SFMTA Hearing: Eastern Cesar Chavez Bike Lanes, 12 Bike Corrals Approved

The new plan would replace car parking with buffered bike lanes on Cesar Chavez. Image: SFMTA

SFMTA hearing officers today approved a plan to replace car parking on Eastern Cesar Chavez Street with buffered bicycle lanes. A previous iteration of the plan was dropped in June after industrial businesses in the area pressured City Hall because they objected to losing traffic lanes for trucks.

The new redesign would add buffered bike lanes separated by “safe-hit” posts along the stretch between the 101 and 280 highways. On most of the route, the proposal calls for replacing parking lanes instead of traffic lanes.

The project, along with a set of twelve new bicycle parking corrals, next heads to the SFMTA Board of Directors for final approval.

“The project that’s coming back is coming back better,” said San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Policy Director Andy Thornley. “This will be an even more comfortable bike lane than what we had approved in June of 2009.”

SFMTA Engineer James Shahamiri said that some design details on the project still need to be worked out, but they likely won’t require any further legislative approval. Removing travel lanes in the westbound direction along that stretch, he said, is “still on the table.”

Twelve new on-street bicycle corrals also passed the hearing with a unanimous show of support – including 40 emails – at the following locations:

  • 18th and Dolores Street
  • 29th Street and Tiffany Avenue
  • Powell and Chestnut Streets
  • Harrison and 20th Streets
  • Haight near Clayton Street
  • Valencia near 24th Street
  • Judah Street near 45th Avenue
  • Polk and Washington Streets
  • Fillmore near Sutter Street
  • 16th near Mission Street
  • 18th and Collingwood Street
  • Valencia near 23rd Street

An additional bike corral was proposed at Minnesota and 22nd Streets, but SFMTA staff said it will be re-worked to accommodate plans to add an intersection bulb-out.

Also approved was an initiative from Caltrans to remove travel lanes and add bike lanes on a section of southern San Jose Avenue.

The removal of a Muni bus stop shelter on Turk and Hyde, which residents complained attracts drug activity, was approved, although many spoke in opposition.

See the rest of the items on the agenda here.

  • The project design scares me. Removing parking instead of removing a traffic lane opens up the sight lines for motorists and removes the possibility of hitting something that “won’t move”. So they will drive even FASTER. Then as they approach Evans and see a cyclists who needs to merge left across the right turn pocket they will – if current conditions are a guide – hit the accelerator and cut off the cyclist at 50 MPH+ rather than wait for the cyclist to merge. This happened to me this AM between Evans and Pennsylvania – I needed to merge left due to parked cars, and the semi behind me gunned it and forced me to hit the brakes or die. And yes, he thus ended up 4th in line at the red light at Pennslyvania where I repassed him to make my left turn, and he smiled and waved at me, knowing exactly what he had done and knowing that he didn’t care one bit.

    I assume those are the “design details” that need to be worked out – but I would recommend removal of the right turn pocket and the right turn green arrow light cycle completely.

  • This is indeed a worry. I wonder if some judiciously-placed speed bumps might help? Or at the very least (and I do mean least), one of those signs that tells drivers how much faster than the speed limit they’re driving?

  • Dzineone

    I don’t like this. why aren’t there  trees in a median?

  • bkc

    There were, I think, also bike lanes for San Jose Avenue on the agenda. Does anyone know if those were approved, and what portion of San Jose Ave that’ll be?

  • Anonymous

    It’s great to see the SFMTA moving bicycle infrastructure designs forward at this much more advanced level. This is so much better than the previous regular class II unprotected lanes. Kudos to James and the new crop of bicycle positive engineers! And to the SFMTA Board!

  • Aaron Bialick

    As mentioned in the post, they were approved. A previous comment from Andy Thornley said it’s “the southernmost three blocks of San Jose Ave, between the San Mateo County line and Alemany Blvd (Goethe, Rice, Liebig/DeLong), the northern end of CA Hwy 82.” We haven’t got further details on it yet.

  • justin

    So glad 18th and Dolores (Dolores Park Cafe and Bi-Rite creamery) is getting a bike corral, but given the crowded sidewalks at 18th and Guerrero, we could use another corral or two (for Delfina, bi-rite, tartine)… a good start though

  • Jakewegmann

    This does seem a LOT better. 

