SFMTA Crews Installing Buffered Bike Lane on Folsom Street

Photo: SFMTA Livable Streets via ##https://www.facebook.com/SFMTA.Livable.Streets##Facebook##

SFMTA crews are currently installing a widened, buffered bike lane on Folsom Street between 11th and Fourth Streets.

The SFMTA got to work quickly on this bike lane expansion — crews hit the street as early as Friday, just a few days after the project was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors. It should be finished next week, according to the agency’s Livable Streets Facebook page.

As we reported, the pilot project was well-received when it was presented at a community meeting a month ago. With the space for moving motor vehicles narrowed by one lane, the project is expected to result in a safer, calmer street for everyone using it.

The project is also an example of how quickly the city can implement street safety upgrades when it comes down to it. The death of 24-year-old Amelie Le Moullac and the shocking response from the SFPD resulted in a surge in public pressure on the SFMTA to take immediate safety measures in SoMa.

“The Folsom pilot is the result of thousands of San Franciscans, fed up with the tragedies caused by poorly designed streets, emphatically demanding a safer South of Market for people biking from city leaders over the past months,” the SF Bicycle Coalition wrote in its member newsletter today. “Our next goal is to persuade the city to expand the pilot beyond Fourth Street to the waterfront and to duplicate the effort on Howard Street, another dangerous SoMa corridor.”

  • BK

    Was there any official follow-up report on the effectiveness of the JFK bike lane? Because if they are using the same amount of space, it makes absolutely no sense to me that the SFMTA would go with the 8th Street design vs. the JFK design. It seems both less safe for bicyclists and more confusing for cars.

  • Mario Tanev

    It doesn’t make sense not to do Howard as well. They come as a pair since they are one-way streets. Alternatively both should be transformed into two-way and then the southwest-bound bike lane should be moved from Howard to Folsom. All SOMA streets should either be two-way, or one way with only one lane for traffic and one parking lane to discourage speeding to balance the street space.

  • This is great. Much less harrowing, both in perception and in reality. Thank you Jane Kim and the SFMTA.

  • Jason

    I usually ride down Folsom in the late morning and it’s OK if you’re careful, but today I was going downtown around 3:30pm and it was downright scary. If the expanded bike lane is like 8th, it sounds like it’ll still be terrifying. I expect to see cars queued up in the “bike lane” trying to dive through gridlocked intersections, or flooring it to the next light.

  • neighbor

    Great start to making Folsom a functioning street. We should keep the pressure on to get the long term fixes that have been long in the making installed on Folsom and Howard.

  • I am trying to enter some content about my views on this as a very experienced cyclist but it is being stopped by Streetsblog’s great new filter that mostly only lets through views on the “rideability” of new infrastructure by young, old, female and inexperienced cyclists. <3

  • jd_x

    Great news. It’s really sad that it takes a death to get the city to act, but this is better than not acting. I would love to see permanent barriers protecting the bike lane though, since I’m skeptical cars will stay out of it. Oh, and some cops enforcing this would also be nice.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I’m excited for the pilot, although very concerned about mis-use of the lane by car drivers and double parkers. I hope SFPD will be there to help keep the lane clear and help teach drivers to respect the space. Keep in mind that this pilot will be in place for 1.5 years while they are doing the central city (corridor?) environmental review, then they’ll move forward, hopefully, with a more permanent solution for Folsom. This would likely mean 2 way protected cycle tracks and two way Folsom street, hopefully all the way to the waterfront.

    One encouraging thing at the meeting for the pilot, a Folsom Street merchant was there telling the SFMTA project manager how important it is to make Folsom two way, reduce lanes, encourage walking and biking, and making it greener. He understood that people are customers, not cars, and especially not through traffic that never stops.

  • JBBD

    From what I recall: SFMTA did a followup evaluation after installing the
    bike lane on JFK and found that the configuration decreased the speed of bicyclists by 15-20% and that the bike lane needs to be wider.

  • Jonny Cage

    Why didn’t they build a parking separated lane?

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