October 12, 2016

One for the Bike Lane Guerrillas

Earlier this year I wrote about the “pirated”  bike lane that was installed on Saskatchewan Drive in Edmonton at night, complete with official looking tape and pylons. That rogue bike lane was outed early the next morning when the first Edmonton Transit bus driver tried to navigate through the pylons to a bus stop. It may have been prescient, as Edmonton is now looking at building separated bike lanes in their downtown.
With the same vivacious foresight and imagination is a great group on Twitter called SF Transformation (SFMTrA) .They have been reframing San Francisco streets to be bike friendly by bending the rules a little bit, and installing bike lanes where and when needed. But here’s the surprise-following the creation of a new bike friendly intervention in Golden Gate Park, the city said that the markers can stay until it follows up with its own set of permanent changes.
Yes, San Francisco City Hall took a look at rogue pylons and posts from John F. Kennedy to Kezar Drives and saw the value in the intervention. And here’s the background:

One of our members, a father of two, who bikes this route daily taking his child to school was spurred into action after he was nearly hit in this bike lane by a fast-moving car.”In reaction, we started by placing cones in the bike buffer zone—and monitored the cars before and after. The cones made this road safer for everyone. But the Park Service took them down after a few days. So next we installed the same white soft-hit posts you see protecting the bike lanes on Market Street.

[The city leaders and agencies] simply aren’t moving fast enough to adapting to a world where not everyone gets around in a private automobile. We are helping transform our streets more quickly. Other than a few green scraps of paint, our roads basically look the same since the 50s and 60s when cities across America devastated their public streets by catering unwaveringly to the new technology of the time – the automobile. They need to make walking safer and more enjoyable. Biking safer. Muni buses faster. And loading and unloading from Ubers and eventually autonomous cars safer.”


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