The Embarcadero is now the fourth most traveled cycling corridor in San Francisco. And with the corridor’s rise in popularity has come a rapid increase in conflicts between pedestrians, bikes and cars. Added to this are “concerns for a lack of cyclist compliance with road rules, which further compromise public safety,” according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
In fact, portions of The Embarcadero now appear on the WalkFirst “High Injury Network,” corridors that account for 60 percent of the severe and fatal pedestrian injuries within San Francisco despite representing less than 6 percent of the city’s roadways.
In an attempt to increase “the safety and comfort of travel” along The Embarcadero, the SFMTA is about to launch “The Embarcadero Enhancement Project,” a project to develop a dedicated bikeway along The Embarcadero, from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf.
A bikeway, also known as a cycle track, is a physically separated bicycle facility that is distinct from both the roadway and the sidewalk. By separating cyclists from other road users, bikeways can offer a higher level of security than traditional bike lanes and attract a broader spectrum of the public, including tourists, children and less confident people on bicycles. These facilities can also increase safety and comfort for all road users by minimizing potential conflicts between those on foot, bicycle or in a vehicle, and by adding predictability to roadway operations.
Potential concepts for the Embarcadero Enhancement Project include:
- A two-way bikeway on the water side (either within the roadway or on the Promenade)
- Two one-way bikeways, curbside, on either side of The Embarcadero
- Two one-way bikeways, in the center of the roadway adjacent to the Muni right-of-way
- Two-way bikeway in the center of the roadway adjacent to the Muni right-of-way
A series of public workshops will be held over the next year to develop design alternatives and a recommended design is expected to be ready by Fall of 2015. The SFMTA’s open house to kick-off the project will be held on July 24, from 6-8 pm at Pier 1.