    But @twitter-14678929:disqus  raises a real concern.

    How about a curb or “hard hit posts” instead of “soft hit posts?”

  • If Chavez is of interest to you, we’re riding it with David Chiu this Wednesday AM. Email me for details tahoe at murphstahoe dot com – early risers only 😉

  • I wonder – why is the inside travel lane 10 feet and the outside travel lane 11 feet? Perhaps if we want to slow the motor vehicles that are closest to the cyclists, the outside travel lane should be the 10 foot lane?

  • Anonymous

    This is great news, since it’s a massive improvement over the nightmare that is the current situation. But as @twitter-14678929:disqus and others have said, why can’t SF just can’t pull the trigger on the last step towards creating a real cycletrack: a buffer that is a curb? Unfortunately, I think I know the answer: using anything permanent to separate the bike lane indicates a full commitment to prioritizing bicycle infrastructure, and the city is afraid of that. With soft-hit posts and paint, you can easily change them (ie, remove the bike lane) if you want. It’s a real shame that the city still can’t just pull the trigger on this one and see the writing on the wall for future urban transit.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. There needs to be a couple of bike corrals on that block. Hell, I wish the city would just block that block off entirely to cars. Other than the people with garages who live on that block (maybe the city can pay them out?!), that block is the perfect candidate for a car-free zone, especially since it segues right into Dolores Park. Man, a car-free block there would be amazing ….

  • +1 That block is always crazy busy with pedestrians and bikers. I swear half the time I just walk in the street cause there’s no room on the sidewalk. I don’t even bother trying to park my bike there.

  • Anonymous

    How did this ride go?

  •  The ride went good, we had a great turnout.


    I thought I videotaped the whole thing but… technical difficulty.

    He gave a good talk, answered questions about cycling, MUNI, Car free Market (wants to make Market our Champs Elyssee, which of course is not very bike friendly but you get the point). We then rode out to Chavez, took the Underpass of Broken Bottles and Dreams, showed David the crappy Chavez configurations.

    I discussed the stuff above and said we’ll really need to work on this intersection to make sure people can get through safely. He name dropped Ed Reiskin, and seemed genuinely interested so I think this was all positive – if they come up with a crappy final set of details for Chavez I think we have some allies no matter what in terms of getting our voice heard (even if Ed Lee wins we have a voice with the City Attorney and the Board President).

    Scott Crosby pointed out an even gnarlier section – the left turn onto Pennslyvania, which involves getting squeezed on the left by motorists trying to get by you and then merge onto 280, and on the right by cars coming from the East on Chavez who want to go straight on Pennslyvania, all while navigating a series of craters of doom. That section needs repavement and striping, stat.

  • Fran Taylor

    Still leaves pedestrians and transit users in the lurch.

  • Fran –

    I pointed this out to all three Mayoral candidates we rode down Chavez with (Avalos, Herrerea, Chiu). I was trying at some point to figure out if there were pedestrian accommodations in the original plan that was scuttled – someone from SFBC indicated there were not, I was unsure about this, and nonetheless complained about the sidewalks there. What’s your take – I want to make sure I include accurate descriptions in any future communications.

  • Fran Taylor

    The plans are a bit confusing because there are long-range proposals, which do include major improvements for pedestrians, and short-term plans, which mainly involve the bike lanes. My fear is that once bike lanes are implemented, it will be harder to push for a more holistic streetscape plan. As for transit, plans afoot will add much-needed service to Bayview by taking it away from the #48 (new route would send #48 on current #19 route south of Cesar Chavez).

  • Fran Taylor

    The plans are a bit confusing because there are long-range proposals, which do include major improvements for pedestrians, and short-term plans, which mainly involve the bike lanes. My fear is that once bike lanes are implemented, it will be harder to push for a more holistic streetscape plan. As for transit, plans afoot will add much-needed service to Bayview by taking it away from the #48 (new route would send #48 on current #19 route south of Cesar Chavez).

  • Samir

    i think its for trucks because they tend to move slower and the fast lane is on the left

  • Samir

    So when will these changes be implemented? As it is I detour around it so this would definitely save me time on my commute


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