City Lets Cargo Way Protected Bike Lane Fall Apart

A crew came through in August and repaved the motor vehicle lanes of Cargo Way, but left the bike lane in total disrepair

Public works paved the roadway to the left, but left the bike lanes full of cracks, dangerous furrows, potholes, and other defects. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless noted.
Public works paved the roadway to the left, but left the bike lanes full of cracks, dangerous furrows, potholes, and other defects. All photos Streetsblog/Rudick unless noted.

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As cyclists who use Cargo Way in the Hunters Point/Bayview neighborhood know all too well, the bike lane, once celebrated as San Francisco’s first on-street protected bike lane, is in a state of disrepair, with broken pavement, a dangerous, tire-grabbing groove, and a busted fence. And in a stark display of how some city officials regard bicycle safety, the city repaved the adjacent car/truck lanes in August, but skipped the bike lane.

“I’m not a regular cyclist there (it’s so out of the way I’m not sure it’s on anyone’s regular route). But I do bike there often to get to Heron’s Head Park, often with my kayak in tow. It has been in a state of disrepair for years. Fences busted up by cars, large piles of rocks and trash building up for months if not years, bumpy surface. It’s basically ignored as far as maintenance is concerned, in my opinion,” wrote bike advocate Adam Long in an email to Streetsblog.

Going by the comments section from Streetsblog’s story about the opening of the lane in 2012, pavement conditions weren’t exactly great even when it first opened–they’ve just gotten worse.

The wheel-grabbing groove through most of the center of the bike lane is just one of the hazards introduced by the lack of basic maintenance of the bike path.
The wheel-grabbing groove through most of the center of the bike lane is just one of the hazards introduced by the lack of basic maintenance of the bike lane.
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Another view of the freshly topped roadway–and the bike lane at perhaps its smoothest stretch.
Charles Deffarges, Community Organizer for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, shares Long’s dismay with the conditions on Cargo Way. “Repaving projects are opportunities to improve street conditions for everyone,” he said. “We are disappointed that City agencies did not take this opportunity to improve the pavement of the bike lane, instead focusing exclusively on serving people driving. We hope that future efforts by the agencies in charge of Cargo Way will address the maintenance concerns associated with the pavement quality, fence conditions, and debris in the bike lane along Cargo Way.”

Streetsblog has a request for an explanation out to the Port of San Francisco and San Francisco Public Works, which apparently share responsibility for maintaining the bike lane and street, and will update this post accordingly. However, a source close to the agencies said the city decided moving the concrete dividers and fence to repave the bike lane wasn’t worth the money.

More photos of the conditions on Cargo Way below.

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Another view of the decayed surface
Unsurprisingly, the sidewalk
The sidewalk is also in terrible shape
Back in October. At least someone removed this hazard.
Back in October, this is what the bike lane looked like after a car or truck crashed into the fence and barrier. At least someone removed this hazard…but the city has not repaired the fence
Windshield perspective
Why, exactly, would the city encourage cars and trucks to turn across the bike lane without stopping, but require cyclists to stop? But at least the city put asphalt where cars have to cross the bike lane.

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