Love Your Lane: Kirkham Street to the Sea

Kirkham_photo1.jpgRiding down Kirkham at 33rd Ave with a view of the ocean

Kirkham Street is one of the Big 56 bike lane projects that hasn’t raised many eyebrows. Unlike the looming battle over 2nd Street or 5th Street, the Kirkham lane will be on a relatively quiet residential street that runs east-west from Ocean Beach to 6th Avenue, where it will connect with the remainder of bicycle Route 40.  

District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu said in an interview that she had not heard of any community resistance to the plan, in large part because there would be only minor parking removal in one of the proposed options and none in the other. 

"There have been a number of individuals who have expressed a desire to have an integrated bike network where bike riders feel they get get across the city in designated lanes," she said.  "I think that would be good for the district, some path of travel that is clearly marked for bicyclists."

Kirkham.jpgKirkham Street is part of bicycle Route 40

Neal Patel, SFBC’s community planner, thinks the Kirkham lane is not only an important connector in the bicycle network, but the existence of a lane might convince more people to ride. 

"The Kirkham project is important because there are so few bike lanes in
the Sunset District," he said.  "This route will make it easier for all
residents to get downtown and most points East; it’s great to have a more direct option for
commuters.  And having
more bike lanes should hopefully attract new riders."

Flickr photo: real plastic trees

  • MichaelSF

    Kirkham will give an even smoother ride once several blocks and intersections are repaved. The city has scheduled surface work in its Five Year Paving Plan for ten intersections starting July 2010 (7th to 15th plus at 23rd)and another eight in FY 2011/12. A few full blocks will get new asphalt in 2010 (21st-23rd and 29th-30th)and a few more in 2013. Connections to the Kirkham project from the north and south will get a much-needed makeover with the recently released stimulus funds. Work on the full stretch of 7th Avenue from Lincoln to Laguna Honda Blvd and then Laguna Honda to Plaza (close to Laguna Honda Hospital)will get underway to meet federal spending timelines. It would be great to get the bike lanes of Kirkham paved 7th to the Great Highway, but right now several other pavement surfaces of the current bike network as well as many in the 56 new projects are in much worse condition.

    Michael Helquist

  • Athena

    Are you joking? It’s more dangerous now than ever before. All cars are driving on the bike lanes because they can’t fit within the lines. This will result in deaths for bikers and drivers. Noriega street would have been the right choice. Did anyone bother to take measurements? I also don’t like the little islands of flowers that the Planning Department decided to place. Our tax dollars are paying for this project including paying for planting, expenses for water and gardening. Our city is broke. That means that our tax dollars should go to fund only the necessities. Having a bike lane is necessary and it’s great for the environment but place it on the correct street. Like a street that cars and bikes can safely fit on.

  • “Noriega street would have been the right choice”

    Translation: I live on Kirkham.

  • “All cars are driving on the bike lanes because they can’t fit within the lines.”

    Looking at that picture on the top, you can easily fit both car lanes and a bike lane in both directions with probably a 2′ buffer on both sides of the bike lane.

    I’m assuming travel is 25 mph down Kirkham. At that speed, one should be able to control a vehicle and keep it within even the most narrow of lanes. Or maybe a nice “20 is plenty” campaign needs to be carried out on the avenues.

  • Athena

    It just happened!!! A head on collision, April 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm, on 21st Avenue and Kirkham. Both cars were totaled. One driver, a senior, was bleeding from the head. I told you, the cars DON’T FIT in the lanes in this section of Kirkham street!!

  • Anonymous

    That’s a shame. I hope those involved are ok and heal up quickly.

    I think some measurements need to be done on the lane widths. Narrower lanes need to be treated as such and handled at a slower speed. But let’s wait to hear what happened.

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