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: ##http://www.sfbike.org/email_templates/Embarcadero_3_9s.jpg##SFBC##

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bikeway noted in the Bicycle Advisory Committee report [PDF] was considered at one point, but the report may be “outdated,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose.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.

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