Third Street Bridge Detour and the Temporary Berry Bike Lane
Repairs to the bridge result in the creation of a temporary safe-hit-post bike lane. What can be done to make it permanent?
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Mission Bay commuters are no doubt aware that the Lefty O’Doul drawbridge on Third Street is currently locked in the upright position and, according to SF Public Works (DPW), will remain so until approximately January 26.
DPW put together a detour to the Fourth Street Bridge. As part of it, they eliminated the city-provided on-street car storage (aka: the parking lane) on one side of Berry Street to create the contra-flow bike lane as seen in the lead image. That lets cyclists navigate to the 4th Street bridge on a new, low-stress route:
But, as soon as the Lefty O’Doul is let down again and available to cross near the end of January, the bike lane is getting ripped out. “SFMTA will restrict parking along the north side of Berry Street during this period and will install a temporary bicycle lane along the north side of Berry Street to accommodate rerouted traffic,” writes DPW in its web post about the detour. “Following completion of counterweight repair work, parking will be restored on the north side of Berry Street.”
“In addition to giving cyclists a safe route to the 4th Street Bridge (where they ride with no protection or bike lane), this section of street [Berry] is a low-stress connection between the end of the Embarcadero path behind AT&T Park (at Third Street), and the 4th & King Caltrain station, MUNI stations, and Ford GoBike (all at or near the 4th Street end of the new bike lane),” wrote Streetsblog tipster Leonid Domnitser, who provided the lead photo and some of the background for this post.
Domnitser’s observations are spot on. This path isn’t just great for detouring the Lefty O’Doul bridge, it’s also really helpful for cyclists traveling between the Embarcadero and a whole lot of places.
It’s encouraging that the city is considering the needs of cyclists during this construction; that’s a very positive development. At the same time, in a city with so few streets that are truly low stress for cycling, it would be a travesty to put in a bike lane and then rip it out again a month or two later. Streetsblog reached out to SFMTA and Supervisor Jane Kim’s office (Berry Street is in her district) to ask about the prospects for leaving the lane in place after the bridge re-opens; this post will be updated when and if they reply.