Delayed Again, “Better Market Street” Could Move Bikeway to Mission Street

Better Market Street project managers announced today that construction will be pushed back another two years to 2017, and one of the three options to be studied will include protected bike lanes on Mission Street instead of Market Street. Images: Better Market Street

The latest news from the Better Market Street project could be a setback for implementing a safe, accessible bike network in San Francisco — not just because construction has been pushed back to 2017, four years past the original date — but because one of the three proposals that planners will study involves building a protected bike lane route on Mission Street instead of Market, while re-routing Muni’s 14-Mission bus line on to Market in the downtown stretch.

The SF Chronicle reported on the proposal today, saying that protected bike lanes on parallel Mission would be easier to engineer and “far safer” for bicycle riders compared to Market. Routing the 14-Mission onto downtown Market, meanwhile, would allow more room for buses than the 9-foot-wide bus lanes on Mission, where Muni drivers today must often occupy two traffic lanes to squeeze through.

But by abandoning Market as a priority bike route, the Mission Street option would go against a primary principle of bike planning: Improving the most direct routes, which people are naturally drawn to use. Market Street, the city’s wide, main thoroughfare, serves as the most convenient and direct east-west bicycling route from downtown to the Wiggle. And with bicycles comprising a significant share of the vehicles on Market, it’s been claimed as the busiest bicycling street west of the Mississippi.

“Bikes are a critical part of the current and future economy, social safety and transportation on Market Street,” said Kit Hodge, deputy director of the SF Bicycle Coalition. “The companies that are now moving to mid-Market depend on great bicycling access. It would be odd for the city to roll back its own mid-Market revitalization efforts back by limiting biking.”

As Department of Public Works spokesperson Mindy Linetzky told the Chronicle, “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink and improve San Francisco’s premier street. Market Street is San Francisco’s main street. It should look and work like one.”

So will the vision for San Francisco’s “premier” street include bicycles?

A rendering of Market Street with a raised, protected bikeway.

Protected bike lanes on Market are still one of the three options [PDF] to be studied in the Better Market Street project, along with a proposal that wouldn’t add protected bike lanes on Market or Mission. In a statement, DPW Director Mohammed Nuru said, “All three options have their pros and cons, and deserve further exploration.”

“Adding Mission Street to the mix opens up new opportunities, such as making Market Street the city’s true transit spine and allowing traffic signals to be re-timed on Mission Street to better accommodate cyclists,” he added. “But more study is needed to see what would work best to promote safe and efficient travel.”

The pros and cons of the Mission bikeway proposal. (Click to enlarge.)

One factor behind the Mission proposal may be that it’s seen as a way to cut the cost of rebuilding the curbs on Market. DPW Project Manager Kris Opbroek told the Chronicle that “the curbs (on Market Street) were built of granite and meant to stay. We don’t take moving them lightly.”

But if that is the case, “That approach does not sync up with the high-level calls from the mayor and other decision-makers about making Market Street our grand boulevard, doing it right, and making it a world-class street,” said Leah Shahum, the SFBC’s executive director. “If it is about money, then they’re backing away from the vision.”

Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, said he sees protected bike lanes as an integral part of revitalizing Mid-Market by inviting more activity and shopping. “The vision of Market Street — you have to have bicycles. It’s not going to work without bicycles,” he said. “This isn’t the Better Mission Street Plan.”

“In terms of connecting to the Tenderloin, you basically are taking the bikes away from the Tenderloin,” added Shaw.

Whether the Mission proposal would have any bearing on other proposals in Better Market Street, such as banning personal cars on lower Market or creating more inviting public spaces and faster surface transit, is unclear.

While Mission deserves to be looked at for bike improvements, Shahum said, “It doesn’t make sense to kick the can and push off the problem with a-whole-nother set of challenges on another street.”

