The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) board approved a controversial new bike lane project for Valencia Street. According to an article by Garrett Leahy, the pilot project would reconfigure the entire street, moving current bike lanes on either side of the street to a new two-way bike lane in the center of the street.
The plan is to leave the bike lane in place for one year, at least, after installation.
“Valencia Street is among the most dangerous streets in the city. It is among the 13% of San Francisco streets that account for three-quarters of all traffic deaths and severe crashes, according to data from the city’s public health department as part of a ‘High Injury Network’ study,” according to Leahy.
Bike advocates in the city, however, believe that the center-running bike lane is dangerous. “Transit activist Luke Bornheimer repeated those criticisms and said the design creates a “bike highway” that could discourage stopping or squeeze bicyclists in between traffic, possibly making it unsafe for kids and seniors to use,” according to the article.
As for why the center-running bike lane was necessary, SFMTA officials fold Leahy that space constraints because of commercial loading and parklets made a side-running bike lane plan unfeasible.