This article was updated on March 2, 2:17 p.m.
Good evening, everyone!
I just know you’re hungry for more short and sweet news. So, here is the latest little bite from Mission Moves, my newsy development roundup for the neighborhood. We’re breaking up the piece, and don’t want you to miss a thing.
Read the latest installments regarding an avocado tree that has fueled the flames of an 18th St. housing project, and what a semi-uncommon, new tranche of affordable housing funding could mean for the city.
And with that, let’s start with the news cycle on bicycles.
The bike lanes that fewer than one-fifth of survey respondents want remain virtually unchanged
The Valencia Street bike lane design was tweaked again a few weeks ago, and maybe for good.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors will hear these changes and the final version of the bike lane pilot project “at a future date,” according to an agenda released March 2. Originally, the pilot was slated to be heard on March 7, said Stephen Chun, deputy spokesperson for the transit agency in an email. Whenever, and if approved, the agency will start implementation.
But those hoping that the most recent design update tossed out the controversial center bike lane design may be sorely disappointed.
In reality, the major change from February’s design update is the addition of “bikeway buffers,” approximately two-foot-wide white posts and “delineators” that separate the bus lane curb from the bike lane. See the sketch here.
The pilot project also no longer extends to 24th Street, and instead will be from 15th Street to 23rd Street.
As a refresher, the proposed pilot project places the bike lane smack dab in the middle of Valencia Street, a design that fewer than 18 percent of survey respondents supported in September.
Many cyclists called a center lane “ridiculous,” and argued that a center design was inaccessible to people with disabilities, children, or bikers who are less confident in their ability to exit and face oncoming car traffic.
“The project team has pushed back the project’s approval schedule in order to update the pilot design to address the feedback received during the project’s outreach processes,” read a November announcement from the transit agency, in response to the lackluster feedback reviews.
However, a center bike lane remained the central design, according to February’s update. It is unclear why.
Chun added that the agency is also still considering limiting left turns for motorists on the corridor. This would address pedestrian safety, which had been discussed previously.
And that’s not the only nearby transit project in the works at present. The transportation agency is also seeking to bolster pedestrian safety at the intersection of 16th and Valencia streets by adding “leading pedestrian intervals” as a pedestrian safety measure. These intervals allow a pedestrian to get a head start of about three to seven seconds on the crosswalk before cars are allowed to turn on the green light.
And 16th Street itself is receiving improvements in Muni efficiency, according to present plans. The portion running from Potrero Avenue to Church Street will be equipped with dedicated transit-only lanes and other safety changes.
Already, the portion of 16th Street between Potrero Avenue and 3rd Street has undergone fixes. A meeting scheduled for earlier in the week to hear feedback and questions about the 16th Street Improvement Project was canceled due to weather. But if you want to exercise your voice, don’t fret! Feel free to drop a comment directly through their email at 16thStreet@SFMTA.com or at 415-646-2160.