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New Bike Safety Improvements Installed on Valencia Street

Friday, March 16, 2018

People biking on Valencia Street started seeing new safety upgrades made on this popular corridor yesterday. SFMTA crews installed new paint and vertical flex-posts between 15th and 19th streets to reduce double-parking and stopping in the bike lane as part of the Valencia Bikeway Improvements project.

Valencia at 18th Street with new one-foot buffer and flex-posts

Valencia at 18th Street with new one-foot buffer and flex-posts

Since the Valencia bike lanes were first striped in 1999, the corridor has become a vibrant commercial corridor and is now one of San Francisco’s most popular bicycle routes. And while more than 2,000 bikes travel down Valencia every day, it’s not always a stress-free ride.

An increasing number of commercial deliveries and Uber and Lyft drivers are using the bike and travel lanes to double-park or stop, leading to growing concerns about street safety. From 2012 to 2016, 48 percent of reported bike crashes on the corridor involved some type of vehicle loading or unloading activity. This means that people biking were getting into collisions with people opening car doors, vehicles double-parking and other types of vehicle parking and loading activities.

The new paint we laid down next to the bike lane is intended to visually create a narrower roadway, encouraging cars to slow down. The flex-posts, primarily placed next to mid-block bulbouts, parklets and bike parking corrals, will increase separation between people biking and people driving.

Of course, the new paint and posts are not perfect solutions for all of the challenges on Valencia, but they are a first step in the Valencia Bikeway Improvements project. These quick treatments will help improve safety in the interim, while our planning and outreach efforts identify additional near and long-term improvements for the corridor.

Through the Valencia Bikeway Improvements project, the SFMTA has been combining data collection and community outreach to identify treatments that address roadway safety, curb management (i.e., how the curb is being used for parking, loading, etc) and enforcement.

The SFMTA is sharing the first set of potential recommendations for a safer Valencia Street at a series of community workshops later this spring. Whether you want to get involved in the planning process or are just curious, please be sure to visit the project webpage for more information and to sign-up for project updates.