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Posts from the "Sharrows" Category

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Eyes on the Street: More Green-Backed Sharrows on Market Street

The SFMTA continues to paint green-backed sharrows along lower Market Street in the wake of a re-paving by the Department of Public Works. The new markings have been spotted as far east as Fourth Street.

The combination is a nice treat that may help tide over San Franciscans who are still waiting for raised, protected bike lanes to be installed in who-knows-what-year. Fewer potholes and more visibility are nothing to sneeze at, and the increasingly continuous sharrows are starting to add some definition to the “Bay-to-Beach” route.

Of course, we have Frank Chan to thank for the superb shots.

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Green-Backed Sharrows Pleasantly Surprise Riders on the Wiggle

Photos: Aaron Bialick

Commuters on the Wiggle got a Bike to Work Day surprise this morning: green-backed sharrows guiding bicycle riders through the intersection of Steiner and Waller Streets.

The “sharrows were painted VERY early this morning and they are permanent,” says a post on the SFMTA’s Livable Streets Facebook page. Agency staff wrote that more will be added “as wayfinding guides all through the Wiggle” along each block and through other intersections in coming weeks.

The green-backed sharrow treatment arose from the SFMTA’s ThinkBike sessions with Dutch bike planners.

One rider told SFMTA staff, “It’s like riding on candy!”

SF Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg seems pleased with the "super sharrows."

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Two-Way McAllister Provides a Direct Route for 5-Fulton Riders

McAllister Street looking west at Leavenworth Street. Flickr photo: geekstinkbreath

Two-way access on the east end of McAllister Street has been restored for Muni buses, bicycles, and commercial vehicles, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced last week.

The conversion, completed last Thursday, provides a more direct route to Market Street for the 5-Fulton Muni line, which has long been forced to detour off McAllister at Hyde Street. The bus line is expected to save three minutes on inbound trips for its nearly 16,000 annual riders and save the SFMTA an estimated $200,000 per year, the agency said.

“For folks that are riding the 5, it will really help with quicker trips and reliability and make sure that buses are more evenly spaced apart,” said San Francisco Transit Riders Union spokesperson Robert Boden. “One of our members rides it on a daily basis and she mentioned that sometimes that turn onto Market Street can be very difficult for drivers, and there were times when the trolley buses would become disconnected from the wires.”

Under the reconfiguration, three one-way lanes were converted to one through lane in each direction, bringing calmer and more inviting conditions for people walking and biking on the two blocks between Market and Hyde Streets.

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New Sharrows on Sutter and Post Streets Not Popular with Cyclists

Sutter-3_1.jpgA bicyclist makes her way up Sutter Street just after the evening commute. Photos by Bryan Goebel.
Pedaling up Sutter Street toward Leavenworth from his dentist's office during the height of the Wednesday evening commute, Dan Nunes is riding in the transit-only lane for his bike trip home, despite the new sharrows recently painted in the center lane to his left. There, drivers often zoom by at alarming speeds, breaking the 25 mile an hour speed limit, narrowly avoiding crashes, and treating the three-lane arterial like a highway, especially as they make the descent down the hill on Sutter just past Leavenworth.

For Nunes, and many other cyclists, riding in the center lane is not an option, even with the beckoning of the white sharrows.

"I think it's just asinine. You're trusting the car coming behind you not to hit you," he said. "It's about avoiding contact with the cars so riding in the middle lane with cabs, with tourists looking at buildings, I mean, come on."

Sutter Street cuts through several of San Francisco's densest neighborhoods and commercial districts, and along with Post Street one block south, serves as a major east-west connection for bicyclists. Those streets also serve Muni's 2-Clement and 3-Jackson, which have dedicated transit lanes that are sometimes clogged by drivers cued up to turn right.

The SFMTA recently installed the sharrows on both Sutter and Post Streets (Bicycle Route 16) as part of its Bike Plan directive to add 75 miles of new sharrows on bike routes across the city. Where Sutter and Post intersect with other bicycle routes, the sharrows have been painted in two lanes so drivers can more readily expect cyclists, and cyclists can position themselves to turn, according to the SFMTA. Plans are also in the works to paint sharrows on short sections of other streets with transit lanes, including Clay Street from Montgomery to Battery, and Stockton from Sutter to Post.

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