With most private auto traffic banned on Market Street in downtown, a battle is brewing in the Mission District between Valencia Street merchants, led by a bike store owner, and cyclists who support converting a bike lane into a cycletrack.
"The owner of a 35-year-old bike shop on San Francisco’s busy Valencia Street is driving a neighborhood crusade against an unlikely enemy: the city’s plans for a protected bikeway outside his store," writes Rachel Swan, transportation reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Valencia Cyclery owner Paul Olszewski wants to torpedo the barricaded lane idea, which he says would take 14 parking spaces out of the 29 on his block, along with a center turn lane that doubles as a loading zone. He spent hours last week hoofing up and down the 2-mile artery, knocking on every merchant’s door from Market Street, on the north end, to the southern boundary at Cesar Chavez Street.
"Crusade" was an interesting choice of words for Swan to describe the bike store owner's attempt, as it would appear that the protected bike lanes (or cycletracks) are largely a done deal, with only the final design to be approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The agency held an open house and public hearing on the project, known as Valencia Bikeway Improvements, on Feb. 24.
The conventional bike lane on the northern section of the corridor has already been "successfully" redesigned as a protected bike lane for a pilot implementation for the full length of the street, according to the agency.
"The agency has already set posts along the first segment, from Market to 15th Street, and officials expect to start the southern section, from 19th Street to Cesar Chavez, as soon as next month," adds Swan. Valencia Cyclery is located on that stretch. "They would finish the final strip, from 15th Street to 19th Street, sometime next year."
Vision Zero Quick Build project
Valencia Bikeways Improvements is one of many bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure projects known as Vision Zero Quick Build, promoted by Mayor London Breed that are transforming some of the most well-traveled and dangerous streets of the city. The need for adding protection to bike lanes was tragically illustrated by the dooring death of Tess Rothstein almost a year ago. That lane is now protected thanks to the quick-build initiative.
See Roger Rudick's ongoing coverage in Streetsblog SF on transforming Valencia Street, including:
- Protected Intersections for Valencia, Feb. 25
- Bike Shop Owner Opposes Car-Free Valencia, Feb. 21
- Open Thread: Car Free or Protected Lanes on Valencia?, Feb. 3
Is there a difference between separated bikeways and protected bike lanes and cycle tracks?
No. These are different words for the same thing. The law refers to “separated bikeways” to make it clear that these facilities are not the same as bike lanes that cyclists are required to use when present. Nevertheless, “protected bike lane” is the term that the public best understands.
Related in Planetizen on protected bike lanes in San Francisco:
Quick Build Initiative Transforming the Streets of San Francisco September 26, 2019
- Streamlining Protected Bike Lanes, San Francisco Style, June 4, 2019
- It Takes a Fatality to Remove On-Street Parking, March 15, 2019
And on Valencia Street:
Will Portland-Style Apartments Catch On in San Francisco? (proposed for Valencia Street) September 11, 2012
Planning for Congestion Relief
The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.
Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think
Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.
New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives
The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.
Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport
Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.
Strip Malls as a Housing Solution
The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?
Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’
A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.
City of Redwood City
City of Rohnert Park
City of Hot Springs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.