One apparent challenge in the proposal would be connecting the re-aligned routes for Muni and bicycles to their respective established routes heading into the Mission District. To use a Mission Street bikeway, riders would presumably get to Valencia and upper Market Streets possibly via Otis (currently a one-way street) and McCoppin Streets, either through a narrow shortcut or by making extra turns. This change would come despite the new left-turn bike signal at Market and Valencia, and the straight shot that Market provides to the Wiggle. Market, along with Valencia and the Wiggle, comprise some of San Francisco’s most heavily-cycled routes.

Buses on the 14-Mission line, meanwhile, would theoretically have to make left turns off of Market and Mission in either direction, plus another right turn, slowing down the already-sluggish line. New overhead power lines, which have been cited by the SFMTA as prohibitively expensive in other transit projects, may also have to be installed.

Hodge pointed out that safer bicycling options can entice Muni riders to try biking and help relieve overcrowding on buses. Placing bikeways where they’re visible along busy Muni corridors seems like a good way to maximize that effect. “By making biking through key areas even more accessible and welcoming, you’re going to take people off of Muni and open up seats for people who really need it,” said Hodge.

Hodge also emphasized the SFBC’s frustration with the latest delay for Better Market Street, a widely-anticipated project that was originally expected to begin construction this year. The announcement from project managers that the construction date would be pushed from 2015 to 2017 comes three months after DPW’s Opbroek was grilled for repeated delays by Supervisors David Chiu and Scott Wiener at a hearing. At the time, Wiener called the multi-agency project “the latest manifestation” of the city’s poor track record on timely implementation of transportation improvements that both save lives and improve quality of life.

“Clearly, [the project] needs a lot of help to get back on track,” said Hodge.

In the meantime, Hodge said the SFBC is urging the city to implement new pilot bikeway projects on Market this summer, building on the success of past pilots like the traffic diversions at Sixth and Tenth Streets and the green, post-separated bike lanes west of Eighth Street. As examples, the organization is calling for more forced turns for cars on westbound Market, as well as banning right turns on to Market from cross streets, to reduce car traffic. Green-backed sharrows have been widely cheered since they were implemented along the Wiggle, the SFBC says, and more should be added along Market.

After years of prolonged discussions, said Hodge, “The city really can’t throw its hands up and give up on finding the best possible solution for biking on Market Street.”

“Improving Mission Street in addition to Market Street for bicycling is very appealing, just as we have long sought upgrades to the bike lanes on Folsom and Howard Streets,” she said. “But the demand for safe and comfortable biking on Market Street for all kinds of people remains strong and will only grow stronger in the coming years.”

  • mikesonn

    Either way (though this seems like a stall tactic), Market needs to be car-free tomorrow. Not in two years, not in 15 years, tomorrow. The right turn on 3rd onto Market needs to be removed. Actual enforcement of bus only lanes on Mission need to be enforced, remove parking if the lane is too narrow.

    In the mean time, we are just burning money and people’s time by not prioritizing Muni.

  • Anonymous

    I have a hard time imagining Market St. feeling bike-friendly even without private cars. Between buses, subway grates, streetcar tracks, and the concrete lane split at every intersection, it always feels like taking my life in my hands. As long as the F and the subway grates remain, I like the idea of Mission for bikes and Market for transit. But maybe I’m just not imagining what the street could look like if it was totally reimagined with bikes prioritized along with transit and walking?
    Also, we’ve taken baby steps getting private vehicles off Market, but being serious about it is going to require enforcement. Because emergency vehicles have to get through, physical barriers just aren’t going to happen. But I’ve had too many experiences where someone driving a private vehicle decides they can switch lanes in the intersection, drive in the streetcar lane, and continue merrily down Market St. at 10th or 6th. 

  • Abe

    “remove parking if the lane is too narrow.”

    Amen!

  • Gneiss

    This is what comes of traffic engineers looking at bicycles as ‘slow cars’ rather than ‘fast pedestrians’.  European cities seems to be able to accommodate pedestrians, transit, and bicycles without conflict, but here in the US, because we view bicycles as vehicles we can’t see them mixing at all with pedestrians.

