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Bicycle Commuting

In Ideal Weather, SFMTA Crews Install Bike Boxes on Market and Van Ness

Photos: Bryan Goebel

Working in 80 degree weather, smiling SFMTA crews installed two green bike boxes in both directions of Market Street at Van Ness Avenue today, the latest pieces of innovative infrastructure to grace the city's main thoroughfare, which continues to become a much friendlier street for people who bike, walk and take transit.

In addition to providing bicyclists an opportunity to queue up in front of waiting autos, the bike boxes are designed to prevent bike riders from entering the crosswalks on Market Street. Recent surveys have shown that in addition to growing numbers of bicyclists, pedestrian volumes have also risen on Market Street, thanks to a number of improvements the SFMTA began implementing in 2009.

It took SFMTA crews nearly 5 hours to install the two bike boxes on eastbound and westbound Market at Van Ness Avenue today. The preformed themoplastic is designed so that "both skid resistance and retroreflectivity are maximized," according to the manufacturer," Flint Trading Inc of Thomasville, North Carolina.

In addition to the green bike boxes, the SFMTA is expected to fill in the gaps on Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and 8th Street before Bike to Work Day May 12. Crews will color in the remaining standard bike lanes with green paint, and add soft-hit posts on some sections. In addition, the sharrows across Market at Van Ness will be enhanced. A combination of green pavement and white sharrows will guide bike riders through the intersection.

A fifth green bike box will be installed sometime this week or next on westbound Market Street at Gough, but it will likely be done in the early morning hours because daytime work would affect somel Muni lines. See more photos after the break and on my Flickr page.

Because drivers are allowed to turn right here, the bike box will not extend to the curb. The dashed bike lane leading up to the intersection will eventually become a green dashed bike lane.
I didn't see very many bicyclists using the new green bike boxes, but that's likely to change. The bike boxes are also meant to help keep bike riders out of the crosswalk.
Today's sunny weather meant short drying times, which mean crews were able to work faster on this bike box.
In Portland, the green bike lanes are connected to the bike box. The SFMTA says because right turns are allowed onto Van Ness, that can't be done for the bike boxes installed today. However, it may be done on other green bike boxes on Market Street. We're trying to get some clarification from the SFMTA. Photo: ##

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