September 18, 2012

New Design For Masonic Avenue To Be Approved This Afternoon

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors and Parking Authority Commission this afternoon, the approval of the proposed $18 million "Boulevard" redesign of Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell.

Masonic%20Avenue%20Plan%20View%20Rendering.jpg

As proposed, all on-street parking on Masonic within the project area (approximately 167 spaces) and two lanes of traffic will be removed while a landscaped median, 1.2 miles of raised cycletracks (bike lanes separated from car traffic) and bus bulbs will be added along with new streetscape greening and lighting.

In addition, the Target coming to the corner of Masonic and Geary will fund a new traffic signal at the intersection of Masonic and Ewing Terrace, "providing a new signalized crossing for pedestrians."

The full Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project, for which the funding has yet to be secured, will take at least four years to complete once the ground has been broken.

Masonic Avenue Streetscape Project: Presentation [sfmta.com]
Targeting Spring 2013 For Unanimously Approved City Center Target [SocketSite]

First Published: September 18, 2012 3:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Is is just me or do the lanes in the 2nd image not line up? Almost like 3rd street as it becomes Kearny thru Market St.
Wow.

Posted by: cockeyedinsf at September 18, 2012 8:10 AM

The misalignment is there to slow down flow. A continuous straight route makes car drivers cruise through 5 to 10MPH faster than the legal limit. I like the way cars will have to slow down to handle the curve after the center divider stops, and that bikes will go on straight. But the crossing will be the big question mark.

For instance, I see a problem in the way bikes will merge from a physically separated lane heading East into the rightmost lane after the Fulton crossing. Bikes could tend to try and go straight while cars will pull to the right. It's gonna be tricky as not all bikes will know how to stay clear of the car flow and cars will be busy handling both the light and the curve while heading close to a bike lane. In theory this should work, but practice can prove different, like the Market/101 crossing.

They're trying to resolve a issue of bicycle safety on Masonic but the main problem is that many of the flattest cross-town routes in SF have been virtually dedicated to cars. Van Ness, Masonic, Oak, Fell, etc... Valencia and Page are exceptions.
Cyclists want to use the easiest slopes. Sometimes when I want to cycle from the Marina into downtown, I am too tired to handle the hills towards Polk Street and have to take Van Ness south. Not a pleasure ride.

Posted by: lol at September 18, 2012 8:43 AM

Who does come up with these misaligned designs? They'll probably have to paint dotted lines through the intersection to guide people. Maybe JFK should also have the parking removed, because when I just drove a car through the new configuration, it was very uncomfortable.

Posted by: Marten at September 18, 2012 9:09 AM

On the Fulton/Masonic corner where there are bus build outs it looks like the bike lanes split the middle of the sidewalk. Folks walking across to get to the bus shelter have to transverse over a bike lane? Can this be correct and if so safe?

Posted by: Questioning at September 18, 2012 9:20 AM

Great -- let's make it even more time-consuming to drive across town. Add to the time I spend in a car, not to mention traffic and pollution. Sorry, some of us just won't ride a bike, as much as the bike nazis want to force us to. (Yeah, we have two small kids and live on a steep slope.)

Posted by: NJ at September 18, 2012 9:21 AM

I am always surprised by the random way the width of sidewalks in San Francisco ende up.

Here we have Masonic, with sidewalks wide enough to support parisian or roman sidewalk cafes but with almost zero foot traffic. A couple blocks away, Upper Haight Strret is a tourist mecca with sidewalks barely wide enough for two people to pass.

Posted by: redseca2 at September 18, 2012 9:22 AM

I like it! better bike route, slower cars, and less parking == WIN!

I think I would like it even more if the bike route was on the other side of the trees, further from the cars, but I can imagine that there is actually a higher risk to pedestrians in such a configuration --- plus cars turning right are less likely to be aware of bikes that are further removed....

anyways, love seeing new ideas and designs for improving our streets!

Posted by: bigV at September 18, 2012 9:22 AM

Bike lanes cutting through the bus bulbs looks like a recipe for disaster. Pedestrians aren't going to wait for a light to cross the track, bet most won't even look; bikes aren't going to want to slow down or ceede the right of way.

The trees are great.

