Eyes on the Street: “Green-backed” Sharrows Installed on Market Street

Freshly installed "green-backed" sharrows on Market across Van Ness Avenue. Photos: Bryan Goebel

SFMTA crews are continuing the “green branding” of Market Street, installing “green-backed” sharrows for people who ride bikes across several different intersections headed eastbound between Octavia Boulevard and 10th Street.

Fifteen green shared lane markings have appeared on eastbound Market at Van Ness Avenue and 10th Street, with another 5 expected to go in soon between Octavia and Gough. In addition to helping guide bicyclists across intersections to connect with green bike lanes, the color is meant to raise the visibility of the sharrows for drivers.

“The new green sharrows are another notable improvement to the bicycling environment on Market Street, which more people are riding and appreciating than ever,” said Leah Shahum, the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “We hope to see the bigger, bolder green sharrows continued down the rest of Market Street now to help ensure the entire riding experience on our most well-used bicycling street is improved.”

What do you think of the new green-backed sharrows? More photos below the break.

The new green-backed sharrows approaching 10th Street.
  • Peapod mom

    They really are an idea long overdue. Problem is they need a pressure-activated voice recording or something telling drivers “don’t stop on top of this thing, dummy.” I had to tell some drivers from out of town as much on Scott St the other day.

  • mikesonn

    Sweet. Now can we address Market east of 3rd?

  • new to sf

    Anyone else less-than-satisfied about changing lane position in the middle of intersections? I’m certainly happy something is happening, but these green-backed sharrow swatches are merely bandaids until we design Market.

  • mikesonn

    Completely agree. Overall, this is poor design. I understand there isn’t much that can be done quickly or easily about this cross over, but I always feel really uneasy. Also, if a driver wants to continue straight, then they’ll just blow right by you and ignore all the forced right turns. This situation is even worse at night.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but… I think we want to grab as much legitimaticy as we can on that street such that when the redesign comes, we are the 800 lb gorilla, not the little mouse that wished it could.

  • mikesonn

    With all the lip service we get from City Hall, I’m still usually left feeling like the little mouse that wishes it could. But you are right, cycling has asserted itself on Market and should be positioned well for the redesign.

  • Spreading misinformation = not cool.

    Cars can stop on top of sharrows.

    Are you referring to bike boxes? Because remember that right turning vehicles can and SHOULD stop on the green bike lane (before the white stop bar). It’s the law. (Right turning vehicles must be as far right as possible, even if there is a bike lane)

  • Anonymous

    I believe Peapod mom was talking about bike boxes, since that is what is on Scott St. But it’s true that cars can stop on top of sharrows since, by their very definition, they indicate *shared* space meaning both bicyclists and cars use that space.

  • Nick

    Sharrrows in intersections? Will the MTA ever decide to put these along regular bike routes too? Drivers should know when they’re crossing a busyt bike route or about to turn onto one.
    And how about some green sharrows along those routes where sharrows haven’t been respected by drivers (Ocean Avenue anyone?).

  • Anonymous

    I think these are great. Sure, they are a long way from what we really need — a true cycletrack — but each little bit that lets drivers know that, not only are cyclists present, but they are *entitled* to be able to ride safely, is a good thing. My question: why not just connect the green-backed sharrows with green paint and, voila!, we have a full bicycle lane painted across the intersection. Why does the bike lane have to be “dotted” (and very spread-out dots at that)?

    Looking at the picture approaching 10th St, I agree that there is nothing that can stop the motorist in the right turn lane from suddenly deciding to go straight (especially if they are a tourist who is completely distracted and confused). However, with the soft-hit posts and now the green paint (though, like I said above, it should be solid green bike lane) as well as the white paint for the cars indicating they must turn right, I think the vast majority of motorists will understand what is happening and it will definitely improve the safety of cyclists.

  • mikesonn

    I was speaking more to the approach to the soft hit posts (in the intersection and the first 100 or so feet) being the conflict area. Cars don’t want to cede the right to go straight (or at least the option).

  • Peapod mom

    Yes, that’s what I meant. My brain is stuck in 3 weeks or so ago when they put in those green bike boxes. So when I saw these things I automatically thought “bike box.”


Eyes on the Street: New Bike Markings and Crosswalks at Market/Octavia

The SFMTA installed some green-backed bike stencils and upgraded ladder-style crosswalks at Market Street and Octavia Boulevard, the intersection that sees the most pedestrian and bicycle injuries in San Francisco. Mark Dreger and I were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the improvements yesterday while riding home from an awesome Sunday Streets in the Mission. The […]

How Would You Redesign Market Street at Van Ness?

With the SFMTA poised to install green bike boxes in both directions of Market Street at Van Ness Avenue, it got me thinking about how the agency could better design that intersection for the huge numbers of bicyclists who pass through it on a daily basis, particularly on eastbound Market where drivers and people on […]

Protected Bike Lane on Market Street Keeps Getting Better

The new pavement markings make it much clearer where cyclists and cars are supposed to switch lanes on Market Street near 11th Street. Photos: Matthew Roth The gradually evolving traffic rearrangement on Market Street got a boost yesterday as the MTA re-striped the bicycle and motor vehicle crossing zone at Market and 11th, clarifying how […]