Eyes on the Street: Buffered Bike Lanes for Students on Ortega in the Sunset

This school year, Ortega Street offers parents a safer street to walk and bike their kids on in the Outer Sunset, as seen here at 40th Ave. Photo: SFBC

The SFMTA has installed new bike lanes and traffic calming measures on Ortega Street in the Outer Sunset, bringing a safer commute for parents and students in time for the start of the school year. Ortega runs along Sunset Elementary School and AP Giannini Middle School, which occupy the four blocks between 37th and 41st Avenues.

The improvements, funded in part by a Safe Routes to School grant, include a bike lane with a buffer zone in the uphill direction on the stretch along the school, and a conventional bike lane in the downhill direction. Ortega also has new pedestrian islands, speed humps, continental crosswalks, daylighting, and sidewalk bulb-outs to calm car traffic and make it safer to cross the street. They were previously expected to be installed by the end of 2012, with the bike lanes in by summer of last year, and it’s unclear why the project was delayed.

The safety upgrades were championed by Nik Kaestner, the director of sustainability for the SF Unified School District, who bikes his kids to school on “a heavy Dutch cruiser,” he told the SF Bicycle Coalition.

Asked about the benefits of these projects, Kaestner pointed out that “walking school buses and bike trains also build community and allow students to arrive at school ready to learn… Ensuring that students have a variety of ways of getting to school means that students from disadvantaged areas have the means to get to the school of their choice.”

See more photos after the jump.

The bike lanes run all the way from 20th Aveune to the Great Highway. Photo: Gabriel Ho
Bulb-outs were installed to narrow crossing distances, as seen here at 37th Avenue. Photo: Gabriel Ho
Photo: Gabriel Ho

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Safety Improvements Coming to Ortega Street in Outer Sunset

|
Safety improvements are coming to Ortega Street in the Outer Sunset to calm the street for students and parents walking and biking to AP Giannini Middle School and Sunset Elementary School, as well as the stretch next to the Sunset Reservoir. The plan, approved by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors this week, would […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Buffered Bike Lanes Installed on Ortega Street in Outer Sunset Safe Routes to Schools Project (SFBC) More on SFPD’s Back-to-School Traffic Enforcement (KTVU, Weekly); Muni on School Schedule (Exam) SFMTA to Host Public Hearing on Van Ness BRT Changes This Friday (Hoodline) Film Festival Focuses on Raising Awareness About Safer Streets in SF and Worldwide (SFBG) GJEL Partners […]

This Week: Supes Take a Second Look at 8 Washington

|
This week, the SF Board of Supervisors revisits the 8 Washington project, the SF Bike Party heads back to the 60’s, the SF Bike Coalition takes a survey ride on the parking-protected bike lanes in GG Park, and Sunday Streets hits NoPa, the Western Addition, and the Fillmore. Here are all the highlights from the Streetsblog […]

South Bay Cities Build Region’s First Separated Bike Lanes

|
New on-street bike lanes separated from auto traffic are nearing completion in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, and a handful of neighboring cities have plans to install them too. Separated bike infrastructure gained traction among local planners after Caltrans approved Class IV Separated Bikeway design standards [PDF] in December 2015. The first protected intersections were built […]