SFMTA Board Approves Watered-Down Polk Plan, May Revisit It Later

Half of one side of Polk will get a protected bike lane under the approved plan. Image: SFMTA

The SFMTA Board of Directors voted today to approve the plan to redesign Polk Street with a protected bike lane along one side of the street for 10 of 20 blocks. After a four-hour hearing, the board approved the plan with the condition that SFMTA staff would report on the impacts of the project a year after it’s completed, when they will consider extending protected bike lanes along the upper half of the corridor.

“Of course, we wanted the full suite of Vision Zero improvements along the length of Polk,” said SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Noah Budnick. “But the improvements that were approved today are the foundation to build on and as we work through the massive construction on Polk, and the safety improvements are implemented, the MTA’s data-driven approach, I predict, is going to show that safety improves, traffic is reduced, businesses thrive, and will back up the case for extending pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements for the entire length of the street.”

We’ll have more coverage of the hearing tomorrow.

  • M.

    At the point that a client decides that they’ll take on a very protracted headache and a lawyer decides there’s money in it.

  • gneiss

    Never have I said that staff at SFMTA are not talented nor committed to their mission of running and improving a complicated transportation network. Who I fault are the political leadership who consistently meddle with their funding and impose specific requirements on streetscape redesign work and MUNI effectiveness that favor political expediency over safety.

    Far too often, the fingerprints of this meddling are removed leaving the SFMTA holding the bag for bad political decisions, as the politicians merely deflect any attention to these problems back to the agency.

  • I know that. You know that. The optometrist probably knows that, but people have had a lot of luck convincing others by repeating the same ‘problems’ over and over.

  • M.

    After wading in this muck for…ever, I have to agree. But too many jump on the blame bandwagon.

  • voltairesmistress

    M., thank you for all of your hours of boots firmly to ground. 🙂

  • Gezellig

    Yes, major cheers to M., who is not only delightful to be around but also has done so much on-the-ground work in person as well as representation at meetings.

    As someone who usually can’t make it to things scheduled in the middle of the weekday I really appreciate this.


Aaron Peskin Consulted With Polk Street Bike Lane Opponents on Lawsuit

District 3 supervisor candidate Aaron Peskin provided consultation for Polk Street bike lane opponents earlier this year on filing a lawsuit over the street’s redesign. Despite his recently-declared support for full bike lanes along Polk, Peskin confirmed his one-time involvement with Save Polk Street, a group of merchants which has fiercely opposed protected bike lanes to preserve […]

Detailed Polk Street Designs: Plans for Safe Bicycling Still “Lackluster”

The SFMTA and the Planning Department presented detailed plans for Polk Street at the project’s final open house meeting yesterday. The new aspects include specific locations of bulb-outs, dedicated bicycle signals, left turn prohibitions, loading zones, and new trees and landscaping. Plans to improve bicycle infrastructure are still composed of a mix of protected, buffered, […]