Protected Bike Lanes, Dual Bus Lanes Still Left Out of Potrero Ave. Plan

A new design option for Potrero would mix the southbound bike lane with the transit lane. (The numbers denote removed parking spaces.) Image: DPW

The latest proposals for a redesign of Potrero Avenue include no protected bike lanes and only one transit lane, while the removal of any of the street’s four lanes devoted primarily to private car traffic remains off the table.

Planners from the SFMTA and the Department of Public Works presented two design options at an open house community meeting last night, one of which [PDF] would actually eliminate the existing southbound bike lane and instead place colored bike markings in the transit lane, denoting that riders are expected share it with buses. The northbound side of Potrero would have a buffered bike lane. The other option [PDF] would basically maintain the striped, unprotected bike lanes on each side.

Under both options, the eastern sidewalk would be widened to 14 feet along the four blocks in front of SF General Hospital, and bulb-outs and a planted center median with pedestrian refuges would be added. Up to 79 car parking spaces would be removed, down from the previous estimate of 100, as planners have added more perpendicular an angled spaces on side streets.

Elliot Schwartz, a neighbor and livable streets advocate who bikes with his son in a rear seat, said he was disappointed with the options. “It moves the needle a little bit, but not much,” he said. “It makes things better for people walking, it doesn’t really do a thing for people biking as far as safety or comfort. It moves a bus lane from one side to the other — they say that’ll be more efficient, but why not add bus lanes in both directions?”

After the previous community planning meeting in late July, reader Josh Handel submitted a concept for Potrero that includes two transit lanes and protected bike lanes safe enough for a broad range of San Franciscans to feel comfortable using. The street is wide enough if one lane for car traffic was removed in each direction. But city planners claim that would result in unacceptable car congestion.

The Potrero project has faced resistance from some neighbors and merchants over the removal of car parking and traffic lanes. Flyers were reportedly handed out and placed on car windshields near SF General prior to the meeting, protesting the repurposing of parking spaces, mainly for bulb-outs and left-turn pockets.

Fran Taylor, a neighborhood livable streets advocate, said she was upset by “the callous indifference to users of San Francisco General Hospital shown in a petition that demands that plans for sidewalk widening be squelched to save storage space for cars.”

The plan “seems like a poor compromise between people who come to these meetings and argue that they don’t want to give up their free parking space that they’ve had for years,” said Schwartz, “and people who’d actually like to see safer streets so they can ride a bike with their kids and things like that.”

Schwartz said the bike/bus lane “seems crazy,” and though he’d be willing to try it, it probably wouldn’t feel safe enough for most residents.

“It’s a step in the right direction, but we continue to hear calls for the strongest possible improvements to make Potero safe for walking and biking,” said Kit Hodge, deputy director of the SF Bicycle Coalition.

The mixed transit/bike lane option, "Option B." Image: DPW
The other option, "Option A," would maintain a southbound bike lane between the transit lane and parked cars. Image: DPW

According to the meeting presentations [PDF], city planners predict that under a scenario with only two traffic lanes for autos, drivers would violate red-colored transit lanes to bypass congestion. So, apparently, the street should be designed around transit lane violators. Even though colored transit lanes installed on Church Street and in other cities have yielded promising results so far — and police enforcement certainly helps — planners likened colored transit lanes on Potrero to the regularly-violated part-time transit lanes on downtown Mission Street, which are notoriously poorly marked with only dashed lane lines (on some stretches) and worn-down “Bus Only” stencils.

Planners also say that limited-stop Muni buses on the 9-San Bruno would be unable to merge into the congested lanes to pass local buses. So, they argue, a second transit lane would not speed up Muni buses substantially.

The city predicted a traffic nightmare if Potrero were to have two transit lanes and protected bike lanes. Image: DPW

I overheard one city staffer describe such a proposal to an attendee as “very anti-car,” saying that it “just wouldn’t work.”

“Transit users need to speak up for a dedicated bus lane and insist on enforcement so it doesn’t just become a fifth car traffic lane,” said Taylor.

The presentation boards did lay out some numbers comparing the predicted time savings for Muni riders to how many car owners would be affected by the removal of parking spots. No similar comparisons were shown for the removal of car traffic lanes and the potential benefits of increasing bicycle use and safety on the street.

