SFMTA: Bike Boxes Coming to Market Street “Within the Next Month”

A bike box will soon grace this intersection on Market Street at Van Ness Avenue. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Last November, we brought you news that the SFMTA is planning to install five green bike boxes on Market Street where the numbers of bicyclists have dramatically increased since the SFMTA mandated right-turns at 10th and 6th streets. During peak hours, there are so many bicyclists on Market Street it looks a little like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. So, where are the bike boxes?

“Weather permitting we are expected to implement the bike boxes within the next month,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose.

The green bike boxes will be installed on westbound Market Street at Hyde, Van Ness Avenue and Haight/Gough, and on eastbound Market Street at South Van Ness andย 9th Street.

While the green protected bike lanes on Market Street have made bicycling much more pleasant and safe, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has urged the SFMTA to fill in the gaps between Octavia and 8th Streets by Bike to Work Day on May 12th.

The SFBC is pushing for a continuous protected bikeway from Octavia to the Embarcadero, as part of their Connecting the City Bay to Beach route.

Where else would you like to see a bike box?

  • jd

    Great! Now we just need to start educating drivers and giving out tickets to those who block the bike boxes. I’m blown away by the number of drivers who does this on the Scott St bike box. It’s amazing how utterly oblivious car drivers are to other road users, even when there is a bright green painted box with a bike image on it ….

  • Nick

    Let’s make this thread interactive:

    “Where else do you want to see a Bike Box?”

    Me: 20th Avenue and Lincoln Way as it feeds cyclists directly into Golden Gate Park.

  • taomom

    I’ll play!

    I’d like bike boxes on 8th at Fulton, going both into and out of the park. And repaint the one on 14th St. turning onto Folsom. (Also, the way the bike lane has been re-striped on Folsom in front of Rainbow it’s now so narrow you can’t actually ride in it at all and be out of the door zone.) Last but not least, a bike box on Harrison at Division.

  • Dan

    Bryant st. north going under the central highway (Division) to 11th, Bryant, or Division. if you are going straight to 11th you NEED to be in front of the cars since they might push you to the right to bryant.

  • Good idea, Nick. I did that on the last bike box thread and it didn’t generate as many responses as I’d hoped. Here’s hoping there’ll be more this time.

    Also, SFMTA, if you’re reading this, what happened to fixing the bike box that was paved over on 14th Street?


  • Anonymoose

    9th Ave at Lincoln would be great, both north and southbound. It may not be a designated bike routes, but it definitely has a lot of bike traffic, especially on weekends.

    I’ll second 20th and Lincoln.

  • Grove going east crossing gough, franklin and van ness.

    Actually, grove just needs a lane-removal treatment. That’s effectively the reality of it anyway… right hand lane is a bike lane during morning commute.

  • Chris

    16th Street heading east @ 7th/Mississippi.

    As 16th Street goes under 280 and crosses the railroad tracks, the two east bound auto lanes shift to the right around a median containing the railroad crossing lights and crossbar. This shift forces the right auto lane and the bicycle lane to merge as they are going through the intersection. The only signage for this merge is the sharrow painted in the right lane located directly below the traffic signal (I think many drivers/cyclist miss the sharrow because their attention is on the traffic light above). The merge is particularly difficult when there is a red light due to a train because the bicycles and cars stack up side by side and then all have to merge once the light turns green (and patience is a little short after waiting for the train). A bike box in the right lane would allow the bicycles to merge with the autos while everyone is stopped at the red light.

  • Nick

    Does the left-turn pocket at Valencia and Tiffany qualify as a bike box? Half of it is not even visibile (they repaved over it and didn’t think to repaint it).

  • Bob Davis

    Being more oriented toward railway transportation, I saw “Bike Boxes” in the title and momentarily thought it was about large cartons for shipping bicycles on Amtrak trains. Then I realized that it was the new way of configuring streets to encourage bicycle travel.