    If we just expanded the sidewalks and made it a shared walking and biking space we’d have ample room for both bicycles and people walking to coexist.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    I enjoy riding Market Street, and do so unless I really need the 4 or 5 minutes I can save by booking along Mission,

    The grates are deadly (quite literally.)  But apart from that, it’s interesting and urban (if not urbane at this point), with lots to see.  The bus traffic is bike-speed or lower, the increasing numbers of cyclists at all times of day make for companionable progress, the bus drivers and taxi drivers are almost all attentive and professional.

    Get rid of the idiots in private cars — generally lost or confused or the sort of dickhead sociopaths who think the mandatory right turns don’t apply to them personally — and the dodgy situations they cause at the Muni islands and trying to make turns and it would be almost a pleasure to ride.

    No great “reimagining” necessary — just get rid of completely stupid and superfluous element, stat.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    Outstanding! 

    You’ve just made cycling slower than … Muni.

  • the greasybear

    Because the current Market Street bike commute is generally a simple and straight shot into downtown, commute times are relatively quick and reliable. The proposal to shunt cyclists onto Mission would not only make the downtown bike commute longer and less reliable, it would also introduce unnecessary hazards.  Rerouting cyclists a block south of Market will mean many, perhaps most, cyclists will be forced to take at least two left turns and traverse at least two extra blocks to get to their end point. Unlucky cyclists may, due to SOMA’s one-way speedways, have to choose between overshooting or undershooting the desired endpoint on Market and potentially face a third left turn. Left turns, which add time and hazard to cycle commutes, are not required to traverse Market Street today. Longer distances, more intersections, forced left turns, and added exposure to speeding motorized traffic: how much more dangerous will bike commutes become? And how much longer will bike commutes get? 25% longer? 50% longer? 35% of cyclists surveyed in the SFMTA’s 2012 State of Cycling Report http://www.sfmta.com/cms/rbikes/documents/2012StateofCyclingReport8_9_12.pdf  report they choose bike commuting because it is “faster than alternatives.” What happens to our rate of cycling if we increase the length and time of bike commutes? What happens to cycling in San Francisco, physically and psychologically, should our city declare “a Better Market Street” is one without a safe place for bicyclists? When Boston set out to design a bicycle network, they first asked “Where are the bicyclists riding already?” From there, they laid down infrastructure on routes cyclists were already certain to use, in essence providing an assist to a network that already existed. Cycle commuters have converged on Market Street for decades, long before there were even sharrows on the pavement, because it is the most direct, reliable and safe route to work. San Francisco adopt Boston’s approach. A truly “Better Market Street” will include a safe space for San Franciscans who ride bicycles.

  • Gneiss

    Not true.  Just watch any video of European cities and you’ll see that commute times in cities for cyclists are fast – they have fewer intersections with red lights and more desire path walking and cycling.  The only reason why we channelize traffic the way we do in the states is to accommodate cars.  If the cars aren’t there, people naturally figure out the best way to get around each other.

  • Anonymous

    That might work in Europe, but not in the US, where bicyclists are as dickheaded to pedestrians as the motorists are to them.

  •  Agreed with Richard. When I try to book down Market it always feels sketchy, so if I need to get somewhere super duper fast – I am not on Market. So I sort of ignore Market 90% of the time, but I really really enjoy everytime I ride down Market. I just have to take Market as it is, and then it’s slower-ish and safe and fun just for the sheer number of other cyclists of many many different stripes out on the road.

  •  and gee -p_chazz, why would that be that cyclists are so much more aggro in San Francisco than Amsterdam? Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with what we have to deal with here? No way!

    Aside from the fact that you are just making that up in the first place…

  •  greasybear – buried in your post is the simple and clear way to beat this one back.

    The design of putting the cyclists onto Mission there, requiring those extra uses of one way streets, makes this area more akin to Manhattan than as the mid-market area currently works. What happens in Manhattan due to that grid problem? Wrong way cycling and sidewalk cycling. If a cyclist works at 4th and Market they aren’t going to go to 3rd, they are going to turn left onto 4th and ride the wrong way , probably on the sidewalk.