Posted by: Michael at September 18, 2012 9:27 AM

@NJ -- if you don't want to ride a bike, how about you try out this modern invention called Public Transit! It's amazing! They do the driving for you!

Posted by: bigV at September 18, 2012 9:32 AM

So is it going to be no left turns? otherwise whn a bus stops to pick up passengers and someone is waiting for a left turn it will stop traffic.

Posted by: sparky*b at September 18, 2012 9:39 AM

Questioning in September:

Bicycles cutting off pedestrians is already becoming an issue on Market Street.

With a bus stop in front of my office on Market street on a bus route that takes me within a block of home, I have always used Muni. Twice this summer I couldn't get the 10 feet from the curb to the bus island on Market because of the unending stream of bicycles, wheel to wheel, rictus grins all, quite unable to stop even if they chose to.

Posted by: redseca2 at September 18, 2012 9:42 AM

The bike lane cutting through the bus bulb works fine if we're talking about cyclists other than the spandex speedsters.

If we build a bunch more infrastructure like this, it's fine, because then normal folks start to bike more, and the folks wanting to cruise along at 20+ mph naturally gravitate toward the actual auto lanes leaving the bike lanes for the masses.

Posted by: anon at September 18, 2012 9:42 AM

^Adding on, the issue is that most San Franciscans think of this pic when they hear "bike lane" or "cyclists":

http://blogs.roanoke.com/dancasey/files/2011/01/cyclist-spandex.jpg

When the goal is for them to think of this:

http://www.thehillnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/copenhagen-cyclists.jpg

Posted by: anon at September 18, 2012 9:45 AM

Indeed. Plus imagine yourself approaching that intersection to turn left. Your instinct will be to go straight until you're 30% to 40% into the crossing, waiting for the opposite traffic to clear up. But with the curved lanes you'll end up taking 1/2 of the opposite left lane right when the other guys are trying to figure where their lane is. Left turns will be impractical.

Posted by: lol at September 18, 2012 9:47 AM

@bigV. Clever. However, I am already very familiar with Muni, as I ride it multiple times a day (including to and from work).

Perhaps you are not an avid Muni rider, as you apparently believe that Muni is "amazing." I assure you, it is not. In fact, it is quite the opposite. And for certain driving I need to do with my family, including the bit that uses Masonic, I unfortunately do not have an extra four hours to kill to ride Muni round trip.

HTH

Posted by: NJ at September 18, 2012 10:03 AM

Missing from the graphics and the discussion is that Masonic north of Fulton is very, very steep.

A large number of the north-bound bikes will have no choice but to stop and walk their bike that block.

An equal proporation of the south-bound bikes will try to time the light a shoot through at 30+ miles an hour. This will get messy with those left turning cars onto Fulton waiting until the yellow light to make their move.

Posted by: redseca2 at September 18, 2012 10:30 AM

$18,000,000 ?

Absurd.

Posted by: BobN at September 18, 2012 11:16 AM

I feel we have lost our perspective here. The purported problem is pedestrian safety. So we spend millions to create a vehicular obstacle course. Is there no other way to increase safety without slowing down a ton of people who need to use this time honored arterial? Or, is this the next incarnation of the NIMBY movement; not only will I prevent you from building in my backyard, now I want you to pay to improve it for me! IMBIES unite!

Posted by: Rome is Burning at September 18, 2012 11:20 AM

Sad to see loss of parking on both sides. Better to keep one lane of parking and to eliminate the medium strip. We loss our parking lanes in Mission Bay and the sidewalks are pretty dead. It actually decrease pedestrian traffics now that no one is coming out of their parked cars. Business is just not jump starting here. Look at 3rd st. Its a street where cars zoom by just like LA.

Posted by: ncyder at September 18, 2012 11:48 AM

Good point on the parking. The problem with parking is that it needs to be integrated with bicycle traffic. When the lanes are physically separated it's doable, but when parking is to the right of the bike lane, this creates some potential problems. The car has to get into the bike lane before backing up. Then bikes are not happy and get way into the car lane to pass the stopped car. With Masonic traffic, I let you imagine the mess.

Physical separation would resolve that. With parking to the left of the bike lanes. They somewhat tried it on the Embarcadero a few years ago, but the lines are now gone I think.

Posted by: lol at September 18, 2012 12:24 PM

I'm not rabidly pro or anti-cyclist, but... I like it! More trees! More trees!

