SFMTA Adds Green Treatments, Posts to Eastern Cesar Chavez Bike Lanes

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/sfbike/status/251070415106080768##@SFBike/Twitter##

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency added “safe-hit” posts and dashed green pavement treatments to the bike lanes on eastern Cesar Chavez Street this week between Vermont and Pennsylvania streets.

Photo: ##https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=450521791653606&set=a.129453683760420.11389.129234557115666&type=1&theater##SFMTA Livable Streets/Facebook##

The new additions should improve the sense of separation, safety and visibility for people using the bike lanes, which were installed this spring. The bike lanes replaced car parking lanes on Cesar Chavez between the 101 and 280 highways, rather than the traffic lane as originally envisioned in the SF Bike Plan.

“As we continue to implement the vision of the Bike Plan, we understand that the work does not stop once the plan is on paper,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin in a statement. “This project is another example of the MTA listening to the community and adjusting designs to meet their needs. This work showcases an inexpensive, effective and attractive transportation option that that makes for a clearer and safer separation between bicycles and cars on this busy road.”

A post on the SFMTA Livable Streets Facebook page said crews were out today installing the green pavement treatments, which highlight areas where bikes and cars merge. The posts were installed last week.

  • Anonymous

    This has really improved eastern Cesar Chavez. So much better now, especially with the soft-hit posts. Wish they were doing the same to western Cesar Chavez (where I think they are just installing a door-zone old-school bike lane).

    The only problem is still that intersection with Evans on eastbound Cesar Chavez where you have to cross traffic that is turning right but moving really fast because they get a green arrow even when the straight-ahead traffic stopped. This makes this cross-over very nerve-wracking, further exacerbated by the large trucks that pass through this area and swing into the bike lane to make their wide right turns. There is a similar problem with westbound Cesar Chavez at the Hairball where the bike lane also splits car traffic lanes (I really despise this design). I haven’t ridden this section in the last 2 days, so I hope they are adding the green in these cross-over areas.

    Finally, they still need a buffered bike lane up Pennsylvania from Cesar Chavez to 22nd St. There is plenty of room (absolutely no reason for 2 lines of traffic between Cesar Chavez and the freeway exit ramp) so I don’t know what’s holding the MTA back on this one.

  • voltairesmistress

    This is wonderful news.  I used to ride to a client’s in the eastern portion of Bernal Heights, and the Cesar Chavez stretch frightened me.

  • Zack

    “we understand that the work does not stop once the plan is on paper”.  Gee, that’s reassuring….

  • Mike

    The quote is referring to how there was a legislated design on paper in the Bike Plan and how it was revisited after the injunction was lifted and re-designed to bring it up to current, higher standards. So yes, it is reassuring!

  • I got Cc’ed on an email to SFMTA from a friend who has some problems with the posts as specified. He has some more detailed complaints about Chavez/Evans but I know exactly what he was talking about at Chavez/Penn.

    As I would proceed down Chavez back in the day, I would start to look very early for an opportunity to move to the left hand travel lane to prepare for a merge into the left turn pocket onto Pennsylvania. He mentions that the soft hit posts continue way too far and make this 2 lane cross merge very dicey. And frankly, a “box turn” here is sort of fubar as well, because the road narrows and you get squeezed, or you can take the ancient remnant of a bike lane that goes out onto a sidewalk which is then obscured by a concrete post supporting I-280. You then cross Pennsylvania in the crosswalk, at which point you’d be setting up for your box turn in sort of a dodgy spot.

  • bws

    I was the one that posted the email to SFMTA. They are going to meet with me and a representative from SFBC on Monday afternoon to review the comments. 

    Here is the feedback I provided: 
    ————————————————————-
    I have been delighted about the addition of the bike lanes in both the eastbound and westbound direction. They have significantly impacted the street design and the safety for cyclists on this stretch of roadway. Thank you for your support an improvements in this critical cycling corridor. However, I believe that the soft-hit bollards that have been added recently, while adding a very clear visual indicator for the drivers, is actually creating a hazardous condition for the cyclists and motorists at the points where the bollards end. Eastbound direction @ Evans StreetThe bike lane at this point takes a relatively rapid jog across the roadway where motorists are attempting to cross a lane of traffic to take a right hand turn at Evans. This is a location where many motorists are traveling rapidly as they approach the light (often increasing speed to make the light) and the bike lane crosses over the lane that is turning right. With the striping of the bike lanes, I’ve identified this as being the most dangerous section of the roadway.1)      the motorists are not expecting / properly forewarned that cyclists will actively jog in front of their cars
    2)      the motorists are preoccupied with the approaching light and its cycles and not paying attention as much to the road
    3)      the sun during morning commute hours is 100% directly in the face of drivers as they drive the slight uphill gradeThe bollards unfortunately compound the situation and make a dangerous section EXTREMELY hazardous  The bollards end precisely at the point at which the bikes cross the roadway and with this configuration the previously “forgotten” cyclists who were safely in their own lane, are now suddenly appearing to cross the lane of traffic. In the few days since the bollards have been installed I have personally experienced 2 situations of drivers and cyclists in near miss scenarios at this juncture. It would be preferable to have the bollards end earlier so the cyclists themselves are a visual indicator (not protected) and will be participating in the jog across the roadway. Eastbound direction @ Pennsylvania StreetThe bollards end as the cyclist approaches the light @ Pennsylvania & the 280 off-ramp. Many cyclists going to the 22nd St Caltrain turn left at this light and proceed up the hill. In order to do so, one must navigate across 2 lanes of traffic. This is usually not a difficult task as long as one has enough time. The drivers are accommodating of the cyclists crossing traffic as the downhill in this area enables the cyclists to safely be in the roadway as they cross the lanes and not impede on the normal flow of traffic. However, with the new configuration of the bollards, there is not sufficient space for a cyclists to exit the bike lane and cross traffic given the speed of the vehicles and the density of traffic. It would be preferable to have the bollards end earlier so the cyclists had enough of an opportunity to cross the lanes safely. There is an additional point of feedback that is unrelated to the bollards. Westbound direction @ Kansas StreetAt this location motorist traffic splits into 2 lanes – one for Westbound Chavez and one to merge to 101N / Vermont Street. The bike lane switches position from the right of these two lanes to the middle of these two lanes with no indication to the driver or the cyclist. At one point during the construction there was a bike box in the intersection, but this is no longer present. This is another example where the cyclists are actively crossing lanes of traffic in precise locations where the drivers aren’t looking for them or are otherwise actively distracted by lights and lanes changing direction. This intersection could use better planning for getting the cyclists into the proper position to safely enter the (much appreciated) bike bridge.

  • sebra leaves

    Hopefully they are going to do something about the uneven pavement. All by cyclists friends avoid that street.

  • mikesonn

    You have cyclist friends?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and her cyclist friends apparently just flap their arms and fly over Potrero Hill–none of that uneven pavement for them, no sir!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Crews Installing Bike Lanes, Two-Way Bikeway on C. Chavez and Cargo Way

|
Two bike corridors connecting the city’s southeastern neighborhoods should be safer after crews finish constructing buffered bike lanes on eastern Cesar Chavez Street and a two-way protected bikeway on Cargo Way. Bike commuters are already enjoying more room on a section of eastern Cesar Chavez, where car parking has been cleared and preliminary striping put on […]