Funding Approved for Masonic EIR and Cargo Way Protected Bikeway

The Masonic Avenue redesign. Image: SFCTA

The Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project took another step forward today after the board of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority approved funding to conduct an environmental impact report (EIR). The board also gave the green light to funds to construct the city’s first on-street two-way protected bike lane on Cargo Way in Hunter’s Point.

The Masonic Avenue redesign will transform the dangerous corridor with traffic calming, greening, and other improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit. The project’s EIR will be completed by the SFMTA and the SF Planning Department by June 2012, according to memos accompanying the resolution passed by the SFCTA [PDF]. Once cleared, the SFMTA would approve the report as an addendum to the San Francisco Bicycle Plan before beginning a 12- to 18-month phase of “detailed design work” on the project.

The $41,000 required for the EIR, as well as the $94,000 for the Cargo Way bikeway construction, come from Prop K sales tax funds.

The SFCTA is still seeking funding for the project’s estimated $18 million construction, but potential sources include the Proposition B bond measure and grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Caltrans, the agency memos state.

Residents will have to wait until at least 2014 for construction to begin on the Masonic redesign, which will bring the city’s first physically raised bike lane to the corridor.

Cargo Way, meanwhile, will see the city’s first two-way, on-street bikeway protected by a raised concrete barrier and fence, according to the memos. The bikeway will fill a gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail, connecting Third Street and existing bike lanes on Illinois to Heron Head’s Park and Hunters Point. It will be placed along the south side of the street to minimize conflicts with trucks accessing the north side.

The project was approved in the 2009 Bike Plan and is expected to be completed by March 2012.

The plan for a bi-directional, protected bikeway on Cargo Way. Image: SFCTA
Image: SFCTA

  • Anonymous

    Great news in both cases … just wish the Masonic plans could be fast-tracked so they could start construction late next year.

  • Great news and 8 mo’s seems like a reasonable timeline for the EIR

  • Diegorsanchez

    Cargo Way  improvements are great but it is for the most part a recreational trail.  when doe the heart of the Bayview get safely connected to the Mission and downtown?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a shame that an EIR is required for each of these projects.  Perhaps it’s time to look at either eliminating CEQA, exempting bike lane/cycletrack construction or otherwise cutting the regulatory burden for building such improvements to existing streets.  The cost of the Masonic EIR alone would have been enough to fund a significant stretch of bikeway.

  • Alex Lantsberg

    this has been a long time problem.  downtown’s pretty easy…illinois all the way up to 3rd.  the mission is far more challenging since evans is the best way to get over there but the road’s poor condition and heavy truck traffic make people rightfully nervous.  

  • Guest

    agreed! there must be a better way.  similarly for transit adjustments.. stop consolidation, transit lanes.. not saying they shouldn’t be reviewed.. but there needs to be a distinction and a way to rein in time and money.  (but where to draw the line in the sand..)

  • Totally agreed!!  Although regulation is needed, it is sometimes ridiculous when the EIR may cost more than the construction itself!  CEQA requirements also create disadvantage to any non-auto project (LOS requirements).  Of course there may also be too much gray area if something need EIR and something don’t…

  • This is not a first priority for improving biking in SF. We should focus more resources on core downtown bikeways. This is a recreational path in a lower density neighborhood with high speed/high traffic volumes. We should be focusing resources on exactly the opposite: low speed/low volume routes in dense areas for daily urban transportation.

  • The EIR on the plan to screw up Masonic Avenue will cost $41,000, and the project itself will cost $18 million.

    You folks should really stop calling Masonic “dangerous” without providing some evidence for the charge. According to the city’s own numbers, even though Masonic carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day, there aren’t many accidents on the street.

  • Roy Crisman

    the bicyclist most likely to personally benefit from this (I take the
    loop twice every morning on my exercise route) I think this is pretty
    crazy.  The majority of the trickle of traffic this road sees is trucks
    going to the recycling outpost and mail trucks.  I may have seen another
    bike on it once.  Hope they also fix the road hazard tree roots on
    which ever side of the road this is going in on.  They’ll also need to
    do some work to provide the proposed 8′ sidewalk–I suppose the morning
    jog/walkers (class?) will also appreciate that.

    Best part of this stretch:  watching the City Grazing goats.

  • Anonymous

    Well, $89,000 is not a huge amount when it comes to city projects, so I don’t think we should worry about a loss of focus. And while I appreciate the existence of conflict points at intersections, looking at the map, there aren’t any on this stretch, which makes it an ideal candidate. I would love to see a similar bikeway all the way up Embarcadero.

  • Anonymous

    Uh….the plans I see on the SFMTA site linked from the SFBike site are not what I see diagrammed above.

    The plan in the .pdf just stripes some bike lanes on either side of the road.

    I’m not sure 89K would cover the concrete for a 1ft barrier–that seems more like standard painting costs for a stretch that long.

  • Aaron Bialick

    The two-way proposal doesn’t have an illustration available online, but it is included in the verbal description as “Option 2” [PDF].

  • imrana javed

    this is something good news for people there. wish you good luck for this project. and enjoy

    Toronto Airport Transportation

  • Toronto Airport Transportation

    won’t you think that this project cost is expensive? anyways hopefully this project will complete soon

    Toronto Airport Transportation

  • Peteholden

    Rob – a cyclist was killed on Masonic by a drunken driver last year.  I suppose one could argue that this wasn’t an “accident” – that adding alcohol & gasoline is dangerous and predictable.  But to argue there were no collisions on Masonic is untrue.


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