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    Basically Valencia Street (pic 1 & 3), Substitute truck with Tech Shuttle



    Classy (referring to the last pic)



    Thanks for clarifying.
    (3) Few blocks in SF don’t have obstructions (as described in other comments) bad pavement, glass and the list goes on
    (1 + 3) Safety: I think cyclists get into trouble when they are too slavish to the bike lane. Such as when a right turning car is encountering pedestrians in crosswalk (or just parking in the bike lane, parking, etc.) and there is a bunching up of vehicles and resultant blind spots.
    I look three-quarters up the block for hazards and a clear bike lane. If it isn’t clear, I go into vehicular cycling mode (sorry, not my choice), increasing my speed as much as I can (to flow and to be courteous to motorists behind me). If I have to ride in the second lane, I will. I’m out there to be seen, with lots of space around me and to flow. Not cowering in the right between the door zone and in the (right-hand) blind spot of weird car maneuvers. Again, crazy level of (unrecognized) compensation necessary to ride a bike in this town. Think video game (with deadly consequences). Does anyone else not have time to blink when they are riding? It’s the polar opposite of the experience of cruising around in a luxury (or any) car.



    Fabulous illustrations. Like being there. Thanks!



    Very well written, Gezellig.



    Haha who said anything about me? I’m normally quite civil when I’m out and about, regardless of my mode. Takes quite a bit to get me riled, personally. This isn’t about me.

    But you know what? If I do happen to be driving and I or one of my fellow drivers on the road happens to be uncivil while driving, no one ever says “see, that’s why I can’t respect drivers.” Majority privilege.

    That cannot be said for bikes. One dude on a bike somewhere once had to go into the general travel lane because the doorzone bike lane was blocked and the “This is Why I Can’t Respect Cyclists” pitchforks come out:

    Your comments betray a fundamental lack of understanding of these concepts.

    The basic problem is that very often our infrastructure is very much stacked against any and all non-car modes. As someone who has a driver’s license, two feet, a bike, and a Clipper card I’m well aware of which one has the overwhelming privilege when I use it.

    You’re arguing the classic “you’ve gotta be TWICE as good as everyone else and then maybe they’ll think about considering liking you” when we’re talking about public rights-of-way everyone (regardless of mode) has a right to be a First Class Citizen in, regardless of their mode. Or mood.

    Not only that…but *on top of that* this all in a city that *claims* to be:

    –> Transit/Bike/Ped First
    –> Vision Zero
    –> 8-to-80
    –> 20% modeshare by 2020, etc.

    Basically, it claims to treat people as First Class citizens regardless of their mode, age, ability or status.

    This is not first-class treatment:

    This is not first-class treatment:

    This is not first-class treatment:


    Subpar infrastructure in -> subpar behavior out



    Um, I’m just not sure I believe your story. First, you say that cyclist stopped at the traffic light. In my experience, seeing something like that is extraordinarily rare. Plus you say he stopped next to your car, instead of pulling as far forward into the pedestrian crosswalk as possible. Again, not the usual behavior of a cyclist. Lastly, and I think this proves this story cannot be real, you say that cyclist “decided to tell” you something that involved the cyclist using his mouth to say something other than “F–k you!” Additionally, he didn’t even spit on your windshield, like the commentator below says is the appropriate response in a situation like this. I’m not saying something didn’t happen to you that day on 17th Street, just that you didn’t have an interaction with a San Francisco Cyclist. Maybe an Alien cyclist who was still learning the ropes.



    You sure Flubert isn’t a nom de plume for RoyTT?



    Because see pictures on my post below for what “lane specifically designated to bikes” often means. That last one’s even 17th St itself.



    I’m not trying to piss anyone off. I am asking why you you wouldn’t use a lane specifically designated to you? But somehow expect other road users to behave differently?



    Someone has to make the first move towards civility. Why can it never be you?



    SFMTA should put up signs near Market Street that say “Auto Traffic on Market Street Not Recommended” like the warning signs for trucks and trailers on winding mountain roads. They should also work with Google Maps so that trip plans avoid Market.



    “The better question is whether it is good PR to choose to drive drunk” – said nobody ever.

    If you are trolling, you have succeeded in pissing me off by indicating that if you ride a bike you are screwed because some other cyclist isn’t doing proper “PR”

    So bogus


    Mario Tanev

    The proposal referenced does not appear to ban private cars from mid-Market. It does make it almost impossible to enter it legally, but once entered, the proposal doesn’t make the presence of a vehicle illegal. One could still enter by making a right off of 9th or a left off of 6th.



