17th Street Bicycle Safety Project
Safety and accessibility is a concern on 17th Street between Church and Sanchez due to streetcar tracks, pavement quality and lack of curb ramps. People on bicycles are being injured in falls and people with disabilities are having a difficult time crossing the street. While a number of solutions have been attempted in the past several years to minimize the difficulties posed by the streetcar tracks, crashes are still occurring.
Given input from residents on this block, documented crash reports and correspondence from people who travel along the street, 17th Street between Church and Sanchez streets has been identified as a location with a disproportionate number of crashes involving people riding bikes.
With no marked bikeway at this location, people riding bikes frequently ride in mixed traffic on a street with rail tracks. Navigating around double-parked or stopped vehicles often leads to cyclists traveling into the track area and sometimes crashing.
To address safety concerns and growing bicycle ridership on the street, the SFMTA is exploring new bikeway designs for 17th Street between Church and Sanchez streets. After meeting with the community and various stakeholders, a number of options were narrowed down to a proposal shared at the June 15th community meeting. More details about the information shared at the two community meetings can be found under "Documents & Reports."
This specific section of 17th Street is on San Francisco's High Injury Network, a network of 12 percent of city streets that have 70 percent of the city's traffic crashes. Within a five year period for 17th Street between Market and Church streets, 13 crashes on the tracks involving bicyclists and one involving an electric scooter were reported to the San Francisco Police Department. We know from people who have crashed here and residents who have witnessed some of these crashes that the actual number of crashes is significantly higher than what is reported. This is also confirmed in part by information provided by the SF Department of Public Health about people who have been admitted to hospitals but have not filed reports with the SFPD.
As of June 2017, the proposal is to remove the parking on each side of the block of 17th Street between Church and Sanchez streets and replace it with a bikeway protected by islands and posts were possible, as the design provides access to driveways and fire hydrants. Other improvements in the proposal include new curb ramps and potential signal changes at 17th and Church streets to ease crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
Prior to this recommended design, various changes had been studied and considered. They included:
- Removing the tracks
- Making the street one-way
- Increased enforcement of double parking
- Re-routing the bikeway to another street
For various reasons described in more detail in the Documents & Reports section, these proposals were deemed infeasible or insufficient.
On November 7, 2017, the SFMTA Board approved the proposal to install a bikeway on both sides of 17th Street between Church Street and Sanchez Street. Starting on December 26th, the parking on the block will be removed to install the bikeway using paint and flexible posts. This work should be completed by mid-January 2018 and will eventually be updated with concrete islands where feasible.
To stay informed of next steps, please sign up for email updates in the Receive Updates portion of this website (right column). Thank you for your interest in this project!