Two-Way Protected Bikeway on Cargo Way Nearly Complete

Photo: ##

San Francisco’s first on-street, two-way protected bikeway is nearly complete, featuring bicycle traffic signals and green intersection bike markings. The bikeway, which is separated from motor vehicles by a fence and concrete median, provides a safer connection from Bayview and Hunter’s Point to Third Street and the north-south bike lanes on Illinois Street.

A bike traffic signal at Cargo Way and Mendell Street. Photo: ## Crisman/Flickr##

“It’s exciting to see this much-needed improvement in the southeastern part of San Francisco, where there is so much potential for great bicycling,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition. “We are hearing from a lot of people that this is making a real difference in improving their bike commutes. We look forward to a lot more improvements in the area, such as Bayshore Boulevard and the eastern half of Cesar Chavez.”

Construction of the bikeway, a project of the Port of SF and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency [PDF], began in March and was originally scheduled to be completed in May, though it’s unclear why it was delayed.  The fence was completed in May, and the striping was finished by July. The bike traffic signal at the Mendell Street intersection was activated last week, though an SFMTA staffer said there’s a delay with activating the signal at the three-way intersection of Cargo Way, Illinois and Amador Streets, at the bikeway’s west end. There, the bikeway splits into separate one-way painted bike lanes that end at Third Street.

The bike traffic signals create a dedicate phase for bike traffic to cross, separate from another signal phase for motor vehicles to turn across the path of the bikeway.

Green-backed sharrows were also installed to guide bicycle riders through the Illinois/Amador intersection, and in the coming weeks green paint will also be added to a waiting area for bicyclists crossing Cargo Way onto northbound Illinois. At the east end of the bikeway, the intersection of Cargo Way and Jennings Street was converted from a two-way stop sign intersection to a four-way stop.

One other notable touch added to the project is the visible wayfinding signage at the bikeway’s west entrance — certainly not a typical feature on bike routes in SF.

Check out more photos after the break.

Green-backed sharrows guide riders through the intersection of Cargo Way, Illinois and Amador Streets. Photo: ##
The west entrance of the bikeway at Illinois and Amador. Photo: ##
The Mendell Street intersection, with working bike signals. Photo: ## Crisman/Flickr##
  • Andy Kleiber

    need more of these.

  • Caleb

    The wayfinding sign is a very nice touch.  I was just in Vancouver, and their cycle route network had very good and plentiful wayfinding signs like this one.  In addition to the arrows and destination names, their signs also indicated the “name” of the route you’re on, to give a sense of continuity as some routes zagged around between different streets.

  • Jakewegmann

    What Andy Kleiber said.

  • nearside bike signals! nice touch. Why not mount them lower where a person on a bicycle would seem them while looking straight ahead at the stop bar?

  • Upright Biker

    Like it, but not sure the fence is needed, nor as many curb sections. Seems like they would add a lot of cost but not that much more safety than more widely-space curbs with soft-hit posts. Is this more to keep peds out of the lane?

  • Upright Biker

    They would likely be vandalized with paint, stickers, or worse if they were lower…

  • VCS

    Hopefully they have a street sweeper which will fit and they can keep it clean.

  • Anonymous

    I second the comments on the street cleaning needed – along with some
    pruning of branches that drape down into your face on the route. Still a great addition to the network.

  • Anonymous

     Agreed. They can use the same one on the buffered bike lane on Division St.

    And I’d be happy if they’d just take a regular-sized street sweeper more often to the western Cesar Chavez bike lane which gets full of crap in a matter of a few days.

  • Disappointed Daisy

    I bike down Cargo Way everyday to and from work. The new bike lane is not safe at all. Shortly after completion of the fenced curb, a semi-truck crashed into it. Anyone in that area of the bike lane would have sustained serious injuries, if not death. I feel trapped with the fenced curb. Not to mention the dangerously uneven pavement. All this funding was spent on the fenced curb, bike signal lights, and painted lanes, yet it seems that none was spent on repaving the actual path, which, in my opinion, should have been the first priority. If the road was only re-paved and nothing else was done, it would have greatly improved my ride and made me feel a lot safer. Riding down the current path, having to dodge bumps, pedestrians, and oncoming bike traffic is extremely stressful. I don’t even use the bike path when I head westward because that side of the street is significantly smoother than the path itself. I only use the bike path going eastward because there is no where else for me to be. Also, I have NEVER seen the bike signal light turn green.

  • Disappointed, too

    Amen to disappointed Daisy.  I can’t believe how this has been celebrated in the press and by the Bike Coalition–for many good reasons–but no one seems to realize that the great accomplishment is fundamentally unsafe.  Here is an e-mail I sent to staff at the Port:

    It has been thrilling to see the development of the Cargo
    Way bike lane.

    Although we would not want cement ties and chain link
    fences to cordon off bike lanes everywhere, it is totally appropriate on Cargo
    Way where most vehicle traffic consists of garbage trucks, cement trucks and
    U.S. Postal Service vehicles.  The dedicated stop signs and traffic lights
    are a nice touch, and the whole development holds promise for the future of
    bikes and the Bay Trail.  The connection to the much underused Heron’s
    Head park is another great advantage, especially now that it too is undergoing
    major improvements.


    But, I hope the Cargo Way bike lane isn’t done yet. 
    As a 66-year old bike rider, I am especially concerned about safety.  The
    separated bike lane on Cargo Way is unsafe in its current condition.  Long
    cracks in the pavement, some with weeds growing up through them, are
    dangerous.  The seam between the asphalt and the cement base of the curb
    creates a hazard the entire length of the lane heading in the eastward
    direction—at some points, it is as bad as street car tracks, except there is
    nowhere to go to avoid them.

    Riders are, in effect, hemmed into a surface that poses
    significant risks, especially heading east.  I was hoping there was a plan
    to repave the surface, but when I saw the lane dividers and direction arrows
    painted on the current surface, I feared this is it.  Please tell me I’m
    wrong, because an otherwise wonderful project has a huge flaw if I’m not.Bob PrenticeP.S. I got a response from a planner at the Port who confirmed that this is all the funding they have for the bike lane at this point.  This can’t be acceptable.  We have to press for a repaving before someone gets seriously hurt.

  • Anonymous


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