Finally, after first hearing about the plan three years ago to add raised "cycle tracks" along Market Street, the Department of Public Works began construction on them today, with the first to arrive between Gough and 12th Streets, as ABC 7 reports.
The idea for these raised bike lanes, which are a couple inches higher than the street but a couple inches below the sidewalk, comes from Amsterdam, and the construction of them here will mark one of the first times the idea's been employed in the U.S. such lanes have also appeared in Milwaukee and Missoula, Montana in recent years.
The lanes are part of the ongoing Better Market Street/Safer Market Street plans which are also going to entail a repaving of the whole street in 2016 from Van Ness to The Embarcadero and which have already led to the banning of non-taxi vehicle traffic between Third and Eighth Streets.
But will these raised cycle tracks help the sometimes precarious situation of bicycling down busy Market Street where the bike lane occasionally disappears and where there are often big delivery trucks and Muni busses squeezing cyclists in every direction? And will they cause a new hazard for cyclists who might cycle off the sides of them? These things remain to be seen.
It's unclear when the entire project will be complete after this first two-block section is finished.
This post has been corrected to show that raised bike lanes have been constructed in other U.S. cities in recent years.