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Protected bicycle lane destined for site of fatal SoMa bike crash

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(S.F. Examiner file photo)

A new parking protected bike lane and other transit improvements are bound for the South of Market intersection where a bicyclist was killed in a collision in June.

The improvements along Seventh and Eighth streets, including where San Francisco resident Kate Slattery was killed while riding her bike June 22, were approved by unanimous vote from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors at its regular meeting Tuesday.

SEE RELATED: Man suspected of fatally striking cyclist in SoMa pleads not guilty

But one controversial change to the 19-Polk bus line, which was part of the improvements, was met with harsh critique –– the elimination of the San Francisco Main Library’s only bus stop.

Moving the stop was part a host of re-routes to speed up the 19-Polk, and make it safer.

The SFMTA board voted to sever the 19-Polk library stop removal from the agenda for staff to revisit in the coming months.

Thomas Fortin, chief of the main library, said patrons spoke out overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the bus stop.

“The response we’ve heard is overwhelming against the movement of the bus stop,” he told the board, adding, “We’ve heard from our blind and low vision users, and those with mobility disabilities, who benefit greatly from the current stop to the primary entrance.”

Peter Warfield, executive director of the Library Users Association, said, “There has been no consideration” of the 33,000 visitors per year to the main library’s special collections for the deaf, and blind.” He said many of those patrons rely on the 19-Polk.

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