How Would You Redesign Market Street at Van Ness?

How should this intersection be designed to better accomodate bicyclists?

How should this intersection be designed to better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians? Photos by Bryan Goebel were taken from the offices of SFMTA Chief Nat Ford and former traffic engineer Jack Fleck.

With the SFMTA poised to install green bike boxes in both directions of Market Street at Van Ness Avenue, it got me thinking about how the agency could better design that intersection for the huge numbers of bicyclists who pass through it on a daily basis, particularly on eastbound Market where drivers and people on bikes have to crisscross to get in their respective lane. It could also be better designed for pedestrians, considering it’s so wide and that Van Ness, a state highway, is an ugly street to cross.

Since the SFMTA began forced right-turns on eastbound Market at 10th Street, a trial that has improved conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit, they fixed the configuration of the eastbound bike lane and protected it with soft-hit posts and green paint. The eastbound green protected bike lane begins around 11th Street, leaving a gap between there and the Van Ness crosswalk. Why not extend the bike lane all the way to the crosswalk, and make it clear that drivers should stay right to get in the right turn lane or turn right onto 11th? But there are some complications with that.

See my idea (below the break) for a treatment across the intersection to get eastbound bicyclists in the bike lane if the SFMTA moved it back. I think this would work well for bicyclists queued up in the bike box, but then it doesn’t necessarily solve how to get bicyclists over there in moving traffic.

How would you redesign this intersection to address these issues, and the bike lane on Market between Van Ness and 10th Street?  We know a great many of you are talented designers, so why not take the photos and work up some photoshop magic? Send your finished ideas by next Wednesday, December 15th, to bryan@sf.streetsblog.org and we’ll put up the best designs, and throw in a Streetsblog SF hoodie to thank you.

I'm definitely not a photoshop pro, but how about something like this for the intersection heading eastbound on the south side?

I'm definitely not a photoshop pro or planner but how about something like this for the intersection heading eastbound on the south side? Notice how the westbound bike lane is green and protected, something the SFBC has been pestering the SFMTA to do.

Extending the green bike lane back to the crosswalk is completed by the fact that 11th Street is used by transit, and has tracks where the historic streetcars often pull off. The bike lane could probably not be protected for these reasons, or could it?

Extending the protected green bike lane back to the crosswalk is complicated by the fact that 11th Street is used by transit, and has tracks where the historic streetcars often pull off. The bike lane could probably not be protected for these reasons, or could it? What do you think about this issue?

Northbound cyclists pedaling up 11th Street, which has a bike lane, often cross over the tracks to turn left.

Another issue: Northbound cyclists pedaling up 11th Street, which has a bike lane, often cross over the tracks to turn left onto Market cause it's the shortest way to do so. I usually turn right and loop around.

Westbound Market St. bicyclists who need to head down 11th Street will sometimes turn left and head over the tracks across Market St. to get there.

Westbound bicyclists who need to head down 11th Street will sometimes turn left and head over the tracks across Market St. to get there.

The north side of the intersection at Market Street.

The north side of the intersection of Market Street at Van Ness.

Looking eastbound on Market Street between 11th and 10th.

Looking eastbound on Market Street between 11th and 10th.