  • Gneiss

    I’d also like to point out the question no one is asking – how do you get to Mission from Market if you’re coming from the wiggle, Page St., Valencia St., or the Castro?  It simply doesn’t make sense for bike riders to get forced off Market when all the streets feed into Market.

    Are they thinking it would be easy for cyclists to throw a right and then a left (with two more stop lights) into their commutes just to accommodate this vision of a pedestrian/transit corridor?  I predict right now that if this gets built the way they envision it there will be endless ‘behaving badly’ stories of cyclists on sidewalks and riding the wrong way on one way streets further worsening the relationship between bicycle riders and other modes in the city.

  • Ted King

    New overhead power lines

    I did some ground-truthing tonight at Eleventh + Market. Eleventh Street is fully wired for two-way ETB service with switches at Market Street. The Mission intersection is something of a problem. It doesn’t have a switch for inbound runs to turn towards Market St. Also, the overhead wiring there is close to maxing out from both an operational standpoint and a maintenance standpoint. It might be better to split the 14-Mission ETB’s into outbound via Eleventh St. and inbound via South Van Ness (like the 49-Van Ness-Mission).

    One possible speed-up could come from closing the Market St. end of Eleventh St. to non-transit / non-emergency vehicles (red-deck the pavement). There is a garage (or two ?) on that block but I believe that it’s (they’re ?) far enough away from Market St. that such a closure would not be too large of a taking.

  • Tony

    Duboce will need to be upgraded to more bike-friendly corridor in the inbound direction. Not a bad idea, either way.

  • the greasybear

    Cyclists have, over many decades, crowd-sourced the most efficient way to get into and out of downtown from the neighborhoods–Market Street. If taking Mission made sense to the majority of bike commuters, then that’s where the majority would already be riding. Any plan to divert bicycle traffic away from the most natural route will face an uphill slog, and this particular plan is an even harder sell yet.

    We here on streetsblog are discussing the merits and demerits of this suggestion, but it won’t be an academic exercise for Joe Bike out on the street, who will have to weigh the safety benefits of a cycle track against the expense of additional distance and extra time, lower temporal reliability, and additional road hazards getting to and from the track.

    Left-hand turns in mixed traffic are a hairy proposition for bicyclists. This proposal would require between two and three left turns–each way. Soma’s one-way speedways are not safe for bikes. This proposal would force every bike commuter heading to a job north of Mission Street to either mix it up with motorized traffic, to salmon, or to ride on the sidewalk before entering and after exiting the cycle track. It may also require backtracking once commuters finally reach Market.

    It’s going to be difficult to sell the idea that a “Better Market Street” cannot include safe passage for today’s bike traffic only because the city doesn’t want to spend the necessary cash to do this “once in a generation” redesign right. My, what a fancy curb you’re lying in, Joe!  Wouldn’t want to move it. Too spendy.

  • Chris J.

    If Mission Street were made car-free, I would start considering the proposed alternative of using Mission instead of Market for bicycles.

    The more I ride, the more I wish there were bike routes free of car and motorcycle exhaust spewing into my lungs.  A lot of existing bike routes have lots of car exhaust — like the one-way and heavily-trafficked Folsom and Howard Street “highways” through SOMA. 

  • I’m one of those folks who finds the inbound semi-car free direction of market enjoyable right now.  With fewer cars and improved bus routing (so they’re not hopskotching with cyclists) it would be a pretty nice bike ride. Under this proposed alternative that could be true in both directions, and unless a way was found to ban bikes on Market, which seems unlikely. Lots of people would continue to ride on Market. Many people now ride on Mission, which is not as bad as it seems it would be. Cycle tracks on Mission could coexist with a more mixed calm traffic situation on Market. We’re talking about a multiple of the number of cyclists that ride currently. worth examining. So much stuff on Market it’s challenging to fit dedicated bike space there.

  • mikesonn

    Wrong way riding, I already see it on 4th down by Caltrain. Just another reason to add to the long list of why SoMa should be two-wayed ASAP.

  • I can’t imagine NOT taking Market, no matter which of these plans is put into place. It’s a more direct ride through a more vibrant and interesting area.