Posted by: nancydrew99 at September 18, 2012 12:26 PM

Street widths should be roughly proportional to building heights-- a 10 story building on Market St. is aesthetically pleasing, as is, say, Hugo in the inner sunset, which is a minor favorite of mine.

Masonic is just weird, since the buildings are way out of proportion to the street width. As a result, the sidewalks are way too wide, too. I don't know how to fix it, though, in a way that wouldn't get everybody up in arms.

Posted by: Alai at September 18, 2012 1:44 PM

great, instead of improving traffic flow, the ever inept planning commission does their predictable "fix all" Less parking, less traffic lanes, add a bicycle lane and medium street with trees....yield: with their incapable engineers/designers, a homely collection of trees and bushes in an unnecessary medium (see Divisadero St and Guerrero St) slower traffic with more congestion in the neighborhood and yet more bicycle lanes for the few that travel by bike. In case the idiots at planning didn't notice, Masonic is a main feeder arterial road onto/from Pine Sts and Bush Sts., the amount of traffic is not going to decrease because they took traffic lanes away, it will only be more congested. In addition, why have 22' sidewalks in a neighborhood that hardly has any pedestrian traffic?

Posted by: e flat at September 18, 2012 2:35 PM

the amount of traffic is not going to decrease because they took traffic lanes away, it will only be more congested.

Um, you can be against what they're doing, but it's pretty certain that congestion will decrease the total amount of traffic throughput. People aren't stupid, they'll take other routes if this one's no longer the fastest.

Posted by: anon at September 18, 2012 2:44 PM

Cars are towed DAILY during morning rush hour on Masonic between Fell and Fulton. The cars are not being parked so someone can shop ... they are being parked while not in use by local residents. I love the trees! Not sure all the bike lanes will be utilized. I live near Page and Masonic and never see bikes riding down Masonic. They tend to take less busy streets that run parallel to Masonic.

Posted by: moz at September 18, 2012 2:47 PM

e flat, it may come as a surprise to you (probably because you're fairly new to San Francisco) but I believe the goal is to improve movement of people, not "improving [automobile] traffic flow". Try looking up "transit first" as a city policy if you're a relative newcomer to S.F. planning policies.

Did you bother to look at the above-linked presentation? From pg 03 of that document, Project Overview:

• Goal: to identify how Masonic Avenue can safely and efficiently accommodate the needs of all roadway users, including but not limited to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and Muni.
The neighborhood just might not have "hardly any pedestrian traffic" today, but perhaps that's because the existing streets aren't too friendly to pedestrians. This design aims to change that. Same goes for cyclists.

This design doesn't imply that city planning staff are "incapable"; consider possibility that you are ill-informed.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at September 18, 2012 2:54 PM

"The neighborhood just might not have "hardly any pedestrian traffic" today, but perhaps that's because the existing streets aren't too friendly to pedestrians. "

Currently there are a lot of trees and very wide sidewalks. Not sure how you make it more friendly to pedestrians than that.

Posted by: R at September 18, 2012 3:01 PM

^Remove 40+mph cars? I'd walk down Masonic a lot more if cars weren't blaring their engines so loud that I can't hear. The difference in noise between 40+ and ~25 is astounding.

Posted by: anon at September 18, 2012 3:09 PM

its a pretty dumb idea to remove the parking spots. this is going to cause more congestion than less. we need more parking not less.

Posted by: spencer at September 18, 2012 3:14 PM

The goal of this is not to remove auto congestion, so I'm not sure why that keeps being brought up.

Posted by: anon at September 18, 2012 3:28 PM

The design for Masonic is moranic

Posted by: design time at September 18, 2012 3:55 PM

The presentation is very lightweight. Why is there no comprehensive cost and benefit analysis? Please take note MTA, I'm sure you can produce better quality work than this.

Posted by: Niamh at September 18, 2012 4:01 PM

In terms of pedestrian friendliness, it would help to have actual destinations on that street. As it is, there's very little reason for pedestrians to be there. The most active corner, Fulton St., with the supermarket complex, makes zero use of the wide sidewalk, and even the Fulton St. side is devoted to garage entrances and "decorative" greenery.

