  • Propose policy changes to expedite the approval process and allow staff to be more flexible and nimble in implementing and adjusting safety projects.

We know there is support and an urgent need for delivering these bicycle safety improvements. In June, we will share more detail about our plans and timing.

In addition to accelerating the expansion of protected bike lanes, Mayor Breed also called for an increase in enforcement of double parking in bike lanes to ensure our bike lanes are safe and clear from vehicles. No one on a bicycle should have to leave the bike lane to avoid an obstacle or illegally parked car.

Related to the enforcement of bike lanes and routes, SFMTA Parking Control Officers most frequently issue these types of citations:

  • Blocked bike lanes
  • Parking 18” from the curb
  • Double parking
  • Obstructing traffic

From July 2017-June 2018, the SFMTA issued 51,496 citations for the kinds of parking behaviors that make our streets more dangerous for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians: double parking (33,609 citations), bike lane blocking (7,135) and parking in/obstructing traffic lanes (10,752). This represented a 30 percent increase from the previous 12 months. In the six months from July 1-December 31, 2018, we issued another 3,899 citations for blocking bike lanes. We will be stepping up our enforcement of blocked bike lanes by 10 percent over the next six months using data collected through the City’s 311 database to guide where to enforce and when.

Making our City safe for cyclists requires a citywide commitment and we need your help. Let us know of any problem areas by reporting obstacles on our bike routes through Twitter and @SF311 to inform our enforcement.

Better infrastructure and enforcement are two ways we will help make San Francisco streets a safer, more enjoyable place to ride a bicycle. We will continue to provide updates on these efforts and others as we work towards our Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024.