    I agree that simply removing private auto traffic would go a long way to making my rides better, but I can’t imagine dragging my friends and family along without the cycletracks. They are just too inexperienced and intimidated by traffic.

    Also: when I used to drive, Mission was THE way to get across town. Will drivers really put up with the plan to ban them from Market if Mission is seen as “anti-car” as well? 

  • Anonymous

    I wish.  Ever try politely asking a bicyclist to please use the bike lane that has been thoughtfully provided for his or her use and not the sidewalk?  Expect a torrent of abuse.  Bicyclists are NOT “fast pedestrians’.  Bikes have wheels.  They are vehicles.  They belong in the traffic lane. 

  • ZKunst

    I ride my bike daily from Nopa using McAllister to get to Market with a destination of Spear/Mission. I rode on Market for the first 4-5 months, but then found that riding on Mission street makes a lot more sense. I ride relatively quick, and generally get a green wave from 6th to 1st, then have greens to Spear. Buses don’t drive in their lane (they don’t fit) so it’s wide open and all I need to watch for are cars turning right at a few intersections. My inbound ride, using 6th as a cut-across, takes a consistent 15 minutes.

    To contrast, riding down Market scares me. Buses, cabs, streetcars, delivery trucks and the occasional private auto (really not the problem, its the delivery trucks during rush hour) all zoom around me as I have to keep an eye open for jaywalkers. The pavement is in terrible condition and the lights are timed poorly. I’m lucky to get 2 greens in a row and am constantly squeezing past vehicles to get to the unmarked (but generally assumed) bike boxes. On Market, my ride from Nopa is greater than 20 minutes, generally feels much more unsafe and is quite stressful.

    While everyone has a unique commute, I think this makes a lot of sense because I worry the dedicated cycletrack on Market will not be wide enough for the bicyce volume and will feel quite crowded. While the proposed changes sound great, I have a lot of questions to their practicality and ultimate rideability. On the other hand, Mission has a lot more room for bike facilities and would have slower moving traffic when changed to 1 lane in each direction. While many will disagree, this is the best news I’ve heard for SF cycling in quite some time. I only wonder about Samtrans and GG Transit…

  • ZKunst

    I ride my bike daily from Nopa using McAllister to get to Market with a destination of Spear/Mission. I rode on Market for the first 4-5 months, but then found that riding on Mission street makes a lot more sense. I ride relatively quick, and generally get a green wave from 6th to 1st, then have greens to Spear. Buses don’t drive in their lane (they don’t fit) so it’s wide open and all I need to watch for are cars turning right at a few intersections. My inbound ride, using 6th as a cut-across, takes a consistent 15 minutes.

    To contrast, riding down Market scares me. Buses, cabs, streetcars, delivery trucks and the occasional private auto (really not the problem, its the delivery trucks during rush hour) all zoom around me as I have to keep an eye open for jaywalkers. The pavement is in terrible condition and the lights are timed poorly. I’m lucky to get 2 greens in a row and am constantly squeezing past vehicles to get to the unmarked (but generally assumed) bike boxes. On Market, my ride from Nopa is greater than 20 minutes, generally feels much more unsafe and is quite stressful.

    While everyone has a unique commute, I think this makes a lot of sense because I worry the dedicated cycletrack on Market will not be wide enough for the bicyce volume and will feel quite crowded. While the proposed changes sound great, I have a lot of questions to their practicality and ultimate rideability. On the other hand, Mission has a lot more room for bike facilities and would have slower moving traffic when changed to 1 lane in each direction. While many will disagree, this is the best news I’ve heard for SF cycling in quite some time. I only wonder about Samtrans and GG Transit…

  • ZKunst

    I ride my bike daily from Nopa using McAllister to get to Market with a destination of Spear/Mission. I rode on Market for the first 4-5 months, but then found that riding on Mission street makes a lot more sense. I ride relatively quick, and generally get a green wave from 6th to 1st, then have greens to Spear. Buses don’t drive in their lane (they don’t fit) so it’s wide open and all I need to watch for are cars turning right at a few intersections. My inbound ride, using 6th as a cut-across, takes a consistent 15 minutes.