    You’re the first person I’ve met who hasn’t had his/her life flash before his/her eyes riding through that tunnel. I was seriously disappointed when SFMTA opted not to pursue a road diet with bike lanes on Broadway as part of the streetscape improvement project there.



    Haha, your post read my post’s mind :)

    Folsom’s definitely a bit better except for this problem:*ccNgv7OAY_rm48p8oiVnVA.jpeg

    There’s so much space there for the life of me I don’t understand why it’s not just flipped to become a parking-protected bike lane.



    Traffic from Jones and McAllister should be prohibited from turning onto Market as well (Jones would need to be two-wayed up to Turk). If the traffic island there were downsized to allow inbound 5-Fulton buses to pass the island on the left, then a pedestrian plaza/parklet could be created there too (joining the remaining part of the island to the northwest sidewalk of Market).



    Those are some pretty big exceptions to CVC21208, especially considering how frequently #1 and #3 need to happen on narrow Second Class (er, Caltrans Class II) bike lanes such as the one on 17th.

    In addition, there is also no “single-file rule” in the CVC.

    Btw, let’s not forget that the underlying problem here is at the macro-level—the infrastructure. As someone who bikes I’m sure you’re aware the narrow Second-Class lanes on 17th are even narrower for all practical purposes when you consider this:

    Those crosshatches protruding halfway into the already-narrow Second-Class bike lane on 17th are SF explicitly marking and warning people on bikes about the doorzone.

    And this is how a standard “five foot” “bike” “lane” often becomes a 3-foot Strike Zone + 1-foot Shriek Zone + 1-foot of Actual Bike Lane:

    Subpar infrastructure in –> Subpar behavior out.

    It’s as simple as that. What’s hilarious about this is that solutions are readily available which would keep both cars *and* bikes out of each others’ ways:

    But these often give motorists a sad about the prospect of losing a couple more feet to bikes. Even though the remainder width of the street would still be totally devoted to cars and have practically no bike-riders “weaving” into their space because there’d really be no incentive to do so.



    You just proved my point. There is no law that says bicyclist must be in the bicycle lane. Read the exceptions carefully. Given that there is only a foot or two of usable space on most city bicycle lanes placed adjacent to parked cars, traveling wholly in it represents a hazardous condition. Give me a bicycle lane like the one on 8th street or on the new stretch of Folsom, and you’ll find me all in it. The one on 17th, rarely.

    And no where in the CVC is there any restriction against bicycling two abreast.


    Idrather Bebikin

    Very good article. The big issues here are:

    1) What did VTA Staff know and when did they know it?
    1a) What did VTA Senior Staff & General Manager know and when did they know it?
    1b) Is it true that the VTA Board was blindsided about all of this on Oct. 6th?

    2) Technical decisions versus community input?

    3) Federal ranking schemas: Won’t the two below rank well?
    3a) Community involvement for OVER 25 years for this BART Alum Rock @ 28th Streeet
    3B) Disadvantaged communities

    4) Can the new overpass (instead of a tunnel mean that the new BART tunnel and station be built under the 28th Street and under the Five Wounds Trail?

    5) Density and height of the footprint?
    5a) Can the parking garage be modified, put underground, especially if the BART station is under 28th Street and FWT?
    (assuming BART runs over Hwy 101 next to the existing UPRR train bridge, why can’t it go under 28th St to Santa Clara)
    5b) Getting developers to design in the mixed use development alongside BART planning will save money
    5c) Can the height be increased from 120 feet to 240 feet or more?
    5d) Once buildings go over 5 stories and require reinforced concrete or steel beams, higher buildings might as well be built – as long as it complies with community realities. [but the tallest structures will be next to Hwy 101!]

    6) Bike/Pedestrian bridge directly into this master planned development will be a HUGE way to get peopl between Hwy 101 & 680 there!

    7) Please keep this TRUE mixed use Transit Oriented Development

    8) Please make this as lush looking as the photograph!



    Was it that one time or has it happened more than once? I’ve ridden through the tunnel on the road going east at least a dozen times and have never had problems. Not to say it is ok as it is because it’s intense, even for me as an experienced urban cyclist. I’m just wondering how drivers *usually* are with other cyclists in the tunnel and wonder if you had a bad one-off experience.


    Upright Biker

    I think they should take the sign down entirely, because it gives riders — at least it did me — a false sense of safety when in fact drivers seem not to pay the least bit of attention nor do they modulate their behavior in the direction of safety just because a sign is lit.



    Ah, respectability politics.

    “Even though we’ve stacked the system against you, you guys will finally get nice things once you start behaving at least twice as good as the rest of us and then MAYBE we’ll consider giving out some scraps!”

    Totally a great way to approach public infrastructure.


