City finishes first raised bike track, advocates want more

In what advocates are calling a win for safety, The City’s first raised bicycle track is now complete.

The raised bike lane will mean improved safety, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said, as cyclists will be physically separated from cars along Market Street, from Gough to 12th streets.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin heralded the raised bike lane.
“This demonstration project will show people how raised bikeways can help San Franciscans get around,” Reiskin said in a statement, “by better organizing our roadways and making them safer for everyone.”

Raised bike lanes are separated from vehicle traffic by a curb, offering more protection than a regular bike lane, SFMTA said. Market Street sees over 3,000 eastbound cycle trips a day, according to SFMTA.

It’s also a chance to gather new data, SFMTA wrote, in a statement. The agency considers the project a “demonstration,” and hopes cyclists and others can give SFMTA feedback through a survey, here– http://bit.ly/SFMTAraiselane.

“From what they learn, they will inform how they’ll develop raised bike lanes for all of Second Street,” said Chris Cassidy, a spokesman for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
But the coalition wishes the SFMTA, and city officials who direct it, would expand protected cycle lanes across Market Street — which is known for its danger to cyclists.

“We do need protected bike lanes for the entirety of Market,” Cassidy said. “Right now there’s a lot of intermingling of people biking and driving.”

He said the October death of cyclist Mark Heryer was an example of why protected bike lanes are needed on Market Street. Heryer was a Berkeley chef who died while navigating between two Muni buses on Market.

“With the tragic death of Mark Heryer,” Cassidy said, “it highlights how unsafe it can be even for a veteran cyclist who has biked in San Francisco for decades.”

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