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?

The new Berry Street contraflow bike lane. Photo:  
Leonid Domnitser
The new Berry Street contraflow bike lane. Photo: Leonid Domnitser

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

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:

Image: SF-DPW
Image: SF-DPW

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.”

The Lefty O'Doul/Third Street Bridge is currently locked in the upright position for repairs. Photo: Wikimapia
The Lefty O’Doul/Third Street Bridge is currently locked in the upright position for repairs. Photo: Wikimapia

“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.

In the meantime, readers might want to call or email Kim’s office and the SFMTA board about this too.

This was annoying on Friday morning, but at least cyclists don't have to worry about a dumpster suddenly pulling out or throwing open a door as they navigate around it. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
This was annoying when Streetsblog rode on Berry on Friday morning, but at least cyclists don’t have to worry about a dumpster suddenly pulling out or throwing open a door as they navigate around it. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

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Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to reject an appeal for a lengthy environmental review of proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements […]

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Chronicle‘s Matier & Ross Mourn the 0.05% of Street Parking Spaces Being Re-Purposed for People Speed Camera Legislation Would Let SF Save Lives, as New York City is Doing Already (SFGate, NBC) SFMTA Installs Bike Lanes on Euclid Avenue in Laurel Heights (SFBike) SFMTA to Vote on Watered-Down Plans for Bulb-Outs on Upper Haight Tomorrow […]