    To contrast, riding down Market scares me. Buses, cabs, streetcars, delivery trucks and the occasional private auto (really not the problem, its the delivery trucks during rush hour) all zoom around me as I have to keep an eye open for jaywalkers. The pavement is in terrible condition and the lights are timed poorly. I’m lucky to get 2 greens in a row and am constantly squeezing past vehicles to get to the unmarked (but generally assumed) bike boxes. On Market, my ride from Nopa is greater than 20 minutes, generally feels much more unsafe and is quite stressful.

    While everyone has a unique commute, I think this makes a lot of sense because I worry the dedicated cycletrack on Market will not be wide enough for the bicyce volume and will feel quite crowded. While the proposed changes sound great, I have a lot of questions to their practicality and ultimate rideability. On the other hand, Mission has a lot more room for bike facilities and would have slower moving traffic when changed to 1 lane in each direction. While many will disagree, this is the best news I’ve heard for SF cycling in quite some time. I only wonder about Samtrans and GG Transit…

  • mikesonn

    @p_chazz:disqus Try to tell a motorist to not double park in a bike lane and expect a torrent of abuse.
    It is all anecdotal. Knock it off.

  • mikesonn

    @p_chazz:disqus Try to tell a motorist to not double park in a bike lane and expect a torrent of abuse.
    It is all anecdotal. Knock it off.

  • mikesonn

    @p_chazz:disqus Try to tell a motorist to not double park in a bike lane and expect a torrent of abuse.
    It is all anecdotal. Knock it off.

  • I worry the dedicated cycletrack on Market will not be wide enough for the bicyce volume and will feel quite crowded.

    This is the sort of problem we can only hope to have.

  • ZKunst

    I think we are already there. 8″ is maybe enough room for 2 bikes side-by-side, and during rush hour market is 3-5 bikes wide at intersections. 

  • BK

    What about the idea of keeping the “rapid transit” Muni lines down the center of Market (potentially including the 14/14L), keeping the right lane on Market for bicycles ONLY (and delivery trucks during limited hours) and re-routing the “local” Muni lines to a newly designed, Muni-centric Mission Street?  This would mitigate the issues of bike-lane overcrowding, Muni and bicycle lane-sharing, bicyclists needing to ride next to car exhaust, and Muni delays.  

    Since it seems like DPW, SFMTA, et al, are still seemingly throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks, I figured I should add my $.02 as well….

  • Wai Yip Tung

    Great out of the box idea. Market St has too many intersections, too pedestrians, too many buses for bicycle to travel comfortably. A dedicated lane on Mission St with the well timed traffic signal sounds like a great plan for bicyclists.

    SF Streetblog should not anchor the thinking on Market St. Be open minded about other options. It can very well works better for most people.

  • I think is idea is very interesting and deserve further consideration. I think the key is how to connect with the existing lanes on Upper Market. Building cycletracks on Market would have to deal with conflicts like curbside bus stops and BART/Muni station entrances, as well as additional intersections and crosswalks.

    Putting cycletracks on Mission doesn’t mean that bikes are banned on Market. I think the biking environment on Market would be improved from the present without the cycletracks. This just gives riders another option.

    If Muni were to reroute the 14 Mission to Market, they should reroute one of the less frequent line from Market to Mission, like line 21.

  • Gneiss

    Wai Yip Tung – The biggest reason why people on bicycles would want to continue to use Market rather than Mission is how it remains a primary destination (think Powell Street, the Library, UN Plaza, Ferry Building, etc.) and is a more direct path through the center of the city.  In addition, all the major BART stops are on Market not Mission.  One of the major tenants of creating a good transportation network is connectively.  If you lose the ability to ride a bicycle between Van Ness and 8th St. that becomes far less desirable

    I can’t think of any person who would deliberately ride their bicycle three blocks out of their way just to reach the Civic Center BART stop. 