Not pictured: the economic costs of failing to provide two bus lanes and safe, comfortable bicycle lanes. Image: DPW

As Schwartz pointed out, much of the car traffic on Potrero seems to be spill-over from the adjacent 101 freeway, since the street is currently designed to be a convenient bypass route. Some of that traffic, research shows, will dissipate if space for cars is re-allocated to more efficient modes.

“The reason it seems that drivers have the most to lose is because they have the most to begin with,” said Taylor. “We’ve designed our cities to accommodate cars over people, and considering humans first will take some adjustment.”

“If you look at the Potrero-101 corridor, you have six lanes that are dedicated to private autos — two travel lanes in each direction, and two parking lanes,” said Schwartz. “You have another eight lanes on 101 that are only used for cars.”

Schwartz noted that “you’re really only giving 25 percent of the space over to people who walk, bike, and take transit,” despite SF’s transit-first policy, which mandates the prioritization of street space for non-automobile travel. “Twenty-five percent is not prioritizing.”

DPW's rendering of what Potrero would look like under Option B.
  • Anonymous

    Yeah, and riding Market St *sucks* which is why it’s one of the highest priorities for the SFBC in terms of getting new bike infrastructure. Reducing cars has helped, but the buses still routinely scare the crap out of anybody who rides down that street, especially when the buses and bikes essentially share space (just like in the proposed Potrero plans) right at a bus stop along the curb. Market St is a relic from another time that we are trying to jury-rig to make better. But if we had a chance to redo the road, like on Potrero, nobody in their right mind would design it this way. So to use Market St as an example for Potrero shows poor awareness of the issues cyclists face.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, exactly as @mariotanev:disqus said: we are a *representative* democracy. We elect leaders and that’s where our role ends. Otherwise, if you think every decision our leaders need to make should be subject to a popularity poll, what’s the point of having said leaders in the first place?

    This idea that every new idea has to subject to a popularity vote is insane. It creates massive status quo bias and prevents progress. It also creates nothing but “tyranny of the majority” which was never the way our government was supposed to operate.

    Decisions/arguments are decided by the *merit* of the argument at hand not the popularity of each position.

  • Anonymous

    Yep. I’m really disappointed in Cesar Chavez. I cannot believe they wasted space on a median instead of providing protected bike lanes. Such a waste and such an cop-out and really trying to get people out of cars and encouraging other modes of transit ….

  • Andy Chow

    It is part of our democracy that any decision is subject to public discussion and re-evaluation even if a vote took place on some general policy in the past. That’s why SFMTA planners are seeking comments on this and other proposals. That’s why the board meetings are open to the public and anyone are legally permitted to testify.

    That process is actually more favorable to you (giving you a chance to make comments of what you think work best). SFMTA staff is presenting a proposal that balances different demands, which auto traffic is one of those demands, even if you personally don’t give a shit about it.

  • mikesonn

    *Andy inserts fingers into ears* “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

  • Easy

    People have asked about a bike boulevard on Hampshire at the meetings, but the staff replied that this project & its set funding is restricted to Potrero Ave, so doing anything on Hampshire isn’t a possibility. It’s also not part of the SFMTA’s bike long term bike plans. Moreover Hampshire only goes from Cesar Chavez to 17th St, has more elevation change than Potrero, means people on the east side of Potrero have to cross the busy street twice, does not improve bike access for hospital staff, etc. By all means you should advocate for a bike boulevard on Hampshire in the future, if you believe that would be a useful neighborhood connection!

  • Andy Chow

    Bikes are allowed on Potrero and the bike lanes are there. They are still permitted without bike lanes. Who is advocating not allowing bikes on Potrero?

    As for the carmaggeddons, those are all planned activities with only a relatively short term interruption. People can change behaviors (mostly by avoiding travel, with some shifting routes and shifting modes) for a short while but will be problematic long term. We have even survived a BART strike, does that mean that we will be just as fine if BART were to be shutdown for a month?

    If BART were shutdown then the tracks and yards could be turned into big community farms.

  • Andy Chow

    I wished that SFMTA staffers have a better answer than that, but I am not suggesting that a bike boulevard to replace the bike lanes on Potrero. Hampshire may only go to 17th Street, but 17th Street is also a designated east-west bike corridor.

  • Mario Tanev

    Yes, but that’s not a democratic process. That’s a process where the loudest, most selfish minority wins.

  • Andy Chow

    Like the cyclists.