    Upright Biker

    You have a point. But there’s just something about being menaced by a multi-thousand-pound metal machine that makes me spitting mad.





    I find it fascinating that a topic that started with criticism of road rage by drivers has descended into a discussion of road rage by cyclists.

    If your dilemma is whether to spit on someone or damage their vehicle, then you have already sold your soul and lost the moral debate.



    What to do about drivers who buzz too close to cyclists? Uhh, nothing?

    If your position starts from a place of inconsideration, then your probability of winning hearts and minds diminishes.



    A better question is whether it is good PR to have a bike lane but instead choose to meander across the width of the road anyway?



    “Finally, there is no law which says that cyclists must stay in the designated bike lanes.”

    Actually, there is. It is CA Vehicle Code 21208: “Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:
    (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or
    pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the
    overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
    (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a
    private road or driveway.
    (3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
    (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
    (b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.”



    If it’s the same sign I am thinking of, it only goes on when a person rides into the tunnel. Otherwise the sign is blank, so it’s not inviting people into the tunnel. Do you prefer there to be no warning to drivers that there is a person on a bike in the tunnel?



    Yeah, look at all that space devoted to those selfish bicyclists! When will *drivers* finally get a break? Restore Balance!

    What a selfish biker! I’ll respect bicyclists once they finally…stop biking and drive everywhere like me.

    The intersection is actually in British Columbia so I’m not sure how patriotic she’s really being, though she is obeying BC’s victim-shamey modeshare-killing all-ages mandatory helmet law!

    Even better about that intersection is that, incredibly, it’s an intersection of two official bike routes, which you can see in the StreetView image where both street signs are listed with bike symbols indicating their supposed bike-route status (though clearly they’re BRINOs…Bike Routes In Name Only):

    After that piddling little bike lane before the intersection you can see the meek crossbike through the intersection finally just gives up and drops you off…on a sidewalk, giving any even basic pretenses at bike infrastructure.

    Sadly, this is a connecting portion between two major portions of a regional bikeway.



    The fact that the two people on bikes caught up with you at the light shows how ludicrous your decision to pass them was in the first place. There is no place in the city on our non-arterial streets like 17th where you will make substantially better time than someone riding a bike, because of other vehicles in your way and traffic control devices.

    Next time you encounter slower moving bicyclists in the street, try this experiment – don’t pass them. I think you’ll be surprised at how little time you actually save by passing bicyclists on those types of streets.

    Finally, there is no law which says that cyclists must stay in the designated bike lanes. And surprisingly, there are laws regarding how cars are expected to enter the bike lanes (i.e. no double parking, no passing on the right, etc). But, how often do you this *those* laws obeyed?



    Too much work. Throw your beer out the window at them



    The bars are too wide on that bike and she shouldn’t hold the grips so far to the edge. She’s also hazardously riding a half-inch to the left of center-lane. Taking up way too much space even in these traffic conditions. On the plus side her patriotic color scheme might boost the Mary Poppins effect.
    PS: The residual car-tire rubber in the left lane is not really solid proof that motorists never break the law and follow the lane designations. But let’s be clear it’s the cyclists that need to follow every law before being afforded more infrastructure



    “VTA is now pursuing a “phased station implementation”, first constructing BART stations only at Diridon and Downtown by 2025, and later adding the Alum Rock and Santa Clara stations.”

    Assuming this 2025 arrival of BART to Diridon, Caltrain will already be electrified (expected ETA: 2020) meaning more frequent metro-like service to Santa Clara will be possible.

    Once this happens it might become clear to people that extending BART to Santa Clara would be fairly redundant, anyway.

    Yes, there *is* something to be said about the psychologically convenient allure of being able to hop on a single system (ie, BART) to, say, the airport but if the transfers at Diridon are convenient, frequent and timed well I think people will catch on.

    Accordingly, I’ve often wondered if Caltrain could use the broad branding prestige that BART enjoys in the Bay Area and rebrand itself as BART: Bigger And Better (okay, maybe without that last part explicitly stated, haha). After all, BART’s already branding heavy-rail trains as eBART in the Delta region. Even though, say, Hayward to Santa Clara or Palo Alto to Fremont would still require one transfer at Diridon, BART’s map could show that psychologically all-important Full Loop Around the Bay instead of the thinly drawn afterthought reference to Caltrain the map currently gives:

    In addition, it would give every incentive to the agency to fully coordinate timed transfers, unify payment structure, etc. This would also benefit the sync-up with Millbrae and due to the increased convenience (and *perception* of increased convenience) likely encourage even more ridership on both ends.



