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    Another consideration is the number of people with families holding down two or more jobs and who have to get from one to another not only safely but quickly and at times that public transit aren’t running frequently.



    - ‘There’s going to be a preview of this at the northwest corner of Broadway and Polk…’
    Bulbouts and other measures force drivers to slow down.
    -‘it’s kind of wait and see how all of these interfaces work out.’

    No ‘wait and see.’ *We* can influence how all those issues are resolved.



    Cmr. Brinkman did an excellent job pointing out the equity issues. If we lived in a culture where equity and lives were given more than a lip service, that might have swayed the other members. But we don’t. We live in a broader culture that drinks the KoolAid that business – even the smallest, most poorly run, least informed business – calls the shots. We need to work within that current reality to change it on a local level.



    Especially important through intersections.



    ‘There needs to be some way to more strongly visually reinforce that it is a bike route’

    Yes there are. Take a look at the many ways to craft sharrows in the NACTO guidelines, Gezellig



    There are still a lot of lower profile decisions that will have a huge impact and won’t galvanize the opposition. SEE: They include options like sharrows, curb colors, landscaping, striping…It’s akin to building a custom home; one doesn’t stop designing once the floor plan is decided. And, working on detail has a way of ‘informing’ the bigger plan again. So I’ll continue to work on these options – let’s crowd-design! FFP works by many each pinch-hitting a bit. Write us to pitch in: I haven’t gotten any answer as to why the MTA spares paint so that, and #Pine2CAOnPolk, are good starting points.

    Join the conversation with Julie C. and Scott W. at our next pub talk 18 March



    I was wondering that, too!

    I’m wondering what you’re “supposed” to do if you’re going from SB Octavia to SB Elgin Park. If not through the crosswalk (which leads *directly to the bike stencil*!) you would go through the winding channel + bike lane + unmarked crossbike across Market and then upon reaching the actual freeway entrance either:

    1) turn right and briefly go the wrong direction on the Market St bike lane to get to the bike stencil + channel leading to Elgin Park


    2) dismount and become a pedestrian (where those people with luggage in the image above are) very briefly and then hop back on once at the channel leading to Elgin Park?

    What a bizarrely designed intersection and even more bizarre to ticket people who are clearly confused about what they’re “supposed” to be doing there.

    If you ask Google Maps how to get from First Baptist on Octavia to Elgin Park on a bike it tells you to cross the unmarked crossbike across Market and then at the literal start of the freeway somehow magically veer right (against the Market bike lane?! Through the pedestrian crosswalk across the freeway?!):



    Also, this view is awkward. Doesn’t the little bike stencil on the far end imply one may bicycle through the crosswalk? I’d fight the citation if I received one.



    When they rebuilt the freeway, why didn’t they have it touch down on the north side of Market? There is a natural saddle point there, such that cars entering and exiting must descend towards Market and then ascend after crossing. I never understood why an overpass wasn’t (re)built there, which would have prevented this hazard in the first place.



    Don’t even throw down asphalt. It won’t change their habits!



    The only reason for this confusion is that the city didn’t rip out the rest of the freeway when we had the chance. Now it seems like we’re stuck waiting for the next big quake before any real progress can be made.



    With Roberts’ attitude about street design, why bother designing everything at all? Just get rid of all the signs, signals, striping, curbs, sidewalks, speed limits, etc. Just throw down the asphalt and let people at it, because whatever we do it’s not going to “change people’s habits”. Give me a break…



    They spent real money to build that design out in concrete? Your tax dollars at work.



    “You can redesign everything you want, but it’s not going to change people’s habits.”

    That’s not what the data show. Build mode-specific infrastructure to best practices and rule-compliance shoots up.

    Most people don’t *want* to bike on pedestrian infrastructure, and when they do it’s usually a coping strategy.

    Build a high-quality protected intersection with crossbikes and refuge islands and then if people are *still* biking in the crosswalk throw the book at ‘em.



    I’ve often thought Octavia and Market would be a great place for such a setup.

