More Upgrades at Church and Duboce, But Colored Transit Lanes Delayed

Photos: Aaron Bialick

New green-backed sharrows, Muni shelters, planters, art murals and more were installed in recent weeks as part of the ongoing improvements to the bike and transit hub at Duboce Avenue and Church Street.

However, those waiting for the colored transit lanes on Church may be disappointed to hear they’ll have to wait another month. Although construction was originally set for September, Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Paul Rose said the lanes will now go in by the end of October. We’re waiting to hear back on the cause for the delay.

Meanwhile, other improvements continue sprouting up at Duboce and Church as part of the track replacement project, which is expected to be finished next spring. The intersection serves as the entrance to the heavily-used Wiggle bike route and a transit junction for Muni’s J-Church, N-Judah, and 22-Fillmore lines.

Following the addition of a green “bike channel” and wider boarding islands in June, Duboce now has green-backed sharrows connecting to the rest of the ones installed along the Wiggle this year, while the N and J stops have new shelters. SFMTA staff has said it also plans to add green-backed sharrows guiding riders across the tracks where they exit the two-way Duboce bikeway.

Mona Caron's new mural depicting the Sans Souci Creek.

Artist Mona Caron, who created the mural along the bikeway along the back of the Safeway building, added new touches to the Muni utility boxes on the sidewalk. On one side of the boxes, bicyclists entering the Wiggle are greeted by an illustrated flowing banner that lists the names of the streets that make up the route. On the other side, pedestrians are treated with a window to a re-imagined intersection featuring an uncovered Sans Souci Creek (which once roughly followed the path of the Wiggle), an agricultural plot, and an open community area replacing the Safeway and its parking lot.

At the N-Judah stop at Duboce and Noe Street (Duboce Park), crews were out today filling in the new planters, one of the finishing touches at the station. The ongoing work has brought wider sidewalks, ladder-striped crosswalks, and bike racks, and more along Duboce.

Check out more photos after the break.

The other side of the Muni utility box greets Wiggle riders.
Looking down Church Street, where the center lanes are set to become colored transit-only lanes next month.
Crews water the new plants at the N-Judah station at Duboce Park.
A new set of bike racks serves Duboce Park visitors and N-Judah passengers who bike to the stop.
The other utility box on Church painted by Caron.
  • Zack

    While the potential delays might be disappointing, I certainly give SFMTA huge credit for this project.  It’s really stunning to see the after pictures and compare them to what that whole area looked like before.  Such wonderful upgrades!

  • Nice! Some major improvements.

  • Sprague

    Beautiful paintings and other nice improvements.  Does anyone know what happened to a short section of bikeway along the sidewalk at the northeast corner of the Duboce and Steiner intersection (allowing right turning cyclists to circumvent the stop sign)?  (This was included in a drawing of suggested or proposed upgrades to the area.)   That was a nice design feature that would allow cyclists to legally make a right since “Idaho stops” aren’t officially blessed.

    When the transit lane upgrades are installed, I hope that transit priority is also implemented for the traffic signals at the Church and 15th and at the Church and 16th intersections.  In a “transit first” city, there is no reason why the J and the 22 should be so frequently slowed by red lights on that section of Church.

  • Paul

    Another improvement would be to close Church between 15th and Market or at least remove the parking. Then widen the sidewalks on each side to create a one block cafe area where there can be outdoor restaurant seating, benches and other pedestrian friendly offerings. Would be unique to SF, would calm traffic, would allow Muni easy unimpeded access/thruway and make this a destination folks would come to through the underground. And with new housing in area, would create anew neighborhood gathering spot. Would be fantastic!!!

  • ubringliten

    Very nice improvements.  I can’t wait to bike along there this Sunday!

  • Anonymous

    I was biking the Wiggle recently and noticing how cyclists who don’t stop at stop signs put me at risk, as I can no longer predictably negotiate right of way with drivers. I know there are education and social campaigns afoot to curb stop sign running (in the absence of an Idaha stop law), but I wonder if it’d help to add red street stencils of a cyclist in a red octagon (like a stop sign)? If you’re following the green sharrows, this would visually reinforce stopping at intersections. What do folks think? And any idea who I’d contact to suggest this to the city?

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a terrible idea. The reality is Idaho Stops are safe and already the de facto accepted action. Putting effort in to installing something that will further confuse everyone about what is going to happen will make the problem worse. No matter what you do, people will be practicing Idaho Stops, which really should be state, if not national, law.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t disagree with you that Idaho stops make a lot of sense. However, for now, they’re not what other road users expect, and that increases the potential for collisions. In addition, an Idaho stop still requires a cyclist to stop if another vehicle has right of way, and sometimes it feels like the Wiggle has devolved into a “cyclists always have right of way” free-for-all. 

  • Anonymous

    Would love to see this. I think it would be easier though to block off the section of Church between Market and Duboce.