Posted by: Alai at September 18, 2012 4:04 PM

Am I the only one who selects to not ride my bike on busy boulevards? Why take Gough or Franklin with a bike when you can take Laguna Street instead? Why ride down Lombard when I have found Green street a nice quick safe alternative? Scott and Steiner are a lot better than Fillmore, so why fight the bus and car traffic and signals?

I would rather have the cars stay on streets like Masonic while I take Lyon nearby.

Posted by: PreferQuietRoutes at September 18, 2012 4:41 PM

Why is SFMTA considering "breaking ground" on a project that has no funding? Don't they have enough underfunded big holes in the ground already?

ENUF has an online petition to let SFMTA and the city officials know that we want to SFMTA to these projects, fix the Muni, and balance the Muni budget. If you agree, go to: http://www.signon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco and sign the petition.

Posted by: Sebra Leaves at September 18, 2012 4:55 PM

As a cyclist going from Laurel Heights to The Haight you don't have a lot of choices. You can either go down busy Stanyan or busy Masonic. Masonic is the less risky of the two choices, but it is still dangerous, hence the recent fatalities.

This should make cycling safe, increasing the number using it and slow down traffic, a double win.

I remember it went through an extensive neighborhood vetting process and is part of the Transit Effective Project (TEP) recommendations. Nice to see the MTA finally get started on it.

When are we going to see BRT on Geary?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at September 18, 2012 6:55 PM

@brahma:
I am a native San Franciscan, 5 decades in the city. Went to Galileo, City, and State. Transit first should not mean transit only. Especially when you have a 3rd rate transit system as San Francisco does. You should travel more to cities that have good transportation systems and get a sense of what good transit is about. There are established major ateries for traffic; Masonic Ave.,Pine,Bush 19th Ave., Page, Fell, Guerrero, Divisadero. My point is taking lanes away for bike lanes along these streets rather than a less traveled street one block to the side makes no sense. As to putting up mediums with bad landscaping that the DPW cannot or will not maintain doesn't make any sense either.

Posted by: e flat at September 18, 2012 7:49 PM

e flat. Page is a major artery? It's a great cycling alternative to busy Oak, Fell, Haight. On my list of West to East faves from GG Park to downtown. I'll take Haight when it's East to West until I can join Page in the plateau.

There are not many options apart from the Wiggle that I avoid so that I can cycle safely without being hit by a colorblind kid at a traffic light.

North-South can be done safely taking Central which is decently quiet due to the Panhandle interruption. Simply take the traffic-signal protected pedestrian way and join the Panhandle path that leads back to the other side of Central. Walking your bike is the best option, FYI. I thanked myself last time I was "trapped" north of the Panhandle.

Posted by: lol at September 18, 2012 8:11 PM

Fine, ed. Then how is it that one takes Lyon across town on a bike?

[Editor’s Note: Where does anyone mention taking Lyon "across town" on a bike? The only mention of Lyon we see above is: “I would rather have the cars stay on streets like Masonic while I take Lyon nearby.” Lyon parallels Masonic for a half mile from Turk to Haight with a jog through the Panhandle. That might not work for you, but it might be just fine for someone else.]

Posted by: Anon1 at September 18, 2012 8:12 PM

Lyon, or Central, would be fine, but for one major detail-- they end at Turk. There is no good alternative to get to Geary. Masonic is in a saddle between Lone Mountain and Anza Vista.

Check out Google Earth with the 3d elevation turned up, and you'll see what I mean.

ENUF has an online petition to let SFMTA and the city officials know that we want to SFMTA to these projects, fix the Muni, and balance the Muni budget. If you agree, go to: http://www.signon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco and sign the petition.

That petition says nothing about any of that. If anything it's the opposite.

Posted by: Alai at September 19, 2012 1:46 AM

Alai,

Sure they stop at Turk, but it is very rare to be able to do a straight shoot by bike using a bicycle friendly way. All the straight paths have been earmarked for faster car traffic. The option I take from there depends on where I go after. It I want to cross from the Haight to the Marina, I'll usually avoid the 25% grades by heading for Scott. To the Presidio, I'll go through the GG Park then pick up one of the lower #s in the Avenues. Alternate stop signs and crossing Geary suck though.

