The SF Municipal Transportation Agency is pondering the most effective way to improve the city’s bicycle network in the coming years as it rolls out its Bicycle Strategy: Should planners focus bicycle improvements on dangerous and stressful spots throughout the city, or focus on upgrading major bike corridors to the highest quality of comfort first?
Tim Papandreou, deputy director of transportation planning for the SFMTA Sustainable Streets Division, posed the question to the SFMTA Board of Directors Policy and Governance Committee today, presenting a color-coded map showing the level of stress posed by traffic conditions at almost any given spot on the city’s official bicycle network.
On one end of the spectrum, spots that are comfortable for most anyone aged eight to 80 to ride a bike were colored with a deep blue. On the other, high-stress spots that are “tolerated only by the ‘strong and fearless’” were marked with a deep red. Needless to say, the map had lots of red, and very little blue.
The “primary corridors” include popular bicycling streets like Market, Polk, Folsom, San Jose, and the Embarcadero. “That’s where the majority of people are already cycling, and that’s where the majority of people will increase their cycling as well,” said Papandreou.