  • Americans are allowed to travel through Iraq, and we even offer visa services there — the ‘bike lanes’ of the travel world. Americans are permitted to travel even to countries where we do not provide visa services — like Iran, Cuba, etc. Who is advocating not allowing Americans to travel through these countries?

    African-Americans know not to go into ‘sundown towns’ or ‘sundown sections’ of San Francisco. Who is advocating not allowing African Americans in these places?

    We don’t have to outlaw biking on Potrero to discourage or prevent it. Potrero Ave, right now, is a ‘sundown street’ for anyone wanting to bike on it, only this sundown street operates 24 hrs a day, not just after sundown.

    Gridlock Sam describes how auto traffic dissipation works:

    Yes, we would be just fine if BART and all motorized transport shut down. It would take some time, and we’d want to stop the most detrimental modes of transport first — namely, cars — but we’d be just fine — we’d, in fact, be better than fine — we’d be well on our way to extremely fine.

    I’d be good with replacing BART with community farms, as long as we opened up every single street/road/bridge/tunnel in the SF Bay Area to walking and biking. That would be a godsend. Super-fantastically-awesome.

  • Mario Tanev

    The city has voted on a goal of 20% cycling by 2020. Cycling was included as part of transit in transit-first and the city charter says transit-first. Whereas nowhere in the charter does it say the city should strive to preserve parking at the expense of transit or cycling.

    So what cyclists are clamoring is consistent with the charter, and what the other loud minorities are clamoring is not.

  • Andy Chow

    It is all changes in interpretation by politicians. There’s no ballot measure that I can recall that all the city’s policies should align with the goal of 20% cycling. However I know that voters approved a ballot measure that all the city’s policies should align getting the new Transbay Terminal/Caltrain extension built.

    It is no different than some of the rights considered to be constitutional because of Supreme Court decisions, rather than something specifically listed in the constitution. A different court could make a different interpretation to end such rights.

    You can try to put the 20% goal on the ballot to make it stick, but you could lose. If you do, there would be no more 20% goal any more. So keep pushing for policies like cutting every 4 lane road into 2 lane road and sooner or later someone is going to put that 20% on the ballot for you.

  • I was all ready to dispute Potrero being abandoned by bikes because I ride it and see bikes on it, but looks like Strava’s saturday heatmap backs you up:|12|14|37.76694|-122.41494

  • If you want world class transit, you cannot have BRT. Only places with the most horrific public transit systems on earth have a significant amount of BRT. Bogota comes to mind.

    Bogotanos will tell you that having a public transit system is better than not having a public transit system, but they come to SF and are mersmerized by how incredible our public transit system is compared to theirs. They’ll tell you, for instance, that it’s generally possible to ride our bus system here and not worry about getting robbed. Might not sound like a big deal to us, but I’m told it’s a big deal to them.

    I don’t equate buses with private vehicles. Just because BRT promotes private car ownership doesn’t mean that buses and cars are the same thing. ITDP and other public relations firms are not much different than AAA, except that they focus primarily on the public relations and lobbying components of their job instead of additionally offering consumer services like AAA. Their ‘hook’ to promoting automobility is greenwashing — a different tactic than AAA, but no less insideous.

    As for the argument that ‘x number of people use y transit system and blah blah blah’ — it’s just a defense of the status quo — in this case, a car-centric society and a decrepit public transit system. It’s like me saying that criticism of torture does a huge disservice to all the people being tortured at Gitmo right now — that would just be a defense of the status quo — in this case, torture.

  • Anonymous

    POP is not used in countries like China where people are less likely to
    be law abiding (a scenario where a train or bus load of fare evaders can

    Streetsblog is not where I expect thinly veiled racism.

  • FL

    Nah, they will likely take the neighborhood streets instead since Cesar Chavez will likely be clogged. Let’s see how the residents on these neighborhood streets will feel. Likely not happy.

  • FL

    Not even close. Market is great route (except between 4th and 5th Sts and maybe 1st and 3rd Sts) compared to say, Columbus.

  • FL

    Stop it. Please. Just because someone has a different opinion doesn’t make him a troll. Sheesh.

  • FL

    Once again, stop with the medians encouraging speeding lies. This notion is getting out of hand. No studies support this. Medians discourage speeding by creating a narrower roadway, preventing deadly head-on collisions and providing pedestrian refuges.

    Medians may not be needed everywhere but generalizing that they are not needed only shows the lack of open mindedness to the fact that every road is different.

