In the SFMTA's continued efforts to please no one with their Polk Street Corridor Improvement Project, a new plan (PDF) was unveiled yesterday that would backpedal on separated bike lanes but still remove some permanent parking on Polk Street.
The new plan comes after a group of Polk Street merchants raised a ruckus over proposed plans to remove some parking to make room for pedestrian and bike safety improvements, most notably separated bike lanes. Merchants argued that removing street parking would negatively impact their business, although it's unclear how much business on Polk comes from drivers vs. foot traffic, public transit and bike-riders.
The new place preserves most of the parking on Polk between California and Union Streets, while calling for a protected lane along the southbound side of the street and a shared bike lane with painted green bike sharrows on northbound side. Curbside parking will be banned on the northbound side during morning commute hours, which could be a potentially confusing proviso. Altogether, the new plan would remove up to 20 of the existing 168 parking spaces on the Upper Polk segment and about 89 of 161 spots in the Lower Polk area, which should be enough to upset merchants while still failing to deliver on Supervisor David Chiu's promise of a bike-friendly corridor that mothers could feel safe riding with a child.
A July 25 open house to discuss the new recommendations will take place at the Old First Church (1751 Sacramento Street) from 5-8:30 pm.