First Parking-Protected Bike Lane Installed in Urban SF Setting
Today, people biking and walking are safer and more comfortable on a busy SoMa street under the Central Freeway thanks to a new parking-protected bikeway and range of pedestrian safety improvements.
Driven by public safety concerns on the corridors of Division and 13th streets, the SFMTA, which oversees all ground transportation in the city, has completed a new bikeway that separates people biking and people driving by a row of parked cars on westbound 13th Street from Bryant to Folsom streets.
“Division/13th Street is a key east-west corridor that connects the Castro, Mission, and Upper-Market neighborhoods to the Caltrain Station, AT&T Park, and the entire South Beach/Mission Bay area,” said Supervisor Jane Kim. “With more residents, commuters, and businesses, moving into and traveling through the South of Market area, these pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements will make Division/13th Street safer and more comfortable to travel along.”
This is the first parking-protected bikeway installed in an urban setting in the city. San Francisco’s first parking-protected bikeway was implemented in Golden Gate Park in 2012 and resulted in a reduction in bike and vehicle speeds and an increase in comfort for people biking. The SFMTA is rolling out parking-protected bikeways where context allows and will also be installing them on Bay Street between Laguna and Fillmore streets and on Valencia between Tiffany and Cesar Chavez streets.
The SFMTA expedited the safety improvements on the Division/13th corridor due to the number of traffic collisions: 107 collisions and two traffic deaths in the five-year period of 2007 – 2012. This project is the 18th of 24 priority safety projects that the city has promised to complete by February 2016 as part of Vision Zero, the city’s commitment to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024. All 24 are slated to be complete by February 2016.
“The Division/13th corridor is one of the city’s high injury streets where severe and fatal traffic injuries occur,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “With this project, we’ve built more safety into the street for the thousands of people biking and walking between the Mission and SoMa every week.”
When one rides in or drives next to a parking-protected bike lane, the benefits are very apparent. Both bikes and cars have their own space, double-parking is prevented, and the risk of “dooring,” or a bicyclist being hit by a car door opening, is lower. Parking-protected bikeways also help drivers by increasing separation from bicyclists and making it clear who should be where on the road.
The bike improvements also include turning boxes for bicyclists to make safer turns to and from Division/13th streets. The SFMTA also made pedestrian safety improvements at various 13th street intersections as well as at the nearby 8th/Townsend/Division traffic circle by better marking the roadway and installing cues to remind drivers to expect people walking and on bicycles.
"Turning this high-injury corridor into a model for safe biking is a huge accomplishment. Our members have raised serious concerns about 13th Street and we're grateful for the SFMTA's work delivering San Francisco's first parking-protected bike lane outside of Golden Gate Park," said Noah Budnick, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
The Division/13th Street Safety Project was funded by the Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee, add-back dollars from the Office of District 6 Supervisor, Jane Kim, and the sale of SFMTA revenue bonds. Future improvements in the area also include a new sidewalk, painted safety zones, two-way operation and stop signs on 9th/Division Street. To learn more, please visit www.sfmta.com/division13th or read the SFMTA’s Moving SF blog post at www.sfmta.com/about-sfmta/blog/3-reasons-13th-street-needs-better-bikeway
This project is in support of San Francisco’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024. For more information, go to: www.visionzerosf.org.