Cars are already parking in the new Center-running Bike Lane on Valencia Street in San Francisco

The construction of the center-running bike lanes on Valencia St has begun and cars are already using it as free parking. Who could have possibly predicted this?

We need protected bike lanes, but instead, the city gave us a few new lines of paint in the middle road and some occasional soft-hit posts that will not protect us from bad drivers.

It’s surprising the city decided to go with this unpopular center-running bike lane… especially since it already voted against these lanes in 2018 when the SFMTA decided to go with the far safer “parking-protected” lanes they had already installed on the 5 northern-most blocks of Valencia St. The plan back then was to first install these parking-protected bike lanes on Valencia from Market to 15th St, then continue the protected path all the way down to Cesar Chavez. I actually attended this meeting in person and told the story of how I was hit two different times on Valencia Street due to the lack of protected bike lanes.

So WTF happened? Why did the city change it’s mind and decided to build more unprotected bike lanes on one of the most dangerous corridors in the city?

Text: Parking-Protected Bike Lane Installation
A parking-protected bike lane would be installed on Valencia Street from Market Street to 15th Street.
The parking-protected bike lane design would run curbside with a six-foot bike lane and a five-foot buffer
between cyclists and parking. The installation of the parking-protected bike lanes on Valencia Street
would include the removal of the two-way left turn lane. Figure 5 shows the proposed cross section for
the parking-protected bike lanes on Valencia Street.

Image: a cross section of a street that shows bike lanes near the sidewalk, with cars driving down the middle of the road, and a row of parked cars between the bike lane and the driving lane.

The SFMTA’s confusing decision-making process seems to have lacked consideration for safety and common sense, much like this ACTUAL new intersection design at 15th and Valencia.

A street diagram showing the flow of traffic on Valencia at the 15th St intersection. On the left side, the bike lanes are in the center, on the right side they are on the outer edges (between parked cars and the sidewalk). At the intersection is a confusing diagonal line that bikes must use to transition from the center lane to the protected lane. At the same time, cars have to diagonally cross from the outer lane to the center lane at the same exact spot.

No, you are not dreaming! That is a real intersection that transitions from the new unprotected bike lanes to the far better parking-protected lanes on northern Valencia St.






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