DPW Begins Work on Market/Valencia Left-Turn Bike Signal

Market and Valencia. Photo: Aaron Bialick

Construction has begun on a left-turn bicycle traffic signal and queuing lane that will help bicycle riders turn on to Valencia Street from westbound Market Street, according to the SF Department of Public Works.

Originally expected to begin last month, work on the project started yesterday, said DPW spokesperson Rachel Gordon, and it should be completed by November 30, depending on weather.

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/smzavestoski/status/268892670133407744##Stephen Zavestoski/Twitter##

The project, which is being implemented by both DPW and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, will create a left-turn “pocket” for bicycle commuters to queue up by the curb along Market, where an exclusive bicycle signal will indicate when to cross onto southbound Valencia. To make that possible, DPW crews will also remove a piece of the center median on Market.

When completed, it should bring some major relief for commuters connecting between two of the city’s busiest bicycling routes, who must currently merge over three lanes of traffic, one of which has streetcar tracks on it.

For a visual of what the treatment could look like, check out a similar example used at the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts after the break.

The intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street in Cambridge features a left-turn pocket and traffic signal for bikes, similar to the one coming to Market Street. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulad/5066525842/##Mulad/Flickr##
Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulad/5066525864/##Mulad/Flickr##
  • Sprague

    The shots from Cambridge look nice.  On a somewhat related note, I noticed new paint markings this morning at the 17th Street and Church Street intersection, to guide westbound cyclists safely over the streetcar tracks.  (I’m one of those non-tech savvy people.  Otherwise, I would’ve photographed it and shared it.)

  • You’ve stumbled upon tomorrow’s story early!

  • Sprague

    What a coincidence.  By the way, any word on the progress of the Church Street transit only lanes?  I am eager for further streetscape improvements.  Change is oh-so-hard to come by in these parts (as your articles point out)!

  • They were scheduled to be implemented during a closure of the J and N this weekend, but rain may delay them again.

  • Anonymous

    Is there going to be a sensor in the pocket to detect cyclist and trip the light?

  • mike

     The bike signal will go on every cycle.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I was thinking more about “after-hours” when there is little traffic. If there’s no sensor, then bicyclists have to wait even though, under the previous way, if they hit the left-turn arrow when it was green they wouldn’t have to wait. So the least the city could do is add a sensor for after-hours that triggers the light change for bicyclists so they don’t have to wait for the cycle when there’s no traffic.

  • after-hours with little/no traffic you can take which ever route you want, bike-left or regular-left.

  • Sprague

    Thanks for the update, Aaron.

  • Pmflynn

    Lots of improvement since Ms. Gordon came on board as the public liaison. Much appreciated by us bike commuters. Mkt onto Valencia is a scary turn. Thanks!

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Construction begins this week on a nine-month project that could periodically disrupt Valencia Street’s bike lanes. The result, residents hope, will be a greatly improved streetscape for pedestrians and bicyclists. Valencia Street at 15th Street. Flickr photo: Iznot The Valencia Streetscape Improvements project, which spans Valencia from 15th Street to 19th Street, is intended to […]