SFMTA Crews Install Market Street’s First Green Bike Boxes

Westbound Market at Ninth Street. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Crews were out on Market Street today laying down the first bike boxes on both sides of the Ninth Street intersection. They come as the first of five promised by the SFMTA earlier this month.

The boxes allow bike riders to get up front at a stop light, increasing visibility to motorists and allowing them to cross safely. The ones going in on Market Street are the first in San Francisco to be made of a rough, grip-sensitive material that should help bike riders keep traction even in the rain.

The bike boxes come as welcome news to bicycle advocates who have been pushing the city to complete a continuous Market Street separated bikeway.

Crew members said they’ll be installing the next boxes at Van Ness Avenue tomorrow. See more photos after the jump.

Westbound Market at Ninth Street. Photo: Aaron Bialick
The material comes in hard, rectangular sections. Crews lay them out precisely and give them a preliminary heating on the eastbound side of the Ninth Street intersection. Photo: Aaron Bialick
Crews heat the material with torches to secure it to the ground as they sprinkle a traction-yielding powder on top. Photo: Aaron Bialick
Bike traffic was temporarily forced either onto the sidewalk or in the trolley lane for a couple of hours. A surprising number of riders dismounted and walked their bikes. Photo: Aaron Bialick
  • Mark D.

    Happy to see the SFMTA moving forward on additional bike boxes – especially on Market Street. It’s especially nice to see improvements to the grip and reflectivity of the material.

    Here’s to finding a uniform color though…

  • Abe

    Can’t wait to use them!
    And kudos to everyone who walked their bikes on the sidewalk 🙂

  • “Bike traffic was temporarily forced either onto the sidewalk or in the trolley lane for a couple of hours. A surprising number of riders dismounted and walked their bikes”

    Seems to me a sign that if bicyclists feel respected, they’ll show that respect back.

    Thanks, SFMTA.

  • Mike F

    I’m a bicycle commuter, but I’m not clear on the purpose of this particular bike box. Since the separated bike lane starts on the next block I’m personally inclined to stop next to the curb so that I can go straight into the bike lane. I’m not clear on why i’d want to queue up in the middle of the lane and then swerve over to the bike lane when the light changes.

    Can someone explain?

  • Nick

    Mike, that extra space is for you and your friends. 🙂

    Ideally the Bike Box should extent curb to curb. Maybe it’s a DOT state standard or something.

  • Jake Wegmann

    Nice going, SF! There’s nothing like an actual, on-the-ground model to let people kick the tires and see what a more livable city actually looks like and how it functions.

  • I was really excited to see them installing them today. I stopped to take some pictures of the work and crew. They were very keen on being photographed, posing for the camera and saying “Oooh, now we’re going to be on Streetsblog!”

  • John

    A very significant addition to traffic management and cycling infrastructure on Market St.
    I was pleased as punch, and proud of our city, to stop right in the middle of one of those little oases of green and await the signal change. Standing there all by myself, however, I couldn’t help wondering why all the other bicyclists preferred to roll through the pedestrians and shoal in the crosswalk.

  • BTinSF

    Great.  Make it ever easier for insensitive bike riders to impede the chosen mode of transportation of the overwhelming majority.

  • mikesonn

    Um? What?

  • Why are we dredging up year-old articles to comment on?