Bagel Parking Blocks Fell Street Bike Lane
3:22 PM PST on November 29, 2022
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Westbound cyclists on the Wiggle have long contended with scofflaw motorists using the protected bike lane to queue up at the ARCO gas station at Fell and Divisadero. Not only has the city failed to solve this problem but there's now a second danger spot on Fell--food delivery drivers are parking in another part of the protected bike lane to pick up orders at a new bagel shop.
"In front of Schlok's bagels at 1263 Fell St. (in between Divisadero and Broderick), cars are often blocking the bike lane, usually Wednesday-Sunday mornings around 8:30-10:30 a.m., but it worsens Friday to Sunday. This protected bike lane on Fell is a very trafficked route by cyclists of all ages," wrote Leslie Carr, an advocate who commutes on Fell, in an email to Streetsblog. "This causes cyclists to have to enter the car lanes, which as you know are very busy and dangerous!"
For the record, this is what it's supposed to look like--as opposed to the lead image--in front of the bagel shop:
Of course, 311 was its usual useless self:
It isn't really the job of a merchant to also do traffic enforcement. That said, "it’s something we’re obviously concerned about and have done everything we’re legally allowed to do from our end," explained Zack Schwab, owner of Schlok's. "It’s almost entirely DoorDash and UberEats drivers. In all of our communication and instructions for them, in big highlighted letters we say to park in the garage and to NOT block the bike lane. But many of them ignore us."
He added that he's reached out to Supervisor Dean Preston's office for more enforcement and infrastructure at the site, obviously to little avail thus far.
Streetsblog reached out too. “Parking in bike lanes is a public safety issue, and we should be doing all that we can to ensure bike lanes are not obstructed. I have reached out to MTA about the situation on Fell between Broderick and Divisadero," wrote a Preston staffer in an email to Streetsblog. "The Fell Street bike lane leads into the panhandle protected bike lane and car-free JFK, both of which I’ve championed, and is a heavily trafficked route by cyclists of all ages. It’s essential that cars do not obstruct this essential bike lane.”
Great, so what's the reply of the people who are supposed to enforce bike lanes, namely the SFMTA? Preston's office reached out to them and this was the reply: “We will take a look to see if perhaps the existing islands can be lengthened, and will also let our Parking Enforcement colleagues know in the event there is some targeted enforcement that can be done.”
Can be done? Streetsblog pushed back on that; of course it can be done. Islands can be lengthened. Real bollards or Jersey barriers could be put in instead of using plastic posts. The mixing zones on the Wiggle should be eliminated. As to enforcement, what are SFMTA's Parking Control Officers for if not to issue tickets for such things? A spokesperson for SFMTA reached out directly to Streetsblog to say they're working on a more detailed response. Streetsblog will update this post.
"We're working closely with the SFMTA and D5 office in working with the merchant to ensure we can quickly develop and implement a strategy to discourage and prevent people driving from parking in the Fell Street bike lane," said the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Nesrine Majzoub.
But, of course, if the infamous ARCO death trap is any indication, cyclists won't see action any time soon.
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