  • Wai Yip Tung

    Market and Mission are parallel and are just 1 block away. Whether your destination is Market of Mission it hardly matters. If Mission is setup for fast thru traffic then people are much better all to use Mission and turn to Market only to reach their final destination. Note bicycle is not banned on Market. You see this kind of arrange elsewhere.  Say your destination is some shop in Clement St, you’re better off traveling on Geary rather than the crowded Clement. Same for Lombard and Chestnut and so on.

    BART isn’t a issue either. Valencia bike lane is also one block away from the Mission St BART stations. I don’t see how that will deter people connecting to BART.  

  • Wai Yip Tung
  • Gneiss

    You’re completely missing all the folks traveling from the wiggle and from the Castro on Market.  And to move over onto Mission and back on to Market again is 3 blocks out of the way – the Mission isn’t the only place where people travel to Market Street.

    As for not banning travel on Market, without a protected bike lane you are essentially making it so only the brave travel that route.  Finally – how do you propose getting to Civic Center BART from Mission?  Go up 8th?  That’s a one way street the wrong way from Mission.  And if you go up 9th, you’ve still got one block to travel on Maket to get to the BART stop.

  • Joel

    If the cycletrack were to extend all the way to Octavia, a tunnel could be built under the Central Freeway onramp, avoiding the illegally-turning drivers and giving cyclists a straight shot through McCoppin and Otis to Mission.

    No one has yet mentioned that putting the cycletrack on Mission would be more convenient for passengers arriving via the future Transbay terminal. Mission may not seem as aesthetically pleasing as Market is today, but the city’s epicenter is shifting south as more infill development occurs. The best solution is to make more cross streets between Market and Mission two-way so it’s easier to access points north. Plus, there’s less chance of conflict because there’s fewer intersections and (in the plan) no buses on Mission.

  •  +1 to this!

  • Wai Yip Tung

    @002ec2dcc5273303fbfd34e45385ab64:disqus 

    I already commented on another post, McCoppin and Otis is the way to go. Not sure what you mean by 3 blocks out of the way.

    How to get to Civic Center BART? How about walking one block up 8th? That’s not too hard to do, right? Obviously you can also go 9th and then Market. There are many ways to do it. Just like today people can always find way to 7th and Mission or 3th and Mission on bike.

  • Anonymous

    A tunnel would become a homeless camp before you could say “Jack Robinson.” It would become a nightmare ride through human waste, needles, used condoms and broken glass.

  • Gneiss

    You’re kidding – right?  Thousands of people on bikes trying to navigate the little alley on McCoppin with a hard right when they could keep going straight down the hill?  Also, Otis is one way the wrong way one way at present.  Unless there’s some serious reengineering of those intersections and streets it would be a nightmare.  Not to mention the whole business coming back onto Market and tuning left.  The only way to do that turn is with two steps – wait for the light to go green to cross Market and then wait again for the light to go green to head up the hill.

    As for walking a block on 8th – come on.  You would probably get about 30% compliance.   Most people would hop the sidewalk and ride which would continue to reinforce the impression of people on bicycles as law breakers.  And, in both cases, 9th or 8th, it’s a left turn off Mission which would be pretty undesirable.  Again, it’s not good way of promoting bicycling in our city.

  • Wai Yip Tung

    Am I Kidding? Why do you think this way? You ask how can people go here and there if the bike lane is on Mission. But you and I both know how to do it already. Walk one block? Check. Two step left turn? Check. You can’t make left turn by on Market by the way. It is not legal and will not become legal. A little detour to work around one way St? Check. I don’t understand what is so hard about them. If you can ride on Market and reach Mission today, you can ride on Mission and reach Market tomorrow.

    As of whether people will follow law? A lot of them probably won’t. And it will make no difference whether the bike lane is on Market or Mission.

    About Otis is current one way, note that on the yellow pros and cons chart one pro item is the proposal allows an opportunity to create a southern bicycle connector from Valencia to downtown. I think our city planner knows how to do things. If they need to add a bike lane somewhere to create the connector (I’m thinking Otis) they can very well create a connector. I don’t think it will be major re-engineering either. It is probably quite straight forward compare to building all the new islands and new curbs on Market as shown in the renderings I’ve seen.