Posted by: lol at September 19, 2012 10:24 AM

What about Trader Joe's? Or the future Target? UCSF, the JCC, Laurel Village...

it is very rare to be able to do a straight shoot by bike using a bicycle friendly way

Well... it shouldn't be! I mean, sure, the straight and flat paths have been 'earmarked' for faster car traffic. Oak is another fine example. Doesn't mean it makes sense, and doesn't mean it has to stay that way forever-- especially when fixing it wouldn't impact car traffic much, even as it dramatically improves bike access. Just see the brouhaha over Oak-- an almost uniquely suitable e-w bike artery, but it can't be used as such, because it's needed for the vital service of... all day parking.

We don't have a shortage of street space. It's all just a question of how we use it. Masonic is 95 feet wide. If the traffic engineers can't figure out how to make it usable for bikers, then they're not doing their jobs.

Posted by: Alai at September 19, 2012 12:34 PM

Can't wait to see how San Francisco f*cks this up!

Posted by: sf at September 19, 2012 4:52 PM

We don't have a shortage of street space. It's all just a question of how we use it. Masonic is 95 feet wide. If the traffic engineers can't figure out how to make it usable for bikers, then they're not doing their jobs.

Uh, no. Bikers are about 3% of the population. So for a 95' foot street, they get 3 feet 4 inches. Figuring out how to make 3' 4 inches work is not easy.

We should not be prioritizing bikers (3%) above pedestrians (9%) or those who travel in vehicles (88%).

The rational thing would be to severely restrict the number of streets appropriate to bikers, but to put generous bike lanes on those streets. I.e. it's better to have 15% of 1/5 of the streets than to have 3% of all the streets.

And that means the majority of streets don't get bike lanes.

Posted by: Robert at September 19, 2012 5:25 PM

Robert - You don't design streets for the current modeshare, you design for the planned modeshare. If we did the former then we would be forever stuck with the current dead-end modeshare where we allocate almost all assets to drivers.

I agree that we should not have bike lanes on all streets. They are generally unnecessary on the quieter and shorter streets.

Cyclists want to ride on the direct flat streets for the same reasons that drivers do. In fact flat routes are a lot more valuable to cyclists (0.1 horsepower) compared to auto drivers (~100 horsepower)

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 19, 2012 5:36 PM

MoD,

But then why favor bike transportation over the other forms? There is a reason why very few people ride bikes. It is accident prone, more physically demanding, particularly in a city with hills, it is excessively weather sensitive and less suitable for carrying other things.

Bicycling is a lousy way to get from point A to point B.

Which is not to say, in a city of 800,000, that you wont find a few thousand enthusiastic bikers. But you'll find a few thousand enthusiastic anything. I am certain that the population of avid gun enthusiasts, even in our liberal city, is much greater than the population of avid bikers. But we don't start putting shooting ranges all over the city.

Public transportation in vehicles is a much better option, and if anything we should be encouraging more vehicle traffic and foot traffic, and if this means getting rid of some bike lanes, then that's the way to go.

But that is a political question. From a pure engineering point of view -- assuming you are not going to change behavior a whole lot -- you allocate public resources in roughly the proportions I gave.

Posted by: Robert at September 19, 2012 5:50 PM

Just to give some safety data on how driving a bicycle is not only dangerous, but that cyclists are much more dangerous to each other than are cars to cyclists, here is a study from Helsinki:

"the number of injury-causing bicycle accidents per km traveled is 5-times higher than for motorcar traffic and 10-times higher than for bus traffic."

"A recent study in Helsinki showed that it is safer to cycle on streets amongst cars than on two-way cycle paths"

http://www.bikexprt.com/research/pasanen/helsinki.htm

Btw, I am pro cycling -- but it is a high risk sport much like other high risk occupations. We should license it, tax it, and allow it, but we should not be promoting it.

Posted by: Robert at September 19, 2012 6:00 PM

Fine, ed. Then how is it that one takes Lyon across town on a bike?

[Editor’s Note: Where does anyone mention taking Lyon "across town" on a bike? The only mention of Lyon we see above is: “I would rather have the cars stay on streets like Masonic while I take Lyon nearby.” Lyon parallels Masonic for a half mile from Turk to Haight with a jog through the Panhandle. That might not work for you, but it might be just fine for someone else.]

Think about it dude. Really. Apples and oranges.

