Hearing Could Delay Upper Market Bike Lanes Again

Will Politics Once Again Threaten Upper Market Safety infrastructure?

Upper Market. Image: Google maps
Upper Market. Image: Google maps

A source has informed the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) that at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting this afternoon, mayoral appointee Jeff Sheehy may vote for the planned parking-protected bike lanes on Upper Market to be delayed over an environmental challenge to the project. That’s led the SFBC to question Sheehy’s commitment to safe bike infrastructure in his district.

From the SFBC web page and release:

Those of us who have biked San Francisco long enough know too well how bureaucratic processes can be abused to delay safety improvements. Now, it’s happening again on Upper Market Street, and the threat is coming from a community leader who previously supported protected bike lanes there.

Behind the scenes, we’ve learned that Supervisor Jeff Sheehy is waffling on whether to further delay already-approved bike lanes on Upper Market Street.

Streetsblog readers will recall that way back in February, Sheehy committed to protected bike lanes on this stretch, which goes through his district (recall he was appointed by Mayor Lee to replace Scott Wiener, who was elected to the State Senate). That’s why the SFBC is so infuriated by this apparent waffling.

But Bill Barnes, Legislative Aide to Sheehy, in a phone call with Streetsblog, took exception to this characterization. “The Supervisor’s position since February has not changed,” said Barnes. He said the Supervisor is merely responding to an environmental appeal from a citizen, and that there’s a good chance he and the other supervisors will decide not to do a continuance — which means the parking-protected bike lanes will be striped without further delay. For details on the appeal and what the supervisors will be deciding upon, look at page 20, item 52 of the agenda, scheduled to be heard at 3 p.m.

Either way, the SFBC is asking people to:

  • EMAIL SUP. SHEEHY TODAY
    Email Sup. Sheehy to make it clear that safety can’t wait on Upper Market Street. He can be reached at jeff.sheehy@sfgov.org (copying janice@sfbike.org).
  • CALL SUP. SHEEHY’S OFFICE
    Once you’ve emailed, please call Sup. Sheehy’s office at (415) 554-6968. When you call, don’t hesitate to let Sup. Sheehy’s staff know how you feel about the Supervisor considering further delays to protected bike lanes on Upper Market Street.

Streetsblog’s perspective is simple: environmental laws were not written to delay environmentally friendly projects such as bike lane safety improvements–but that happens, as we know all too well. Delays get people hurt and sometimes killed. Market Street needs protected bike lanes from the Embarcadero to the Castro and beyond–too many people have already lost life and limb on Market Street for present conditions to continue.

“The plan for protected bike lanes on Upper Market was the product of a painstaking process that brought together neighbors, merchants and bicycle activists,” wrote Rafael Mandelman, an urban development attorney who is running against Sheehy for the District 8 seat, in an email to Streetsblog. “To even consider scrapping the work of the various stakeholders and now go back for more study is absurd … Build the damn bike lanes. Now.”

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

SFBC's Janelle Wong at the front of a line of advocates who urged the Board of Supervisors to reject any more delays to protected bike lanes on Upper Market. Photo: SFBC

A Victory for Bike and Safety Activism on Upper Market Protected Bike Lanes

|
As Streetsblog readers have surely seen on social media, heard through the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), or read in the SF Examiner, advocates fended off a last attempt (one hopes) to jam up the Upper Market parking protected bike lane project. Yesterday afternoon, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to deny a […]
Only a few months remain to fulfill a specific requirement of Mayor Lee's order on safety. Photo: Streetsblog

Will SFMTA Make its Deadlines for Protected Bike Lanes?

|
Recently, District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy committed to protected bike lanes in his district from Octavia to Duboce on Market, as part of the Upper Market Street Safety project. But despite Sheehy’s support, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) leadership delayed a key hearing and, according to a report in the SF Examiner, the protected bike lanes were […]
SFBC ED Brian Wiedenmeier addressing the members. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

SF Bike Coalition Kicks off Plans for 2018

|
Physically protected bike lanes are coming to Valencia Street. “We are pretty sure some segments can be designed and implemented as soon as this Fall,” said Janice Li, advocacy director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, to 120 people who attended its annual member meeting Wednesday evening at the Google Community Space on the Embarcadero. […]

Work Begins on Upper Market Street Bike Lane Improvements

|
Preparations for improvements [pdf] to the Upper Market Street bike lanes are underway and when completed will mark a step towards safer passage for travelers by bike at three intersections along the city’s busiest bike corridor, where a vision for a protected bikeway was dropped nearly forty years ago. The extended bike lanes should provide […]
Riders heading north on Valencia enjoy relative safety--at least for one block--thanks to the latest protest. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless otherwise indicated

Push Continues to Fix Valencia

|
Yesterday evening, some thirty bicycle advocates in yellow t-shirts again cordoned off a section of Valencia Street’s Uber drop-off zone (also known as the bike lane) in the Mission, between 18th and 19th. The protest was very similar to past efforts, which you can read about here and here. As with the past two protests, […]