  • FL

    Bullshit. These designs are still a good balance of give and take between all modes of travel. No one gets everything, but it will still be better than what is out there today.

    You and Josh are disgusting people making personal attacks against people who are only trying to make things better. They know who all the people who have a say in this. They have to strike a balance between everyone. You do not represent the majority. It’s sad to continue to see extremist Streetsblog commentators drag down this place…

  • FL

    Great. Another chance for low-life extremists to use a large crowd as an excuse to attack innocent people and destroy other people’s property just like Critical Mass.

  • Anonymous

    Cyclists usually take 26th Street. Good to see that you care about the residents of those housing projects that you castigate in every other internet discussion.

  • Anonymous

    “You and Josh are disgusting people”

    “making personal attacks against people”

    So much WIN

  • Anonymous

    “Medians discourage speeding by creating a narrower roadway”

    Unless the space for the median is produced by taking out parking or a travel lane.

    Are the lanes being narrowed in these plans?

    However, knowing that there can no longer be a head on collision, drivers can drive faster.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Where to start?

    The fact that Bogota has a high crime rate, and the fact that Bogota has BRT, are two completely unrelated facts. Getting robbed on BRT in Bogota is a risk because getting robbed everywhere in Bogota is a risk. Do you really think that BRT is causing crime in Bogota, and not (say) economic inequality and political instability?

    Yes, it would be nice if we had the funds for higher-quality transit, such as an extensive subway system. But given that we’re working with a limited set of funds, BRT fills the desperate need for an achievable, tangible upgrade over existing Muni service.

    “Just because BRT promotes private car ownership”… what possible evidence do you have for that statement, and for the claim that ITDP promotes private car ownership? It’s been shown many times that car ownership is lower near high quality public transit – particularly high-quality transit that does not provide parking at stations, which BRT generally does not.

    As for your last comment – you have our positions reversed. You are defending the status quo and the decrepit public transit system when you say that you don’t care whether transit gets dedicated lanes, not me. Clearly you don’t care what people who have to or choose to ride the bus have to deal with so long as you get an upgrade for your own personal transportation choice.

  • =======================
    The fact that Bogota has a high crime rate, and the fact that Bogota has BRT, are two completely unrelated facts.
    so you are claiming that 1) Bogota has a high crime rate, and that 2) this is why there is a lot of crime on Transmilenio.

    ok — i’ve never heard that defense of Transmilenio/BRT — but i don’t find it compelling. i know nothing about Bogota’s crime rate, but i know lots about its transport system overall, its BRT system/Transmilenio, and BRT in general.

    one reporter went out to cover the “stress, insecurity, and abuses” that Transmilenio riders suffer, and got his wallet stolen. you can’t make this stuff up.

    “The journalist Richard Fredy Muñoz lived firsthand the daily suffering more than three million users of the system.”

    I’d argue that it is the BRT concept itself that makes Transmilenio such an attractive place for criminal behavior. The ride conditions — overcrowding, super-long buses, and horrendous jostling/shaking/noise — are very conducive to theft, groping, coercion, etc.

    The uncivilized nature of bus travel combined with the dehumanizing effects of the BRT environment — concrete jungle-like catwalks into the middle of massive roadways — smoggy/poisonous exhaust fumes — incredible noise — intense overcrowding — all lead to anti-social behavior and general mania.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a large percentage of Bogotanos suffer from PTSD, anxiety disorders, and other physical and mental maladies from riding Transmilenio.

    If folks are just interested in spending money on _something_, we don’t have to build special bus highways on our most important corridors — there are a zillion things we could do to improve public transit — even assuming the money _has_ to be spent directly on bus services of some type.

    One simple solution would be to allow buses to stop in the right-most general travel lane without having to pull into a bus stop. This would speed overall bus travel significantly, for obvious reasons. But it would also deter private car ownership, so it is not something that can be considered.

    If we were actually interested in increasing bus ridership we could just make bus travel free, at least during off-peak times. We can work on either 1) improving the bus/transit experience, or 2) increasing the bus/transit ridership numbers. If our ultimate goal is 2), there are very easy, proven, predictable ways to achieve this — a fare reduction/tax decrease would be the most effective.

    We don’t have to tear up roadways and spend tremendous amounts of money just to make conditions more miserable for people who would prefer to walk and bike. In a sane world, we’d be talking about how to make walking and biking easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

    “Just because BRT promotes private car ownership”… what possible evidence do you have for that statement, and for the claim that ITDP promotes private car ownership?