  • Gneiss

    I’m telling you this because the route you are suggesting is frustrating.  A step backwards.  Instead of thinking forward and innovatively the city is suggesting making an easy route to the Financial district and BART stations more difficult.

    What you are suggesting is exactly the same as people in the Haight saying ‘why not just take Page and Hayes instead of Oak and Fell.  Get bicycles off Oak and Fell’.

    As others have said, people on bikes are very good at figuring out what the most desirable routes are, and Mission is definitely not it given all the places people want to go on Market.

  • Wai Yip Tung

    Oak and Fell are faster route v.s. Page. It is the opposite with Market and Mission. Mission has fewer intersections and fewer pedestrians. There are even proposal to synchronize green wave signal timing. If they build it I’m pretty sure many cyclists will choose the faster and smoother Mission St.

    Right now I go westward on Howard St. Howard is hardly a beautiful street. But as a traffic corridor it is lot more efficient and smooth compare to Market.

  • Gneiss

    All those turns from Mission towards Market will be left turns.  People on bikes will either be forced into conflict with cars in the middle of the street or have to do a two step.  Not much fun either way.  From Market to the Transbay terminal would be a right turn.  Far safer and more convenient.  And even with all the infill on Mission, you still don’t have UN Plaza, BART stops, Powell Street, and the financial district, places most people are still going to want to go.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply improve the existing route that people on bikes take now?

  • Mission is not faster if you are adding 2 extra blocks back and forth, and a box left turn. And what does signal timing on Mission have to do with anything? Time the signals on Market, just the same.

  • Joel

    How about a wide two-way cycletrack on the north side of Mission? That seems like it would mitigate many of the turning concerns.

  • Wai Yip Tung

    @twitter-14678929:disqus 
    ,
    Let’s try to do the math carefully. To make a detour between Mission and Market it is about 0.2 miles.

    For people coming from the south and their destination is north of market, there is no difference in trip length.

    For people coming from the south and their destination is south of market, they save 0.2 miles on Mission by not having to make a detour to Market.

    For people coming from the west and their destination is north of market, it increase their trip by 0.2 miles.

    For people coming from the west and their destination is south of market, there is no difference in trip length.

    So the overall effect is more or less a wash. This is quite logical when you think about it geometrically. There is no inherent advantage between this two parallel routes.

    And 0.2 mile is quite minimal distance to complain about. If a bike travel in 12 miles per hour, it takes 1 minute to cover the extra 0.2 mile. You can easily make this up if the traffic light works only slightly better.

    I don’t think time the signal on Market is an option. There are many transit lines running on Market and many pedestrian crossings. You can make bicycle timing a priority.

  •  If Mission were better, people would be using it now. QED.

  • Unless Mission were made entirely car-free, the exhaust fumes alone would be worse for bicyclists than a car-free, Muni in the center lane, Market Street. Market is the shortest, straightest, most convenient route for bicyclists to get downtown. Cities with high rates of bicycling make bicycling the quickest, most convenient way to get places. They certainly don’t go out of their way to make bicycling routes longer and require more turns.

    In terms of health, we should encourage (in this order) walking, biking, electrically-powered transit, gas-powered transit.

    In terms of energy and the environment, we should encourage (in this order) biking, walking, underground electric transit on rails, above-ground electric transit on rails, above-ground electric non-rail transit. (We should be phasing out oil-powered transit.)

    In terms of the city budget (taking into account transit subsidies, accident costs and street repair costs), we should encourage (in this order) walking, biking, and transit on rails. Since Muni is over capacity on many lines, every Muni ride is highly subsidized, and demand for public transit is growing, doing what we can to make walking and biking the most attractive option for short trips saves the city a great deal of money. Walking and biking also reduce health costs in ways that Muni does not.  

    Sacrificing bicyclists in the hopes of slightly faster Muni speed on the surface of Market (which, personally, I doubt will be realized) and slightly lower costs to rebuild Market Street is penny-wise and pound foolish. Every person who rides a bike down Market instead of Muni saves the city money.

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