Eyes on the Booby Traps: Bryant at Division and 11th

Here come the rains... and here comes the crashes in a trench that would never be tolerated if it were big enough to grab a car tire

City leaves corner bobby trap to hurt cyclists. Photo:  Rick Byrd
City leaves corner bobby trap to hurt cyclists. Photo: Rick Byrd

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.

Advocates lobbied hard for protected bike lanes in SoMa. Unfortunately, it took the deaths of several cyclists over the years to convince city bureaucrats and lawmakers to install them. And Streetsblog has been critical of the intersection treatments. But there’s another big problem: the ones that have been installed aren’t maintained or are wrecked or blocked by construction crews.

Rick Byrd brought an example of this to the attention of advocates via social media, pointing out the substandard pavement conditions around the intersection of Bryant, 11th and Division. It’s bad enough that these fast intersections remain unprotected, but there are wide wheel ruts and crackly pavement just as cars are turning across the bike lane. It’s hard to see the ruts at night and, as Byrd pointed out on Facebook, imagine what’s going to happen as the first heavy rains of the season roll in and fill these spaces up, hiding the conditions. “Much worse than a pothole, more of a 20ft long trench that has been there for over a month,” he wrote. “Rain coming soon, hope they fix it before then.”

Streetsblog went to the intersection today to check them out first hand. Byrd is right–this is yet another serious or deadly crash waiting to happen.

The turn from Division onto Bryant. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
The turn from Division onto Bryant. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
As one turns the corner, this is the pavement condition. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
As one turns the corner, this is the pavement condition. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
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At the most dangerous and critical point, where cyclists are merging with cars and trucks, the pavement is inviting a wipe out. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Advocate Dylan Harris, also on Facebook, shot video of pavement conditions in the area, which he posted in response to Byrd’s comment:

Harris also points out how the bike lane still abruptly drops out north of Folsom.

Unfortunately, even as San Francisco struggles to make the streets of SoMa and elsewhere safer, they are falling down on basic maintenance that is critical to preventing crashes. And let’s be frank: if this wheel rut/cracked and missing pavement were deep enough to damage a car or cause a crash between motorists, it would never be tolerated.

Imagine fighting for position with a car or truck on this turn, looking over your shoulder, when you enter a puddle and clip your tire on the corners of this rut? Photo: Rick Byrd
Imagine fighting for position with a car or truck on this turn, looking over your shoulder, when you enter a puddle and clip your tire on the corners of this rut? Photo: Rick Byrd

“This is a particularly bad spot for an unavoidable unleveled trench since many cyclists also have to use this as it is the section on Division just after Best Buy and just before Potrero,” wrote Byrd. “Whether you’re heading down Division or up Bryant street, you will end up going through this at a pretty good speed with traffic right next to you, perfect spot to dent your rim… or worse.”

Streetsblog has reached out to the SFMTA, Public Works, and District Supervisor Matt Haney and will update this post accordingly.

What’s the worst pavement condition you see on your commute? Post comments and pictures below.

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