Trial Bikeway on the Embarcadero Next Month Will Be One-Way Only

The SF Bicycle Coalition's vision for a protected two-way bikeway on the Embarcadero. Image: ##

We reported last week that the SFMTA is considering testing out a two-way bike lane on the Embarcadero during the next America’s Cup races in October, according to an agency report. However, America’s Cup spokesperson Jane Sullivan tells us that the lane will only serve one-way traffic in the northbound direction, and no trial bike lane will be provided in the southbound direction.

Essentially, the trial will be limited to designating one northbound traffic lane for bicycles only. It would begin just north of the Ferry Building and end at Bay Street, said Sullivan. Bicycle riders would then be routed on to Bay, then North Point, to avoid major cruise activity at Pier 35, she said. Sullivan also noted that the bike lane will provide emergency vehicle access.

The possible two-way bikeway noted in the Bicycle Advisory Committee report [PDF] was considered at one point, but the report may be “outdated,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose. Only a one-way, northbound trial lane was approved in the America’s Cup environmental impact report, he said. A trial two-way bikeway could still come during next year’s races, though a decision has yet to be reached, he said.

It’s encouraging that the SFMTA and America’s Cup are testing out bicycle infrastructure during the events, but without providing a safer, more convenient two-way protected bikeway, they might be missing out on a massive segment of visitors who would potentially come by bike, if they were provided with better bicycle facilities. Let’s hope that the trial bike lane this year leads to a top-notch bikeway along the SF waterfront in the near future.

  • mikesonn

    This will do nothing to address double parking in the bike lane. See: Ferry Building.

  • Anonymous

    Not much of an improvement if cars are still allowed to obstruct it by double parking or pulling in and out of parking spaces.

    And why only northbound? How do bicyclists head back south to the Caltrain station?

  • mikesonn

    Bigger question about heading to Caltrain:

    Why does the bike lane disappear between 2nd and 3rd and is completely gone from the block between 3rd and 4th?

  • Easy


  • Guest

    Why do they hate bicycles?

  • The Greasybear

    Is there any reason to believe motorists who currently block the northbound Embarcadero bike lane won’t block the “trial” one?

  • Fran Taylor

    “Bicycle riders would then be routed on to Bay”

    Bay is a deathtrap. North Point is much calmer and was recently striped for bike lanes. Directing cyclists, including many novices, onto Bay is insane. Let the cruise ship traffic deal with a few bicycles.

  • Upright Biker

    Route bicyclists onto Bay? There’s a perfectly good bike lane on North Point already, and all that’s really needed are some of those big green dashes to indicate that bicyclists will be crossing lanes to make a left at NP. 

    Do any of these planners _actually ride bikes_?

  • wait – how is this different that what already exists?

  • Anonymous

    It’s green?

  • Sorry folks, this was my mistake. She said bicyclists would be routed on to Bay, then to North Point. Oversight of mine, will fix.

    Aaron Bialick
    Streetsblog San Francisco |
    Cell: 415-689-0904

    [Sent from my mobile phone]

  • Guest

    that’s my exact question–but what’s the chance someone will answer it?

    will it be painted? have soft-hit posts? both are kinda pointless, esp. n. of the ferry building where traffic drops off. it’s already reasonably nice riding n-bound on the embarcadero.

  • mikesonn

    Wait, what? Onto Bay THEN onto North Point? Why? That’s a long 3 blocks to put up with high speed traffic.

  • Anonymous

    Because bicyclists are so eminently hateable?

  • mikesonn

    @pchazzz:disqus Pot, kettle.

  • Good point pchazzz!

  • guest

    I’m unsure why inaccurate information on this project continues to exist.  First, there will be barricades blocking off one of the northbound lanes on the Embarcadero for use by northbound bicyclest, pedicabs, and emergency vehicles (if needed).  Second, there will be no parallel parking allowed.  The access points will be for driveways to the existing Piers and a couple of small parking lots that are reserved for tenant access.  Third, parking will be removed on both sides of Bay between Embarcadero and Mason to provide additional space for cyclists.  The reasons for the routing are many:  Pier 35 will be unloading and relaoding 3,000 passengers on Saturday; the Italian Heritage Parade will close many streets on Sunday.

  • mikesonn

    Who are you guest and where are you getting your information? That’s a lot of parking being removed, I can’t see that going through without “sky-is-falling” proclamations from all around. Also, I haven’t heard one thing from the SFMTA and I’m very active in the North Beach area transportation-wise.


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