    Just look at the numbers — for instance car ownership numbers in Bogota since the advent of Transmilenio.

    Also, just think logically about what BRT does — try to forget for a moment what ITDP pumps out and instead think for yourself.

    BRT expands car/bus travel miles wherever possible, and when it can’t do that, it strengthens automobility on the most important corridors of a city by crowding out the most effective alternative mode to the car — bicycles.

    If you prevent biking on the most important corridors of the city, you’ve conquered the city — biking will be off-limits to the vast majority of the population.

    BRT is just Part II of the GM Streetcar Scandal — just done with 50 years of public relations experience under their belts.

  • Sprague

    With all due respect, Andy, cyclists certainly have not won much in San Francisco. The car remains king here and despite small improvements that are achieved on a nearly block by block basis, the car will almost certainly remain king in San Francisco for decades to come. This status quo continues to place motorist convenience above all other objectives (ie. environmental, transit efficiency, pedestrian and cyclist safety).

  • Sprague

    It makes you wonder how sincere the effort to speed up Muni really is.

  • Sprague

    As a cyclist, I’d rather not slow the progress of dozens of passengers on a Muni bus. Having sharrows in a transit lane may make sense for a block or two or it would make sense if the street is so narrow that other options are not feasible but that is not the case on Potrero. I know that the planners want to strike a balance, but as many have pointed out this plan falls short. Dedicated bus lanes in both directions, perhaps in the center of Potrero (like Van Ness’ BRT plan) with enforcement of the transit-only rule and/or with physical barriers/narrow medians to assure that motorists don’t violate the bus right-of-way, and cycle tracks between the sidewalk and the parking lane would make this a more balanced proposal.

  • mikesonn

    GGB will be our case study, median going in. I predict marked increase in speeds.

  • Anonymous

    @FL wrote: “Once again, stop with the medians encouraging speeding lies. This notion is getting out of hand. No studies support this.”

    You sure about that?

    From the conclusion: “Through a speed study at several sites, the observed speeds in most sites were found to be higher than the expected speed predicted by [the Highway Capacity Manual]. Compared to the no barrier configurations, F-shape concrete median barriers were found to increase the comfortable speed of drivers in both 70km/h and 80km/h sites included in the study. Thrie beam barriers were found to have little effect on driver speed in the 80km/h site while the W-beam barrier was found to increase the speed of drivers. In contrast, F-shape concrete barriers on which a chain link fence was installed were found to reduce driver speed.”

  • it’s not just city planners who have the raised center medians fetish, unfortunately. lots of regular city residents wanted and got the massive raised center median on Cesar Chavez instead of protected bike lanes.

    but the medians do benefit someone — General Motors. taking away left turns is the best way to create loud, fast, dangerous, highway-like conditions, which helps prevent any kind of biking — the best alternative to car transport.

    fire and ambulance services don’t matter — they’re trotted out to support automobility. if that ever changes, they won’t be heard from in these debates. that said, we should force the issue — “raised center medians are dangerous because they block emergency vehicles from getting through.”

  • Andy Chow

    Saturday you got more recreational cyclists which favor Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge. Even Market is not that well used on Saturdays. There’s no recreational destination along Potrero.

  • Andy Chow

    May be borderline cultural, but not racism. In Hong Kong, residents are complaining that mainland Chinese tourists do such things like allowing their kids to urinate/defecate in public areas (including onboard transit), not creating a line (or cutting onto line) when waiting for something, etc. It is all complaints from the people of the same race.

    In China, you will find copycat McDonald’s and KFC’s, counterfeit of everything, and if you get hit by a motorist, he or she would rather want you dead than injured. So it is a place where the law isn’t well respected. So how could you expect POP to work, which mostly relies on people’s respect of the law and self regulation.

  • Andy Chow

    Carpool lanes require new construction, not by converting existing mixed traffic lane into HOV. I guess part of that “respect” comes from the fact that new lane was never “theirs” in the first place.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Wow Really?!!? You folks need to learn how to ride a bike!

    Option B looks like a great compromise. I like it ’cause its still rideable at modestly fast speeds and faster bicyclists can easily pass slower riders by moving into the automobile lane when its clear. I’m sick of “hand-holding” bike facilities that are useless or even dangerous at speeds over 10mph.

    Plus Option A had that “bicyclist killing lane” to the right of the Bus lane at the intersections. No thank you!

