Valencia Street Pilot Project - Initial Results Are In!
In this quarter’s Safe Street Segment, we are sharing how our pilot project on Valencia Street is performing.
Earlier this year and under Mayor London Breed’s leadership to expedite safety improvement on Valencia Street, the SFMTA implemented a pilot protected bikeway project from Market to 15th streets. An initial analysis was conducted, which involved collecting before and after data on the following evaluation criteria:
- Bike lane blockages
- Mixing zones compared to previous conditions
- Conflicts between bikes and vehicles mid-block (i.e., dooring)
- Conflicts between people crossing the bike lane to access the school loading islands
- Bike positioning (i.e., in people biking in the bike lane versus in the travel lane)
Before data was collected in October 2018 and post-implementation data was collected in May 2019.
Overwhelmingly, safety conditions have changed for the better for those walking and biking on the corridor…
- The project has practically eliminated illegal vehicle loading activities in the bike lane, from 160 recorded instances to only two with the new roadway design. That’s a 99 percent decrease!
- 84 percent of people driving yielded to bicyclists at the mixing zones.
- 98 percent of bicyclists are biking in the protected bikeway or buffered area. There were zero observations of close calls or near misses observed when people crossed the bike lane to access the school loading island or sidewalk.
- The potential for “dooring” dramatically decreased. There was a 95 percent decrease in vehicle/bike interactions at midblock locations after the pilot protected bikeway was implemented.
There were also areas that need improvement…
Although initial findings are encouraging, conflicts at mixing zones and double parking remain an issue. The project team will explore design changes to address these challenges, including replacing mixing zones with separated signals and installing additional physical barriers. Signal separation was implemented at Valencia and Duboce streets in early August 2019 -- we will take a look at how this signal separation performs to better understand compliance and conflicts between people biking, walking and driving through the intersection.
Later this fall, the project team will share the final project evaluation report. The report will also help inform a quick-build project on Valencia Street from 19th Street to Cesar Chavez, which has similar physical constraints as this pilot area, but twice the distance. This quick-build is anticipated to be completed by spring 2020.
As for the remaining section of the corridor, Valencia Street (from Market to Mission streets) is expected to have protected bikeways as part of Mayor Breed’s commitment to add 20 miles of protected bike lanes by 2021.