Posted by: Anon1 at September 19, 2012 8:02 PM

The rational thing would be to severely restrict the number of streets appropriate to bikers, but to put generous bike lanes on those streets. I.e. it's better to have 15% of 1/5 of the streets than to have 3% of all the streets.

Okay. And Masonic should be one of them, given that there's no equivalent alternative for at least five blocks east or west.

I think cyclists would be ecstatic to have a dedicated 3% of city streets.

that cyclists are much more dangerous to each other than are cars to cyclists

That is totally at odds with what your linked study said. "A recent study in Helsinki showed that it is safer to cycle on streets amongst cars than on two-way cycle paths"-- if you read the article, it's clear that this is entirely because drivers run over cyclists on two-way cycle paths at a higher rate than they run over cyclists on streets, due to the fact that they don't pay attention when making turns at intersections.

Posted by: Alai at September 20, 2012 2:47 AM

Nice try with the blame the victim approach Robert, but it doesn't hold water. You said that cyclists are more dangerous to each other than cars are to cyclists. That's odd because here in the USA the vast majority of cyclist fatalities are due to car on bike collisions. The study you linked to shows that cars are over twice as likely to cause injury to others than cyclists (see fig.1) and even that seems to be understating the danger brought to the road by cars.

Danger requires combining two things: a vulnerable individual and a lethal factor. It really is no surprise that a person strapped inside of a steel cage is less vulnerable than someone without such protection. The irony is that the steel cage is also the lethal factor. What to do? Your solution is to punish the victim by limiting their choices. Here with this new Masonic design the solution is to physically separate the vulnerable individuals from the lethal cars. Seems like a much better compromise, doesn't it?

And comparing cycling with shooting? That's just bizarre. One is a way to get from point A to B, the other is using a lethal weapon for a sport of precision. Most people will go through their lives without ever needing to fire a gun. But unless you plan to live your entire life in the room where you were born you're eventually going to need to get somewhere.

Masonic has unfortunately been the site of several fatalities in recent years. Kudos to the MTA for doing something to address the danger of this stretch of roadway.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 20, 2012 8:49 AM

People in general aren't very good as assessing risk. Per mile, it is safer to be cyclist than a pedestrian but I have never heard anyone refer to walking as a "high-risk activity".

Plus you get the overall health benefits from cycling, which reduce heart disease, obesity and even cancer rates, all of which kill far more people than cycling. I do believe that when you include in the health benefits, cycling is safer than sitting on your couch watching television.

There are cities with a very high cycling transit share, as high as 50% and they have worse weather than San Francisco. It is routine to see families and businessmen riding bicycles in places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The more cyclists you get the safer the streets become for *everyone*, cyclists, pedestrians, even car drivers, since the presence of a large cycling share tends to have a traffic calming effect.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at September 20, 2012 9:42 AM

Robert,

Bicycling is a lousy way to get from point A to point B.

Nope. Not for less than 5 miles trips. I go as fast as a car in this City. And then I get to point B and it takes only 1 minute to stop and go on with my life. I put my bike never more than 1 minute away from my destination. In a car, well, that depends...

Bikes give you exercise. Cars make people fat and more often than not slowly makes them sick. I am a driver, but limit my trips to the bare minimum. I hope I can still bike until I am 90. It'a privilege.

About encouraging bicycle riding:

Say the US Government in 1900 had compiled a ratio of car accidents fatalities per Mile. Based on your logic, they'd have declared driving a dangerous activity that shouldn't be encouraged. Horse carriages would be reserved the best routes and cars would have their limited access.

Did they do it?

Nope. Everyone knew at the time cars would be part of the future and they went to great lengths to plan accordingly. The same thing applies to bikes in this city today.


In terms of safety, if cars were put to the same standards as airline or train travel, it would be forbidden or seriously restrained right away. But is it? Nope again. Because cars are all about freedom. As are bikes. It's the same fight. We just have to share.

Posted by: lol at September 20, 2012 9:56 AM

"The rational thing would be to severely restrict the number of streets appropriate to bikers, but to put generous bike lanes on those streets. I.e. it's better to have 15% of 1/5 of the streets than to have 3% of all the streets."

Best idea yet.

I cycle and drive. I would love to being bale to get across town fast in my car on arteries like masonic, yet have more bike friendly smaller streets.

"We should not be prioritizing bikers (3%) above pedestrians (9%) or those who travel in vehicles (88%)."

I agree to some degree.

we should build for the future so that
....in 10 yrs there are 6% bikers, 18% pedestrians and 76% cars
...in 20 yrs there are 10% bikers, 35% pedestrians and 55% cars

the cost being spent on biking lane fizes is too much for the few who bike and it will remain below 10% for the next 20 yrs

Posted by: spencer at September 20, 2012 5:36 PM

Peak bicycle traffic was counted as 20 bikes per hour at Masonic and Golden Gate. 32 bikes per hour at Masonic and Fell. ( Page. 12 Masonic Redesign Study). The idea that making automobile use more expensive and difficult will reduce traffic is idiotic. The same thing was tried with smoking and it seems to me I am observing more young people smoking than ever .

Btw - how will slowing and jamming traffic on Masonic make MUNI faster? (especially the #43) . When I read "traffic calming" I know this really means "traffic jamming".

Posted by: Anonandon at September 21, 2012 3:28 AM

Posted by: anon at September 21, 2012 7:51 AM

"Btw - how will slowing and jamming traffic on Masonic make MUNI faster?"

No Comment on "slowing and jamming" as only those who have seen the engineering analysis really have an idea there. But if you look at the new design you'll see that conditions are actually better for Muni because parking is removed. No more delays and ties up due to getting stuck behind parallel parkers.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at September 21, 2012 8:29 AM

Anonandon,

Bike flow on Masonic is not huge today for a good reason: It takes a bit of craziness to want to cross the roadkill zone. Hurried Left turn + right turn + cars zooming at 30-40MPH.

Which is exactly the point of these bike lanes. Make it safer to cycle and offer an option.

When drivers see a cyclist on their lane blocking them they have 3 levels of reaction:
1 - "this is crazy, this guy is in my way!",
2 - "let's try not to kill that guy" and
3 - "no way I am ever cycling there"

Not making space for bicycles keeps the image of cycling as unsafe (cue Robert's comments)

When they see cyclists ride on the same street quietly and safely, it changes the view on cycling.

Posted by: lol at September 21, 2012 8:32 AM

The 20 bikes per hour was counted during "peak" periods was according to report. The removal of allowing bus traffic to pull over for drop offs was to help create " traffic calming " according to report. Basically bike riders want car drivers to pay for their new route that will slow down car/ bus traffic and allow the 20 or 30 bikes per hour a more pleasant journey. Only in San Francisco. This will slow traffic by design according to report, period! This removal of parking will impact residents.

Posted by: Anonandon at September 21, 2012 2:45 PM

Only in San Francisco.

Not only. Most progressive cities are doing away with car-only transportation.

A simple question: do you prefer the Embarcadero 1) with or 2) without the Freeway?

Almost everyone (except a few merchants who lost direct freeway access) will pick #2. And yet this removed parking spaces and considerably slowed automobile flow.

These choices make a city more lively and attractive. The current flow of great people flocking to live here prove it.

Posted by: lol at September 21, 2012 3:01 PM

Basically bike riders want car drivers to pay for their new route

How so? I don't own a car, yet somehow I'm paying the same in property taxes (that pay for the roads) as my neighbor that owns three cars.

Can I opt out of paying for roads that only cater to cars? Let me know how to sign up!

Posted by: anon at September 21, 2012 3:01 PM

Only in San Francisco.

Not only. Most progressive cities are doing away with car-only transportation.

A simple question: do you prefer the Embarcadero 1) with or 2) without the Freeway?

Almost everyone (except a few merchants who lost direct freeway access) will pick #2. And yet this removed parking spaces and considerably slowed automobile flow.

These choices make a city more lively and attractive. The current flow of great people flocking to live here prove it.

Posted by: lol at September 21, 2012 4:50 PM

The SFTA Board voted unanimously approved funding of this project on June 25, 2013. I have heard of no CEQA rumblings but the "Save Masonic" website posted "This does not mean our fight is over. This project is not a done deal. At this point, the project is not yet in the detailed design stage". I wonder if this will go down the same way the Polk Street project did?

Posted by: anonandon at July 14, 2013 5:20 PM

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