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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and San Francisco Public Works today announced that national bicycle advocacy group, PeopleforBikes, recognized the Polk Street contra-flow bicycle lane as the nation’s best bicycle infrastructure project implemented in 2014.
"These changes have had a big impact on making walking and biking in San Francisco safer and more convenient," said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. "We are proud to have been part of this project that has received national recognition."
The highlight of the transformative work on lower Polk Street is a new separated northbound bike lane, also known as a contra-flow lane, which allows people biking to safely travel against vehicle traffic on the one-way corridor. Prior to the makeover, many northbound bicyclists trying to reach Polk Street destinations from Market Street, such as City Hall, travelled on the sidewalks along Polk Street or on busy Van Ness Avenue one block to the west – a stressful ride among traffic, numerous bus routes and active loading zones.
“These streetscape projects honor our city’s commitment to keeping all who use our roads safe,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “Coordinated efforts like these can also bring much larger benefits to our neighborhoods, from new lighting and new sewer infrastructure, to more beautiful landscaping.”
The work on Polk Street was funded through the 2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond Program, a $248 million voter-approved general obligation bond. With it, the city is repaving streets in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, and making traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements.