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Bicycle Safety

Yet Another T(weak) to Fell Street Arco Bike Lane

Fell_ARCO_bike_lanes.jpgThe new arrows to instruct drivers to queue earlier. Photo: Michael Helquist.

Michael Helquist at Bike NOPA has another update to the Fell Street Arco bike lane saga. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has striped new arrows in the curbside lane that they hope will compel drivers to move out of the bike lane and have dashed the bike lane.

Michael reports:

Although SFMTA does not explicitly inform Arco customers about the curbside line-up with street markings, the agency added more left turn arrows beginning at mid-block as well for a total of six. The extra arrows begin about 75 feet before the Arco entry, and were not needed to direct drivers into the left turn onto Divisadero. This fine-tuning of the approach to Arco and Divisadero -- combined with more outreach and media alerts to drivers -- may tip the scale to greater use of the queue.

While I hope Michael's analysis proves correct and drivers change their behavior to reduce the conflict and limit danger to cyclists, none of these symptom treatments deal with the cause of the problem.

Staging a few interns at the station to politely ask drivers not to create a danger for other road users is not the way to fix the problem. Short of closing the driveway and installing a protected bike lane, this issue will not go away.

I hope we don't have to wait for a serious cyclist injury or fatality before the city does something to eliminate this liability. I don't think City Attorney Herrera could argue successfully in court that the city had done enough to mitigate the hazard if this is the best it gets.

I also wonder, as have numerous activists staging weekly protests at the station, whether the SFMTA would react the same way if this traffic back up were affecting Muni or other city functions.

Can you imagine such a half-hearted attempt to fix a similar problem in front of a fire station?

Check out Michael's post and feel free to join in my Friday venting session in the comments.

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