Eyes on the Street: Folsom Parking-Protected Bike Lane Gets Greener

A parking protected bike lane on Folsom. While these have popped up all over SoMa, North Beach has gotten zip. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
A parking protected bike lane on Folsom. While these have popped up all over SoMa, North Beach has gotten zip. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

For readers who haven’t been on Folsom Street in SoMa in the last few weeks, Streetsblog is happy to report that the new parking-protected bike lane has gotten a lot more green paint since we last reported on it in October. Back then, the lane–the latest of several projects designed to make SoMa safer for bikers–consisted of bus-boarding islands, some stripes, and a splash of green here and there.

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The parking-protected bike lane on Folsom at the intersection with Juniper. At small streets, the bike treatment continues across. At large streets–where it’s needed most–it stops.

Now there’s green almost the entire way through SoMa, even across intersections with smaller streets, such as Juniper (seen above), and at driveways. This makes it clear to motorists to look out for cyclists when turning. Safe-hit posts are also placed in a way that would make it difficult for a car to sweep quickly across the bike lane and intersection without hitting one. Streetsblog hopes that eventually a true barrier, made of concrete, will be installed to protect vulnerable roads users at driveways and alleys. Unfortunately, as shown in the photo below of Folsom and 7th, the bike lane drops out completely at all the major intersections.

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At the intersection of Folsom and 7th, the bike lane abruptly disappears instead of continuing across the intersection.

And, as we know all too well, it’s these large intersections that are most dangerous for vulnerable road users–it’s where we need bike lanes and protection most.

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Between 8th and 9th, across from Vega Coffee. Hallelujah! Work crews actually left some space for bikes to pass during construction.

That said, it’s nice to see these treatments in SoMa going in so quickly–proof that the delays we’ve all grown accustomed to aren’t really necessary when there is political will and leaders are on board. Another positive surprise was that the construction crew working on the sidewalk between 8th and 9th, across from Vega Coffee, endeavored to maintain a protected bike lane of sorts around the construction. Hallelujah! Streetsblog was starting to wonder if construction crews are told to block and obstruct bike lanes intentionally.

Meanwhile, some motorists still managed to block the bike lane–and Streetsblog hopes the irony of the photo below is not lost on readers.

Oh the irony.
Thank you, San Francisco, for protecting us from BlueGogo, Jump Bike, Ofo Bike, etc.

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