Good news for cyclists who have to deal with the daily hazards of biking all the way up and down Market Street from downtown to the Castro: The SFMTA Board has approved the creation of parking-protected bike lanes along the side of Upper Market Street between Octavia and Duboce. This is all part of the ongoing Upper Market Street Safety Project, and as the Bay City Beacon reports, this newly approved piece of the project will create protected bike-only lanes on both parts of this often treacherous stretch of Market.
According to a planning document previously circulated by the SFMTA, the plan is to create the lanes temporarily, with paint only, starting this summer, and the Beacon says the finished lanes will be cordoned off by the end of the year. Further changes to the median and sidewalk bulb-outs on this two-and-a-half-block stretch will take place through 2019.
The intersection of Octavia and Market in particular, where the 101 freeway lets out onto Octavia Boulevard, is considered one of the most dangerous urban intersections in the country, and further improvements by the SFMTA hope to make it less so.
Part of the intersection already has a protected bike lane on the downtown-bound side, as seen in the photo above.
As Shayna Yasuhara writes on the Bay City Beacon, the cordoned off bike lanes will hopefully guard against double-parking by rideshare drivers, too. "While cycling, I was hit by an illegally parked Uber on the lower part of Market Street," she writes. "When I tried to pass his stopped car that was in the bike lane, the driver saw a police car approaching his illegally parked vehicle and, to avoid the potential ticket, quickly turned into my path. They ended up with me on top of his car, plus a ticket."
300 letters of support were sent to the SFMTA about the protected bike lanes, according to the Beacon, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition pushed for them as well. These lanes will be similar to protected bike lanes that already exist on other portions of Market Street closer to downtown.
Still to come are permanent safety improvements on Market a few blocks up toward the Castro in particular the notoriously, crazily chaotic six-way intersection of Market, Noe, and 16th Street, which in addition to dealing with bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle traffic in six directions, is also a turn-off point for the F-Market.