    The location right next to 101 isn’t idiotic and doesn’t eliminate half of the walkshed. People would still be able to use the bridges on Santa Clara/Alum Rock and McKee to walk to the station from the east side of the highway.

    While a station without parking on a commercial corridor sounds ideal in theory, the fact is that the parking structure adjacent to the freeway is a necessity here. I lived in DC for 10 years, and I know what good rail transit and adjacent development looks like, and that’s just not quite possible here. The US101 freeway isn’t going away anytime soon, and BART is less of a transit system and more of a linear commuter service than WMATA is.

    There isn’t going to be a BART extension further south into Santa Clara county, and there aren’t going to be stubs going further east either. The fact is that, even with enhanced bus service (which there should be!), there are still going to be a lot of people who will drive to this point, and then use the train to get to points much further afield (SF, Oakland, etc.). Parking needs to be included, and keeping it as close to the freeway as possible makes sense.

    As a resident of 23rd Street, I don’t want to see the historic library at the end of our street ripped down for a parking structure (it’s not proposed, but it would be one of the only easy places to put one if the station ends up at 23rd). Keep the station and the parking on the brownfield at 28th.



    This is what happens when you design infrastructure that prioritizes one mode above all others–it actually leads to the demonization of perfectly normal practices such as riding side-by-side (whether by choice or necessity) simply because a very misguided traffic “guide” allows ridiculously narrow doorzone lanes:
    Biking is virtually set up for failure and unintended consequences with “infrastructure” like this.

    Like this, too. This infrastructure begs for weaving in and out by people on bikes nervous about both doors and moving cars

    Let’s not blame people using coping strategies to put up with highly subpar infrastructure.



    I time that tunnel going eastbound. I wait on the east side of the intersection until the light turns red for the stream of monsters. Then I sprint up the moderate slope until I get to max speed on the down slope & I practically have the tunnel to myself all the way to Chinatown.
    Yes, yet another (unrecognized) compensation it takes just to ride a bike in this town – one has to create their own stoplight and scheme just to avert the threat of death.


    SF Guest

    Send em to traffic school.



    Not to mention the money saved from an overpass over 101 instead of a tunnel underneath.



    The decision about federal funding has been postponed, thanks to active community input. No application is going to be made by the end of the year, according to comments made by VTA board chair Ash Kalra. On December 11, the VTA board will get an update on the status of the project planning, but will not make a decision. Earlier, VTA staff had made the argument that they could decide which stations to submit for federal funding without board approval. It is not clear whether that will still be the case going forward.



    From the SF Weekly article, SFPD’s Survey Monkey on Pedestrian Safety:

    It’s pretty quick–make sure to give your thoughts if you get the chance!



    Funding a station locally was possible in the era of redevelopment, but now that redevelopment has been ended, there’s no realistic way for a city to find tens of millions of dollars for a BART station.



    Response should have been, no your car crashed into my fist! You should be thankful I’m not pressing charges.



    So what do we do about bicyclists that won’t stay in a designated bike lane?

    Run them over?



    What to do about cyclists who won’t stay in the designated bike lane? Uhh, nothing?



    Assault the weaver, but make sure you’ve disabled the phone of the other guy and anybody else around. If the police come, you’ll have to assault them too and flee to a city where there are very few cyclists, of which there are many in America. But then you’ll still have lots of motorists who block you with double-parking and just stopping without signaling in the middle of the lane and a plethora of other unexpected behaviors. But you won’t mind them because they are in cars.


    Jarrett M

    Yeah, I have a feeling the station location was less an outcome of community participation or land use goals and more about making sure the massive BART parking garage was right next to the freeway onramp. The station box was never well positioned to serve the existing neighborhood commercial spine and heavily used local transit corridor on Santa Clara street.

    I know a lot of community members feel the proposed station relocation under Santa Clara at 23rd is a betrayal, but there are some real benefits with better transit connectivity to the 22/522/23 bus (and future BRT) which produce a combined headway of 5ish minutes and direct access to the existing commercial corridor. The redevelopment area behind 5 wounds would still be within the walkshed for the BART station, so there should still be interest from developers.



    So what do we do about bicyclists that won’t stay in a designated bike lane? I was driving east on 17th Street and came up behind two bicyclists riding side by side. One was in the bike lane, the other was was weaving in and out unpredictably. When I was about to pass the weaver, I honked to let him know so he wouldn’t weave into me. When we all stopped at the traffic light, he decided to tell me that I was at fault because he has the right to bike in the road. I told him that I commuted daily by bicycle and was aware of his “right,” but that he would be safer by not blocking traffic when he didn’t have to.


    Jake Wegmann

    File under “vehicular cycling is a joke.”