San Francisco May Get Its First Green Bike Lane on Fell Street

Picture_10.pngImage: SFMTA

San Francisco would get its first green bike lane under a new MTA proposal (PDF) to fix the troubled intersection of Divisadero and Fell streets near the entrance to the Arco station, where drivers queuing up to get gas obstruct the bike lane and block the sidewalk, creating hazardous conditions for people who ride bikes and walk.

As BIKE NOPA first reported, the MTA has scrapped a previous plan to fix the problem. The new plan would remove several parking spaces on the south side of Fell, according to the MTA's James Shahamiri, who notified advocates of the proposal Thursday:

This space would be used for vehicles to queue to enter the gas station. Importantly these vehicles would be to the left of the bicycle lane. We are also proposing to color the bicycle lane green. This would be the City's first green bicycle lane.

The proposal includes hashmarks leading up to the intersection and dashed green pavement across it.

The news that San Francisco could get its first green bike lane was cheered by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, whose efforts have been stymied for three years by the bike injunction. The MTA, however, has recently been moving forward with a series of promising new treatments, after a partial lifting of the injunction, including a reconfiguration of the protected bike lane on Market and 10th streets, and the city's first green bike box.

"After the successes in New York City, in South San Francisco, in Portland, in Long Beach, everywhere, they understand that painting bike lanes green is an important aspect for both safety, and for bike rights, and making sure drivers understand that cyclists do have a right to the road," said Marc Caswell, the SFBC program manager.

Caswell said he also hoped the configuration would help drivers recognize the importance of not blocking the sidewalk "and allow pedestrians safe and free access." 

The MTA proposal was presented for the first time last night to NOPNA, the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, to rounds of applause and unanimous support. It must still be approved by the MTA Board, probably sometime in early April.

The intersection has long been a trouble spot for people who ride bikes, but fortunately, there have been no serious injuries, according to Caswell.

Picture_11.pngWhat shade of green will the MTA use for SF's first green bike lane? How about a Portland green? Photo: Su An Ng
4256939097_7f114bbdb1.jpgOr a New York green? Photo: Smotron