Eyes on the Street: First Fell Street Bike Lane Markings on the Ground

Photo: Aaron Bialick

Crews laid down the first preliminary stripes of the three-block separated bike lane on Fell Street this morning. The SF Municipal Transportation Agency is moving ahead with the safer connection between the Wiggle and the Panhandle, confident that a legal appeal filed against the project will be denied.

As of this afternoon, a few short stretches had preliminary markings, and temporary striping tape spelled out the words “Bike Lane” on each block. Since the SFMTA removed the car parking lane and began grinding off the old street markings two weeks ago, the space had been open for bicyclists but left mostly unmarked.

When complete, the bike lane will be 7’3″ wide, with a five-foot buffer zone separating it from motor traffic. The SFMTA’s designs show that the bike lane will include a green bike box at Fell and Divisadero, and green markings will highlight merging zones at intersections. Some intersections will feature “mixing zones” where bike and car traffic merges, like those seen on the JFK Drive parking-protected bike lanes in Golden Gate Park.

The SFMTA says that by next summer, a similar lane will be installed on Oak Street, and concrete planters will be built in the buffer zone (which will still allow drivers to cross the bike lane to enter driveways). In addition, the sidewalk will be extended at 12 street corners, the synchronized traffic signal speed will be lowered from 25 MPH to 20 MPH to calm motor traffic, and special signals will be installed at intersections to give bicyclists and pedestrians a head start to cross in front of turning vehicles.

The queuing space for cars waiting to enter the Arco gas station, which drivers must cross the bike lane to reach, will not be removed under new bike lane design. The current design for that section, which directs bicyclists around the queue into a dashed green-painted merging zone, will remain.

One more picture after the jump…

##https://twitter.com/smzavestoski/status/268926319755161601##Stephen Zavestoski on Twitter##: "My favorite pic on Fell."
  • mikesonn

    Now can we demand they close that driveway to Arco?

  • “Truth has to appear only once, in one single mind, for it to be impossible for anything ever to prevent it from spreading universally and setting everything ablaze.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  • I rode this stretch today.  For the first time in a long time there were no Ted and Al’s Towing trucks parked on Fell just after Divisadero. (Major improvement. Yesterday they had two lurking in the lane.) However, there was a young, healthy, non-disabled man blocking the bike lane with his car while getting money from the BofA ATM (on Fell just before Broderick.) He had left his car door open and his engine running.

    There were also two tourists on bikes on the right hand side of Fell who, I believe, would have been much, much happier in the bike lane on the left hand side. The bike rental companies really need to give these folks decent bike maps. Some colored paint that differentiated the bike way from the regular road might also help tourists figure out where to go.

    As to the Arco, whatever the configuration, it appears to attract the worst-behaved drivers. Yesterday, I was waiting at the light on Fell at Divisadero. As the light turns green for traffic on Fell, a car pulls out from the Arco straight onto Divisadero going north. Though his light is clearly red, he guns it and flies through the intersection with his engine roaring and tires screeching like a bad detective chase movie. It is just luck that no one is injured or killed. After my jaw stops dropping, I (and the cars next to me) tentatively enter the intersection hoping no other reckless idiots are nearby.

  • I hope the “by next summer” comment is more about the planters and bulb-outs than the Oak St. lane striping. 

  • It is. The Oak lane should be striped by winter.

  • J.D.

    I imagine that the cars will simply block the bike lane when they’re waiting to turn into Arco.

  • Anonymous

     How about as a start charging ARCO rent for the average overflow onto the city street that their business creates. Make it steep enough for them to have an incentive to re-engineer their footprint to allow off-street queueing.

  • cc

    It’s a shame the bike lane markings that were added are not sticking.  I rode this yesterday and most of the letters already peeled off and were crumpled up further down the street! Not the most effective way to let drivers know it’s a bike lane.

  • No worries, those are temporary markings until the more permanent ones can be applied.

  • mikesonn
  • JimT

    Ted and Al were back in the bike lane for at least the last two days. This is going to be an ongoing issue unless the city works with them to stop their bad behavior. If they’re not willing to comply voluntarily, it’s time to actually enforce the law. In the meantime, bicyclists should let the city — and Ted and Al’s — know how they feel.

  • Mom on a bike

    That makes me sick. What do they expect me to do if I have my kid(s) on the back of my bike? Fine, I’ll just buzz them on the sidewalk, or if they’re blocking the sidewalk too, stop and call the cops on them.

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