    For those who bike in Marin, same with Gate 6 Road/Bridgeway/Donahue St/Highway 101 intersection. It currently looks like this, and it’s insanely poorly designed:



    While it is true that the cyclists can be cited for a stop sign violation, it is patently false that it is illegal to ride in a crosswalk. CVC 21650(g) specifically allows the operation of bicycles in crosswalks, unless explicitly prohibited by local ordinance. As there are a number of places where cyclists are permitted to cross in crosswalks legally in San Francisco (think the crosswalk on Kezar Drive where a multi use path crosses the roadway, the crosswalk at Masonic and Fell, and the crosswalk that goes the opposite direction from McCoppin at Market and Octavia) it would be quite hard for the city to argue that it is prohibited by local ordinance.

    The people who were given tickets for that particular violation can be quite justified in fighting it.



    Yes, major cheers to M., who is not only delightful to be around but also has done so much on-the-ground work in person as well as representation at meetings.

    As someone who usually can’t make it to things scheduled in the middle of the weekday I really appreciate this.



    I roll through stops all the time on my bike, but not if there’s someone to stop for, or police are present. Just one more thing to look out for.



    M., thank you for all of your hours of boots firmly to ground. :-)



    Amen to that.



    After wading in this muck for…ever, I have to agree. But too many jump on the blame bandwagon.



    That second picture together with the description in the article show without a doubt that this intersection really has a stupid stupid design.

    That said, a la Market & Polk, a bike channel can be redesigned well. Not to say that intersection is perfect. The real inspiration should come from the Protected Intersection concept @Gezellig posted this morning:



    Thank you, Cheryl, for staying on this, and for being a visionary on the SFMTA Board. A lot of us admire your work. I hope you hear that from people regularly.



    Wow, that is a confusing and physically awkward path for anyone on a bike. Much more dangerous than just proceeding straight on Octavia and then dismounting to walk 10 feet to the crosswalk or bike lane crossing Market. I think you can avoid a ticket by dismounting, but we all know coasting 10 feet to get to the way across Market Street is what any self protective and experienced rider will do. When I see these continued misguided SFPD ticket stings on bicyclists it justs makes me despair that we’ll ever get to Vision Zero under this police chief or this mayor.



    Exactly. So long as there are no “crossbikes”, why would anyone be surprised people choose to bike along/in a crosswalk where they are most visible.


    StrixNoctis .

    Here in SF, the present-day motorists even drive fast through the narrow streets and around the corners that are sharp turns, and I can’t fathom why! Back in the very early 90s and prior, when SF was less populated, very few motorists drove so fast & recklessly through the residential areas of SF. Now this city is more populated, but motorists drive fast when they should be driving slower or the reasonable speeds that SF motorists used to.


    StrixNoctis .

    In recent past months, there was a rash of reports of motor vehicles crashing into buildings here in SF and other Bay Area locations, so it’s possible a person could even get injured by a Bay Area motorist while sitting indoors on the toilet reading the newspaper!



    My problem is not the review timeline. It’s the completion timeline of the original project :(



    It will be up to the MTA Board and Citizens to hold us to the 12 mo review timeline. I intend to bring it up 12 mos past project completion.


    Anthony R

    Stockholm syndrome, car culture so pervasive cyclist blames himself for riding. Doesn’t even mention driver.



    Agreed. If biking safely in close proximity to pedestrians was truly not possible then multi-use paths would be hugely dangerous, and open streets events would be disasters.


    Mario Tanev

    The shock that we feel is due to an over-promise and under-delivery. Before the whole opposition started there was a plan for a pilot protected lane, that has never happened. City officials shouldn’t have promised a complete Polk. Then the outrage on our part would have been way less.



    That being said, in order to get from the right-turn only lane on Octavia to the crosswalk across Market one has to either go up onto the sidewalk or ride against the flow of traffic briefly, while also going straight from a right-turn only lane, all of which are technically illegal.

    I personally don’t see how using the bike channel is any more or less safe that using the right turn lane and crosswalk, but if the police must cite people they should at least be doing it for actual violations. And that “must” is highly debatable.



    As an ex-SF-er, I remember streets like Polk & Haight, with their slow traffic, narrow lanes (and, yes, even double parkers) seemed much safer to me as a cyclist BECAUSE of the congestion. I now live in Brooklyn, between two such streets, and would much rather cycle on them than the ‘clearer’ in between streets where cars travel faster.

    In a way, I think adding bike lanes to narrow streets is unnecessary and counter-productive.



