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Bicyclists voice concern over proposal to move bikes off Market Street

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Agencies are studying the possibility of limiting bikes to Mission Street and buses to Market Street.

San Francisco’s powerful cycling lobby is not pleased with a new proposal to shift biking off Market Street and onto Mission Street.
Since 2010, a group of city agencies has been involved in crafting the Better Market Street project — a comprehensive set of improvement plans for San Francisco’s central artery. This week, the consortium announced plans to study an alternative in which cyclists would be steered onto nearby Mission Street instead of riding on Market Street. Buses would subsequently be removed from Mission Street.
Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, fired a missive off to Mayor Ed Lee deriding the new development.
“Bikes are a critical part of the current and future economy, social safety and transportation on Market Street and the surrounding neighborhoods,” Shahum wrote in the letter.
Moving bikes onto Mission Street is one of three alternatives being considered for the overhaul, and all have their pros and cons, said Mindy Linetzky, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works, which is part of the project.
“We look forward to working with the Bicycle Coalition and other organizations to come up with a plan that improves pedestrian safety, bicycling and transit reliability for everyone,” Linetzky said.
“Adding Mission Street to the study opens up the opportunity to improve bicycling conditions with a green wave for cyclists, similar to the signal timing on Valencia Street, and smoother cycling conditions without tracks or BART grates.”
Shahum also expressed disappointment that the overhaul — including repaving projects, new bike lanes and transit improvements — that were originally scheduled to be in place by 2013 are now scheduled to start in 2017 and won’t be finished until 2019.
“The City has taken its eyes off the ball,” Shahum said. “Someone needs to step up and show us that this is still an important project.”
Lee spokeswoman Christine Falvey said revamping Market Street is a key part of the mayor’s vision for long-term transportation improvements in the region.
“We are looking at what Market Street needs today and 25 years down the road,” Falvey said.

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