  • John Murphy

    Division Eastbound at Bryant ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sprague

    I am guessing that the transition from westbound Market Street to southbound Valencia will be accomodated by the bike box at Market and Gough. I’ve only cycled through this intersection turning left to Valencia on one occasion and it didn’t feel very safe doing so (with my daughter on her bike behind me).

    Thanks for focusing on improvements and soliciting input!

  • Mark Dreger

    I’m all for green bike boxes – and the one on northbound Market at Van Ness will be very helpful for facilitating the merge into the middle lane at 11th – but what is the purpose of the others? Will they simply just serve as a place for people to wait on their bikes at red lights in front of stopped cars (after they have filtered through them)?

  • Mark Dreger


    You suggestion for the one on Market at Gough makes sense. I hope they install it that way. Though there is an action item in the Bike Plan which calls for a “bulb-in” and (hopefully) bike signal at Market and Valencia to give people on bikes their own signal phase to safely cross Market onto Valencia. Maybe next year.


  • Mark,

    The way I understand it, bike boxes are helpful in situations where bikes will be turning left, or heading straight while cars to the right are turning right. E.g., on 8th Ave (heading south) at Fulton, I normally position myself in the center lane so I’m not in conflict with right-turning cars. Though I don’t turn left onto Fulton itself, it’s a very short distance to the left turn at JFK drive. So I second Taomom’s suggestion for a bike box there.

    Re: filtering to the front, yes, either that or the bicyclists got there first ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Nick

    How about some near the DMV on Baker Street? One at Baker and Fell so cyclists don’t block the crosswalk when coming off the Panhandle path and another at Baker and Oak.

  • BT

    “we just need to start educating drivers and giving out tickets to those who block the bike boxes.”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    That can happen when we educate bike riders and start giving out tickets to those who fail to stop at stop signs and lights, ride the wrong way on one-way streets and otherwise pretend traffic laws don’t apply to them.

    If you want respect on the street, you must act respectfully. I for one consider this so much paint on the pavement until I can depend on those sharing that pavement to behave according to the law.

  • jd

    BT wrote: “If you want respect on the street, you must act respectfully.”

    Agreed. And this is always true for everything, and hence moot to this discussion.

    Just because some cyclists are jerks, just like some drivers are, doesn’t mean cyclists don’t get *safe* ways to travel (it would be like saying we can’t improve roads because so many motorists roll through stop signs, or speed, or talk on the cell phone while driving, or drive drunk, etc). And as much as no one likes a jerk, being one doesn’t mean you get to get run over by a car. That is the problem with our current urban design: the most dangerous and inefficient vehicle (the peronsal car) is prioritized over all other forms of transit … all of which are more healthy and have a smaller environmental footprint to boot.

    The reality is that cyclists do not cause anywhere near the number of death and injuries as motorists (and that’s only the direct accidents … I’m neglecting all the indirect effects which we externalize as a society, like pollution, wars in the Middle East to defend our oil supply to fuel our cars, and contribution to the obesity epidemic and hence heart disease 9the #1 killer), and in fact it is a net benefit to everyone’s health to have more people cycling.

    From an enforcement perspective, since we have finite resources, it makes sense to funnel these resources according to priority. To have cops going around ticketing cyclists for behavior (which I would argue is mostly just breaking the *letter* of the law and not the *intent* of the law, the later being to determine right of way and prevent collisions) and which causes essentially negligible accidents in our city compared to cars, would be insane. Those cops should be focused on the real problems with our city. When it comes to traffic enforcement, cars cause orders of magnitude more death and destruction than cyclists. To prevent the city from improving bicycle infrastructure and making sure motorists drive safely around more vulnerable road users is much more important than worrying about cyclists rolling through stop signs.

  • Jon

    I agree that we need to ticket drivers who wait for a green light in bike boxes.
    We also need to ticket cyclists who wait for a green light in/across the crosswalk.

    All bow down and obey the white line!


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