JFK Drive striping stalled by court ruling

Faded striping and wide-open lanes are making for a confusing — and occasionally hair-raising — trek on John F. Kennedy Drive for motorists and cyclists alike.

What exists now between Stanyan Street and 25th Avenue is a yellow center line and a white line showing the edge of the traffic lane, but both are so faded that drivers can get confused, cyclist T.J. Mitchell said.

“A lot of cars will pass others on the right, which is very dangerous forcyclists,” Mitchell said. “Right now it’s a free-for-all.”

The City secured a $173,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 2006 to restripe the Golden Gate Park thoroughfare and add bike lanes, signs and pedestrian improvements, according to Dan Mauer, capital program manager with The City’s Recreation and Park Department.

However, that plan has been in limbo since June 2006, when a state Superior Court judge ruled the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s bike plan — which includes the JFK work — needed more environmental review and blocked any bike-related changes on city streets, according to Andrew Thornley, program manager with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

San Francisco repaved JFK Drive in late 2006 and painted new stripes with a temporary paint, figuring the court injunction would soon be lifted. However, it now looks like the injunction could remain in place until spring or summer 2009, according toMTA spokesman Judson True.

The City Attorney’s Office sought an exemption for the JFK project, which was approved separately from the MTA bike plan, but its efforts have been denied, Mauer said.

Now, Rec and Park and the MTA are looking at another round of temporary striping, which would include diagonal lines in nonvehicle areas to keep motorists from being tempted to drive in them, True said.

“We have to identify a funding source,” Mauer said, though the project’s costs are yet to be known. The existing stripes cost $7,500.

“We’ll ask the MTA, Rec and Park and the Concourse Authority — or possibly use some of the grant,” he said. “But using it for temporary work is troublesome.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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