    Take a Traffic Skills class and stop whining!

  • Sprague

    The MTC would like us to believe that “carpool lanes require new construction”, but there is no reason why existing highway lanes can not be re-purposed into HOV lanes. California’s HOV lane building projects often seem to be little more than freeway widening projects in disguise. (I’m a bit off topic here but I just wanted to point out that it is false to claim that “carpool lanes require new construction”.)

  • Treva

    Mario, it’s unconvincing to argue that taking a traffic lane out of Potrero will “only” mean that traffic will take Guerrero instead. Because you know and I know that the same folks who want to calm Potrero now will want to calm Guerrero next year.

    If you want to eventually ban cars from SF then say so explicitly rather than this nickle-and-dime one-street-at-a-time death by a thousand cuts strategy that you think we won’t notice.

    Even the SFBC appears to understand that we need to build consensus between all stake holders, and not just try and totally obliterate one form of transportation in favor of another.

    Potrero is an important vehicular artery and transit route, as well as being the main emergency access to SFGH, so there is a limit to have much you can mess with it.

  • Sprague

    It’s reasonable to presume that nearly all readers of this blog do not want to ban cars from San Francisco. Instead, the objective is to create more balanced streets and improve non-automobile modes of travel. As this article illustrates, the great majority of street (and highway) space in the vicinity of SFGH is already devoted to cars (and, despite that, congestion is a near daily occurrence). A redesign of Potrero gives the community the opportunity to rearrange the street in a manner that can more efficiently transport more people in a safe and timely fashion to their destinations, as well as reduce environmental impacts generated by this travel. SFGH is a major employer and many people travel to it for appointments, to visit patients, and to pick up medicine. Why not improve Muni (and Samtrans) access to SFGH and along Potrero? Why not seriously improve bicycle conditions along Potrero so that SFGH employees and visitors (and others) have a viable, direct, and safe way to bicycle? Looking at San Francisco as a whole, bicycle and transit improvements along major corridors leads to more cyclists and more transit riders resulting in less automobile congestion.

  • @jonobate – I don’t equate BRT with “world class public transit.” It’s a half-measure that falls short of the LRT that people really want. Its supposed economy hinges on externalizing costs to another ledger, i.e. road maintenance. In this country most BRT success stories have worked by usurping existing rail corridors — in this case, the “H Potrero” streetcar.

    I can understand why advocates frustrated with a city’s lack of progress would look for something that seems more achievable, but no way is it world-class.

  • @Andy Chow – The city’s transit-first policy was both strengthened and extended to explicitly include bicycles and pedestrians by a ballot measure in 1999. This voter mandate was reaffirmed in 2007 when voters rejected a ballot measure by billionaire Don Fisher to weaken the policy in favor of cars. That’s democracy right there; using this to fussing about communism is just nuts.

  • RealPotreroResident

    [A.K.A. OwenRay]
    Yeah, and taking away traffic lanes and parking will make the cars magically disappear. We have all seen how well that worked on Embarcadero. I live on Potrero, and I bike to work every day. It’s fine. What already sucks is the traffic and parking situation, and no, I am not ever getting rid of my car. It is amazingly stupid to imagine that people are going to suddenly stop driving down a main artery like Potrero just because it has been made even less convenient. Keep this shit in your own neighborhood and out of mine, thanks.

  • RealPotreroResident

    [A.K.A. OwenRay]
    Anyone who wants to cram more buses down Potrero, remove parking spaces and traffic lanes obviously does not live here. Traffic on Potrero is already miserable and parking at times nearly impossible.

    This is not an improvement for area residents, it is yet another negative impact to our quality of life. This is only an “improvement” for the yuppie anti-car zealots and people who think it would be nice to have this in somebody else’s hood. Those of us that live here do not want it.

    The city of San Francisco cannot even keep the human excrement and garbage off of the streets here. They let bums and junkies take over our neighborhood, and they can’t even keep the residents safe. If you want to make it a more “walkable” neighborhood, how about cleaning the poo off the sidewalk and enforcing sit/lie first.

    I ride my bike to work every day. I live on Potrero. I ride on Potrero every single day. It’s fine. I still need a place to park my car. I need it not to take a freaking hour to drive down my own street to get home. This anti-car BS needs to stop, and it needs to stop here.

