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Key SF Supervisor Commits to Protected Bike Lanes on Upper Market

Upper Market. Image: Google maps

Last week, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) launched a letter-writing drive to make sure protected bike lanes are part of SFMTA's Upper Market Street Safety Project from Octavia to the start of the Duboce bicycle path. And, Streetsblog learned this afternoon, it looks as if the campaign worked.

First, from the article published last week on the SFBC web page, announcing the letter-writing drive:

We’ve heard time and time again about the chronic double-parking in bike lanes, a well-known issue for Upper Market. Your support for protected bike lanes will use smart design to directly address this issue, but we know more needs to be done. If you want to see protected bike lanes extend further up Market, we encourage you to write a letter to new District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy and the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). [Note: his district encompasses Upper Market]

Some more background from the SFMTA web page about the project:

Upper Market Street is one of San Francisco’s most popular corridors, but it also has some of the city’s highest collision rates. In the five-year period from 2007 to 2012, there were 27 collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, 32 vehicle-bicycle collisions and 102 vehicle-vehicle collisions on Market Street between Octavia Boulevard and Castro street.

Given those stats, it's astounding that installing protected bike lanes was ever considered an optional part of the project. And after conversations between SFBC leadership and Sheehy, it was unclear if there were even enough votes on the SFMTA Board of Directors to assure protected bike lanes remained in the plan. (Note that Sheehy was appointed by Mayor Lee to replace Scott Wiener.)

But late this afternoon Streetsblog received the following statement from Sheehy, texted via one of his staffers: "I support the work that the community, businesses, street safety advocates, and the SFMTA have done to develop the Upper Market street safety project, including the protected bike lanes [emphasis added]. I look forward to the implementation of this critical safety improvement as soon as possible."

Good news for safe-streets advocates. And kudos to SFBC on a short but apparently effective campaign.

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