    I would be curious to see what code section the crosswalk cyclists were written up for, since as far as I know there is no specific ban on it. The SF city code (section 1007) does ban sidewalk cycling for anyone aged 13 and up:

    “Bicycling riding on any sidewalk is prohibited except that children under the age of 13 may ride a bicycle on any sidewalk except as otherwise posted.”

    But it does not say anything about crosswalks. Since the state code does differentiate between the legality of biking on sidewalks and crosswalks in CVC 21650(g) this implies that a city would need to ban each specifically in order for them both to be illegal:

    “This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles… on any sidewalk… or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.”

    Beyond that, biking in a crosswalk that connects to a bike path, like the McCoppin Street connector, is specifically legal, also via CVC 21650(g).



    If you don’t realize that what murphstaho means is ‘free TO THE FAMILIES,’ I feel for your reading comprehension.

    And, what earthly reason could a group protest that?


    Richard Rothman

    WE want BART to the Beach


    StrixNoctis .

    You sound like you’re trying to blame cyclists, but here in SF much fewer cyclists get into collisions with motor vehicles than motor vehicles do with each other. The significantly highest number of collisions being between motor vehicles screams where the major fault is.



    By your “logic,” you know who else are cocky? Anyone who leaves their home thinking that they shouldn’t get hit by a driver. And by your logic, if something bad happens to someone, they made a bad decision to be in that spot at that moment. Got jumped? You made a bad decision for walking down that sidewalk that day. Hit by a car even though you were doing everything predictably and safely? You shouldn’t have been in front of that distracted driver. By taking your logic a small step further, you shouldn’t leave your house, otherwise you’re asking for it and are to be blamed for whatever happens. And if you think walking around and being in fear of death is a healthy way of living, you have a twisted approach to life. As a society, we are so quick to blame the victim that I am starting to think of it as a societal psychosis. In this case, you may be the ONLY person blaming the victim, which says a lot about you.



    Build the infrastructure (crossbikes + crosswalks and protective refuge island for both people on bike and foot) and it will be a problem of vanishing frequency:



    This is a very good point. I’m sorry to say I didn’t push my rep (the transit and infrastructure-focused Scott Wiener). I don’t even know if he had an opinion on the project. However, he’ll likely have to when the parking-focused folks appeal the Cat-Ex and the Board of Supervisors must affirm it… wish we would have brought him aboard sooner.



    Dashed could work!



    Sure, but the decision has already been made to not have a bike lane on NB Polk from Pine to Union and that it will be sharrows.

    One solution Sprague mentions below is having dashed supersharrows.

    There needs to be some way to more strongly visually reinforce that it is a bike route and that people on bikes aren’t to be expected to hug the doorzone.

    Btw, these types of supersharrows are not unknown, even in the Bay Area (the pic above is from Oakland).



    Both 14th Street and Folsom have bike lanes at this location. By design, bicyclists are encouraged to ride here. Unfortunately, too many motorists disregard the safety of others (especially those more vulnerable – pedestrians and cyclists) and fail to recognize their potential to kill and maim.



    Please do not blame the victim. He and his family and friends have already suffered too much. Also, if I understand you correctly, this bicyclist would not have been killed if he was younger??!?? The more people (of all ages) that get out and bike the safer it will be.


    Michael Morris

    I think a lot of motorists would interpret the second picture as a bike lane. The problem with sharrows is that no one understands exactly what they mean, this wouldn’t help confusion, bike lanes are the only way a layman can understand the streetscape.



    I know that. You know that. The optometrist probably knows that, but people have had a lot of luck convincing others by repeating the same ‘problems’ over and over.



    I agree except it might not be a good idea to enable/require motorists to drive on what has such a close resemblance to a bike lane. This may indirectly result in more motorists driving in (and blocking/double parking) bike lanes. As it now stands, bike lanes often feel more like shared space (often driven in by cars) than exclusively for bicyclist use.

    Maybe the green line you suggest should be dashed or otherwise modified.



    Never have I said that staff at SFMTA are not talented nor committed to their mission of running and improving a complicated transportation network. Who I fault are the political leadership who consistently meddle with their funding and impose specific requirements on streetscape redesign work and MUNI effectiveness that favor political expediency over safety.

    Far too often, the fingerprints of this meddling are removed leaving the SFMTA holding the bag for bad political decisions, as the politicians merely deflect any attention to these problems back to the agency.


    Mario Tanev