Mayor London Breed touts safety improvements along Valencia Street

Mayor London Breed and transit officials touted Friday significant safety improvements on Mission’s Valencia Street, months after installing barriers to protect a bike lane.

The Valencia Street Pilot Safety Project, which included a parking-protected bike lane on Valencia Street from Market Street to 15th Street, has “essentially eliminated illegal vehicle loading in the bike lane,” according to Breed’s announcement along with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

“Vehicle loadings in the bike lane dropped from 159 observed instances in October 2018, before the project, to two observed instances in May 2019,” the announcement said.

Other notable safety statistics include, “a 95 percent decrease in interactions between vehicles and bikes at mid-block locations, which is traditionally where people who bike are at risk of being doored’ by a car door opening.”

Drivers were also behaving better, properly yeielding to bicycle in the “mixing zones” 84 percent of the time.

“The data now backs up what we knew to be true—commonsense safety improvements dramatically reduce the risk of collisions and save lives,” said Breed, who had called upon the agency to expedite such safety measures. “Our new quick-build policy will allow us to take action like this on streets that we know are dangerous, and then let the data inform how we improve those streets in the future.”

Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the San Francisco Bike Coalition, said that “these numbers are further proof that infrastructure like protected bike lanes dramatically improves safety on our street.”

Breed has called for 20 miles of new protected bike lanes to be completed by the end of 2020, according to the announcement.

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