Envisioning Protected Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Islands for Second Street

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"Protected cycle tracks green and calm Second Street while respecting human powered transport," writes architect David Baker. Image: David Baker + Partners Architects

Advocates for a safer Second Street have released a new rendering showing how the street could function better for pedestrians and cyclists if a protected bike lane is included in the coming redesign.

Baker's sketch shows how Second Street could fit bike lanes protected by parking lanes and pedestrian islands.

Architect and bike commuter David Baker, whose firm is located on Second, posted the rendering on the blog Great Second Street.

“Protected bicycle lanes are great to ride on, and give pedestrians, cyclists, and cars their own space,” Baker writes. “They also provide space for larger trees than are possible with narrow sidewalks alone.”

At a public workshop in May, protected bike lanes were a popular feature in conceptual proposals presented by local residents.

The new green bike channel at Duboce and Church, which runs between the sidewalk and N-Judah boarding island, is an example of a bike lane protected by a concrete island, similar to the one in Baker’s vision. This treatment is “an economical alternative to sidewalk widening since they require less infrastructure,” writes Baker. “Whenever curbs are moved, storm-water drains need to be relocated, which is very costly.”

The SFMTA and Department of Public Works could make Second a much more livable street by incorporating this kind of safer infrastructure, which more and more residents are clamoring for. The next workshop on the plan is expected to be held in August.