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SFMTA crews were out in the rain last week stripping pavement and preparing one more block of the southbound side of Polk, just south of City Hall, for a protected bike lane.
As posted on SFMTA's Twitter:
"We expect that the work will be substantially complete in the next several weeks, weather-permitting," wrote SFMTA's Jaime Parks, in an email to Streetsblog. "It often takes several days following rain for the pavement to be dry enough to apply pavement markings."
Streetsblog readers will recall Lovisa Svallingson, 29, was killed and Danny Ramos, 30, was seriously injured last May while crossing Polk when a motorist used the unprotected bike lane to go around a line of stopped cars. The motorist ran the red at approximately twice the speed limit. His maneuver would have been difficult if not impossible had there been a protected bike lane with a solid barrier instead of just paint.
That's why "fixes" is in quotes in the headline. Polk was already supposedly fixed. And it was inevitable that the compromised design would cost someone their life at some point. Unfortunately, the "fix" that's being installed will still depend primarily on paint and plastic posts (according to a worker on the scene when Streetsblog visited this morning). This is a key deficiency, since, as May's crash illustrated yet again, too many motorists won't follow the rules unless road designs and physics force them to via stone, steel, or concrete.
The worker who chatted with Streetsblog said he was happy to be part of making the street safer and said he wished they could add concrete curbs like on the northbound side. He also showed Streetsblog a printout of how the design will look (Streetsblog found the same diagram online, seen below with the before and after configurations):
Meanwhile, SFMTA's Parks posted on Twitter that the protected intersection with Hayes will look like the one at Folsom/Mabini pictured below. And that concrete could be added later: