Eyes on the Street: Valencia Streetscape Project Nearly Complete
Soon all that will feel like a distant memory, as the five blocks recently received a smooth layer of asphalt and over the past few days have been striped for a new lane configuration. To make room for the delightfully wide and sparkly sidewalks, the center median stripes have been replaced by two parallel yellow lines, an arrangement that is sure to make the old median double parkers upset.
While the new pavement is pleasant to ride over, cyclists will quickly realize the new lane configuration doesn't provide them with much new space and doesn't diminish the danger of dooring. If anything, the absence of the center median means delivery vehicles are no longer parking in the media and are using the curb for business, which can pinch the bike lane down and reduce visibility. Knowing drivers who used to pass cyclists with their left wheels in the median will also have less space to pass comfortably. Hopefully that will slow them down so they pass with greater care, but I'm concerned it could add to more conflicts.
On his website, he writes: "The public is invited to use the four sites as informal community bulletin boards for notices, events, ads, and the like. The (Stick-Style) Victorian signifier is meant to evoke the site’s history. Since most of the older buildings up to 20th Street were destroyed during fires in 1906, the area has transformed its appearance numerous times. The juxtaposition of a bulletin-street-pole with classic San Franciscan architecture embraces the past and present- leaving room for the future collaborations by the community."
As a semi-regular pedestrian on the street, the sidewalks are wonderful. But as a regular bicycle commuter on the street, I'm more than a bit concerned by the new configuration. What do you think?
H/T Mr Eric Sir.