  • Anonymous

    You are out of your mind, and you obviously don’t travel on Potrero during peak hours or know the layout of the neighborhood. Traffic is nearly gridlocked during morning and evening commute hours and often on weekends. Speeds don’t get any slower than stopped. And Potrero is a main artery to 101, 280, and 80. You can’t just “use Guerrero” or other streets. They all lead to the same place.

    People who have to drive are still going to drive, and they are not going to magically start using SF’s terrible public transportation because traffic gets even worse. And those of us who actually live here don’t need people like you foisting their terrible ideas on us to satisfy their little whiny agendas.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s actually think about this for a minute. This is not Valencia Street. It isn’t the Haight. Potrero is a main artery for traffic entering and exiting the city from the Mission, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Downtown and beyond via Potrero and highway 101, 280, and 80. Cars come on and off the highway, not people on foot or on bikes. There is virtually no retail (and hopefully there never will be) so foot traffic is minimal. It’s pretty much just residents, hospital employees and customers. There is not really a big draw of people to a busy residential street with no retail or restaurants, and you aren’t going to change that by making the sidewalks 200 feet wide. All of the surrounding streets are much nicer to walk on as it is. No big deal. The bike lanes on Potrero are not more or less dangerous than anywhere else in the city. I ride them every day, and they get the job done just fine.

    So what is being proposed is to take hundreds of parking spaces away from the residents of a neighborhood where parking is already very difficult. Then, further jam up traffic with more buses on a main artery to the highway, where traffic is already really bad. And then hope that magically everyone is going to start taking the bus and riding their bikes instead of using Potrero. It just isn’t going to happen. And of course, a planted median will just be another place for garbage to pile up and for the local degenerates to defecate. The city can’t even take care of the street as it is.

    This is an incredibly stupid, wasteful, and unnecessary project that will negatively impact the residents of the Potrero-SFGH neighborhood. Traffic will still be terrible, and MUNI is still going to suck.This is the will of yuppie anti-car hipsters, and it takes no consideration for those of us who actually live here.

    Stop this project now!!

  • Anonymous

    What he says

    “Potrero is a main artery for traffic entering and exiting the city from
    the Mission, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Downtown and beyond via Potrero and
    highway 101, 280, and 80. Cars come on and off the highway, not people on foot or on bikes.”

    What he means

    “So what is being proposed is to take hundreds of parking spaces away
    from the residents of a neighborhood where parking is already very

    Give me a break. Potrero is NOT Cesar Chavez, is NOT San Jose, Dolores, Octavia, Van Ness, 19th, etc… Quit throwing FUD. Aside from my personal opinion, you write “The bike lanes on Potrero are not more or less dangerous than anywhere else in the city. I ride them every day, and they get the job done just fine.” While that is definitely not true, if you have that opinion, then Potrero is not the traffic sewer you claim.

  • Anonymous

    I ride from here to Levi Plaza almost every day, which involves a variety of different road and bike lane arrangements. I don’t have any more close calls on Potrero than on any other bike lane equipped part of my route. I don’t need my neighborhood turned upside down for what amounts to some fancy green paint in the bike lane, less parking and no real increase in safety.

  • matt l

    I live one 24th and potrero and have lived here my whole life… i think this will be great! I bike and drive, im not complaining. I think it will be great to beautify the street. Also it seems like theres a accident on potrero every other day bc people like to believe potrero is just an extension of the highway and speed like crazy. Ive seen plenty of people get injured and killed bc of reckless drivers on potrero and would be happy if the proposal will remind people this is a residential neighborhood. slow down traffic! also, this is San Francisco, its always been anti-car, deal with it or beat it

  • matt l

    san francisco has always been anti-car. also most residents who live on potrero have garages, use them. [24th and potrero native]


Some Residents Urge City to Make Bolder Safety Upgrades on Potrero

The city’s latest proposal to improve safety and transit service on Potrero Avenue is slightly different than earlier versions of the plan. While the redesign would expand pedestrian space, some residents at a public meeting yesterday pointed out that it could do much more to make the street safer for biking and walking. Staff from the Department […]

Oakland Unnecessarily Pits Safe Bicycling vs. Transit on Telegraph Avenue

At two workshops last week in Oakland, attendees overwhelmingly called for a bolder plan to make Telegraph Avenue safer and include protected bike lanes. Oakland planners ditched their original proposals for parking-protected bike lanes, instead proposing buffered, unprotected bike lanes on most of the street. In Temescal, the street’s most dangerous and motor traffic-heavy section, planners insist […]