SFMTA Adds Temporary Posts to Separate Fell Street Bike Lane From Traffic

Photo: SF Bicycle Coalition via ##https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151657193661833&set=a.87035811832.99215.24379801832&type=1&theater##Facebook##

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency brought the Market Street treatment to Fell Street yesterday, installing some plastic “safe-hit” posts along its three-block bike lane as a temporary safety measure, after the agency announced last week that concrete planters may not arrive until the end of the year.

While the project delays continue to frustrate San Franciscans who’ve been waiting years for these blocks to be tamed, the posts in the buffer zone should help provide bike commuters an improved sense of protection from motor traffic in the meantime.

“The Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project is an essential component in both San Francisco’s bicycle network and in the SFMTA’s strategic vision to support and encourage bicycling as an important commute option,” said SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin in a statement. “The installation of safe hit posts on Fell Street demonstrates the agency’s commitment to finding effective solutions to ensure the safety of those who ride a bike on busy roads, such as Fell Street, while we continue to coordinate the completion of the ultimate project.”

The SFMTA website now says planners “did not initially anticipate the significant additional capital cost of repaving portions of Fell Street,” and that “the SFMTA will investigate additional funding sources for this work and coordinate with the Department of Public Works as part of their ongoing street repaving prioritization.”

The Oak Street bike lane, slower traffic signal timing, and more visible crosswalks should be in by May, according to the SFMTA website.

Here’s what I’ve got my eye on: Will the posts overcome drivers’ temptation to park in the bike lane to use the Bank of America ATM, instead of pulling into the parking lot around the corner?

  • Guest

    The only substantial amount of posts are on the last, and final block of the fell street bikeway.

    The other two blocks have a grand total of 3 posts each block to separate traffic from bicyclists. They only got installed yesterday, but my gut says they will have plenty of hit marks on them like the ones on market.

  • They’ve made it very difficult to turn into the Falletti’s. Basically you have come almost to a stop and then turn right across the bike lane. That seems dangerous both for bikes and cars. The left turns at Divis and Baker work pretty well, with plenty of merge space so that both bikes and cars can occupy the lane before the turn. I guess they can’t do that for all lefts, but maybe there should be something for the market.

  • emu

    Tell me again why the wiggle can’t be re-routed north of Fell to Hayes -> Baker -> Panhandle? At least until that 1928 Panhandle extension is completed?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/7705173572/in/set-72157630885873378

  • jimmy

    I think that is the idea. slow traffic is safe traffic.

  • Anonymous

    In a word? Gravity

  • gneiss

    It adds two extra turns to the route, is longer and not flat. We should be making the desired routes safer, not forcing people on bikes into a maze to get to their destination.

  • “come almost to a stop and then turn right across the bike lane”

    Isn’t Faletti’s a left turn, not a right turn?

  • A

    Has anyone talked to Ted & Al’s Towing to get them to stop blocking the bike lanes in the morning in particular? They usually have at least one flatbed or tow truck occupying the lane forcing bikes into the Fell traffic, which is what we are trying to avoid

  • By “right across” I mean turn “left, straight across” the bike lane.

    Slower traffic is not always better. At the limit we all walk…verrry slowllly… so no one gets hurt. Bikes would certainly be outlawed along with cars or running.

    So obviously we always make a balance between speed / convenience and safety. We do this every day with all kinds of things. This is another. Making traffic that was going 25mph need to slow down all the way to 0 to turn seems excessive (and dangerous for both the motorists behind and bikes). That’s why the other turns (at the Arco, Divis, Baker) have dotted lines that let the cars get over to the right before making the turn. What I can’t remember is how much space there used to be before the bike lane was added to pull over before the turn got made. I don’t think the parking went all the way up to the edge of the entrance, but I could be wrong.

  • mikesonn

    I can see why you have trouble with the Baker intersection, you don’t know how to properly handle a turn in a congested area.

  • Making traffic that was going 25mph need to slow down all the way to 0 to turn seems excessive.

    There are over 100,000 places in this city with 25 MPH speed limits that involve turns.

  • These are silly statements. Of course there are many such intersections, but most of them are not off of highly trafficked areas going into businesses. Oak and Fell exist to move lots of people rapidly across the city. I know many of you wish they were different, but the bulk of the people they service are making their way as quickly as they can, allowing for laws and safety. So making them go slower is an imposition. My question was as simple as “is there a way to address that?” I wasn’t asking to take away your lane or make things less safe for you.

  • So making them go slower is an imposition. My question was as simple as “is there a way to address that?”

    Allowing them to go faster is an imposition. My question to you is the same one the city faces and that is “which imposition is worse”. We may disagree, but you aren’t the status quo. And I can tell you from experience that’s not a good sign for your viewpoint becoming reality.

  • Anonymous

    This is outrageous. I’m so tired of this business’ self-righteousness and complete disregard for the safety of others. What do we need to do to get the city to fine these guys enough and for a large enough amount to get them to learn a lesson and stop parking their damn trucks in the bike lane?

  • C

    I was pleasantly surprised to see these pop up. It’s amazing how much security a little piece of plastic can give. Is there a reason these can’t be added to JFK? It seems to me that would finally fix the problem of cars parking in the bike lane there. (Although, I haven’t seen any parked in the lane for months now, but the Richmond District Blog acts like it’s a constant occurrence).

  • guest

    When I see this I just take the whole left lane.

    I like to also wave over the fellow cyclists I am with because more often than not everyone just rides right up to it and tries to squeeze unsafely between the non moving vehicle and crazy fast traffic.

    If all of us get on board with this it will piss off enough drivers to maybe do something about it and get on our side; if only to get those ‘flipping’ cyclists back in the bike lane….

  • reality check

    Some want to keep the JFK roadway clear of vertical elements for car free Sundays and other events where people are out using the street.

  • NoeValleyJim

    Write City Hall. Seriously guys, we have friend in City Hall, they just need customer complaints so that they have the ammo to do something about it.

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