The SFMTA announced via a blog post Friday that initial plans to install a raised bike lane on the east side of Polk Street have been discarded. Instead, a bike lane with a painted buffer and soft-hit posts will be installed.
On average, one pedestrian and one cyclist are hit on Polk Street each month, spurring demands for safer infrastructure during the street’s large renovation project.
The initial design for Polk Street’s massive renovation included a raised bike lane with a two-inch mountable (curved) curb, which would sit on the eastern side of Polk, stretching between McAllister and Pine streets.
But after studying its raised bike lane test on Market Street, the SFMTA has changed its mind about the Polk Street plan.
“We found that raised bike lanes on commercial streets like Polk should have a parking-protected configuration, with a lane of car parking and loading zones between the bike lane and the roadway, to prevent drivers from parking in the bikeway,” the SFMTA stated. “Making room for that parking lane on Polk would require major changes to the plan already under construction.”
Instead, the bike lane (pictured on the right above) will have a small painted divider from vehicle traffic, along with safe-hit posts. “These measures will be more effective at deterring illegal parking and loading, and they could save on costs and time for construction,” the SFMTA states.
Construction on Polk Street is expected to last through Fall 2018.