Eyes on the Street: New Bike Lanes, Road Diet on Folsom in the Mission

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/DavidForer/status/388727060727742464/photo/1##David Forer/Twitter##

The Mission’s stretch of Folsom Street, between 19th and 24th Streets, just got safer with bike lanes and a road diet striped along with a road-repaving.

Formerly two general traffic lanes in each direction, the street now consists of one bike lane and one general lane on each side, resulting in a calmer environment and extending the northbound bike lane all the way from 24th to the Embarcadero (Folsom turns into a one-way street at 11th Street).

The redesign was approved back in spring 2011, and these improvements are intended to be “short term” measures in the Mission Streetscape Plan, laying the groundwork for the long-term construction of green medians, though that median space doesn’t appear to be included in the new layout (there’s only a double yellow line down the middle of the street). It could be that the geometry will be re-arranged again once the medians are constructed — we’ll check in with the SFMTA and Planning Department.

Additionally, this stretch of Folsom is set to get bus bulb-outs at six corners, and green wave traffic signal re-timing is set to go in on Folsom between 15th and 24th by next spring.

  • mikesonn

    Keep Folsom median free!!

  • Upright Biker

    I’m always pleased to see the stencils indicating that bullfighters on bicycles are welcome in SF, but oddly I’ve never seen a single Toreador pedaling about our fair city.

  • These are sweet. Nice benches made from granite curb stones are an especially creative element of this “more than repaving” project.

    Hoping they will connect to Cezar Chavez some day soon…

  • Anonymous

    Wish they would do something like this on Broadway in Oakland! Three southbound lanes through downtown, and only two are heavily used

  • Anonymous

    That guy is called the “Denver dude.” Maybe if you go to Denver you’ll see him.

  • J

    Amen. If there is enough space for a median, there is enough space for protected bike lanes on each side, which would be a far better use of limited street space than a median. Medians are almost exclusively aesthetic improvements. If you want more trees and greenery, replace a few parking spaces on each block with tree planter bulb outs, but dont restrict sustainable transport options in the name of beauty and preserving parking.

  • SFnative74

    Medians at crosswalks can help slower pedestrians (those with disabilities, elderly, etc) cross wider streets more easily by giving them safe space to wait/rest halfway.

  • Anonymous

    Pedestrian refuges are different from street medians (though they can be blended). Refuges are useful, but even more useful is having crossable streets. Streets and light times (especially for a 2 lane street) should be crossable so that slower people are still able to cross them safely without having to struggle halfway and wait.

  • Anonymous

    So can longer light cycles for pedestrians. So can narrower streets – instead of building a median, widen the sidewalks.

  • Ryan Brady

    Meanwhlie, cars rush to doublepark in the freshly painted bike lanes!

  • Is the final design already approved? A median would definitely be counter-productive here and Folsom already has a great tree canopy for much of its route. I don’t understand why Green Waves in SF don’t have a complementary speed limit that is the Green Wave speed.

  • SFnative74

    Sure, that would be ideal, if you have $1,000,000 per block to spend on widening a sidewalk.

  • SFnative74

    Absolutely, but even timing lights for 99.9% of the people out there, you will sometimes get people who cannot move much more than a crawl. It’s pretty difficult to time for everyone out there, unless you’re ok with signals that take 2+ minutes to go through a cycle. Sometimes refuges are useful, esp on wider streets.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, except this is not a wide street. If you care so much about crossing Folsom, how about the part in SoMa that IS wide – 4 lanes plus parking on each side and a 3 foot bike lane.

  • Anonymous

    The project is not being privately funded by murphstahoe… Plus it doesn’t always cost $1,000,000 per block, and while widening the sidewalk may be slightly more expensive than a median, making medians isn’t free. And finally, you’ve left out bulbouts as an option that would lesson crossing times and be cheaper than medians.

  • mikesonn

    Widening the sidewalks cost about $1.5m per block, believe it or not, running into that issue on Columbus right now.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, the costs get astronomical. I heard from the bike coalition that the green backed sharrows on the wiggle cost $100,000… how is this possible?

  • citymaus

    There looks to be a couple feet of space from the right edge of the bike lane to the parked cars. Doesn’t look to have been that much more difficult (space-wise) to flip the configuration to make safer protected bike lanes (the space in between could be striped as a buffer/door zone). The only more costly thing would be to repave the parking lane, too (but not totally necessary.)

  • qianqong