The new project to create “center bike lanes” in the middle of Valencia Street has started construction, and it may be tough to find parking on certain swaths of Valencia through the end of June.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors voted earlier this month to put bike lanes in the middle of Valencia Street, moving them from their traditional curbside area, in a new design they call a “center-running bike lane” on Valencia between 15th and 23rd Streets. The bicyclist community was highly divided over the plan, but it’s a done deal now, and construction  — plus the months-long removal of many, many Valencia Street parking spaces  — started Monday.

The SFMTA calls if a “Quick-Build” project, intended as a contrast to the years-long Van Ness bus lane construction saga. But if you’re looking for parking on Valencia Street, you might argue with their definition of “Quick.”

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

It was announced that construction started Monday. But SFist observed the state of this construction project on Day Two (Tuesday), and we noticed the ratio of actual construction happening to parking spaces removed for construction was way out of whack. That is to say, there was almost no construction to be observed, but roughly four blocks of Valencia with most of their parking spaces prohibited from use.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

A large number of  parking spots between 19th and 23rd Street are now “No Stopping” zones, but not all of them. And there seems to be more parking spaces eliminated on the eastern side of the street (northbound traffic) than on the western side (southbound traffic). The Sutter Health facility at Valencia and 20th Street does have a designated “patient pick-up/drop-off” zone.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

But given the lack of construction, many cars were parked and simply ignored the parking restrictions. Stanley Roberts could have a field day with the number of cars parked in restricted areas.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

“Between 19th & 23rd streets parking is prohibited and only active loading will be allowed at the curb on Valencia Street,” SFMTA says of this construction plan that's scheduled to last nearly ten weeks. “Parking or loading in the center lane on Valencia between 19th to 23rd streets will also be prohibited.”

And it may not thrill bikers to read how SFMTA adds, “Between 15th to 23rd streets, motor vehicles and people on bikes will share the vehicle travel lane in both directions.”

See the layout of the bike-lane plans here, if you're curious.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

The only actual construction we observed was on 18th Street, off of Valencia, where crews were replacing concrete in the road. This appears to be wholly unrelated to the new Valencia Street center-running bike lanes.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

Who knows? Maybe this center-running bike lane will go up quickly and serve as a model for the city. But thus far, it’s only leading to a bunch of parking spaces sitting unused.

If it’s any consolation, the parking restrictions don’t apply on Sundays. Per SFMTA signage, the current phase of Valencia Street bike lane construction is scheduled to run through June 30. A separate phase will make similar changes between 15th and 19th Streets on Valencia.

Related: SFMTA Board Votes To Move Bike Lanes To the Middle Of Valencia Street, In Meeting Interrupted By Earthquake [SFist]

Images: Joe Kukura