New SF protected bike lane = EPIC FAIL- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    New SF protected bike lane = EPIC FAIL

    Reposted from bikeforums.net and streetsblog.org, San Francisco has installed a protected bike lane on Market Street. Not surprisingly, it's been an epic fail from day one. https://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/12/03...-violating-it/

    DPT crews installed San Francisco's first physically separated bike lane this morning on an eastbound stretch of an existing bike lane on Market Street between 9th and 10th, and before workers had even finished putting in the final safe-hit post, some drivers began disrespecting it, rolling into the lane, causing bicyclists to merge into auto traffic.

    "This isn't going to last long!," one of the DPT workers shouted, as he scrambled to the scene to prevent the driver of an animal control vehicle parked on the sidewalk from breaking through the safe-hit posts (see the photos below the break).

    The 35 three-foot tall reflective posts were tacked onto Market Street with AP epoxy, which takes up to 24 hours to dry. While they're designed to flip back up if a driver rolls over them, they're vulnerable until they dry.

    Some passersby suggested the MTA needs to install more signage for drivers, or do something more bold like paint the lane green so drivers get the message they need to stay out.

    Although the protected bike lane is considered a trial, Streetsblog has learned the MTA has plans to turn existing bike lanes into protected lanes on Market from 8th to 12th.




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  2. #2
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    No amount of creativity and good intentions can overcome a raging tsunami of stupid....

  3. #3
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    that last pic is priceless....

  4. #4
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    whats an epic fail about that?

    giving them an amount of protection (a common commute route) is better than making them ride 100% of time in traffic, isnt it?

  5. #5
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    I don't understand why the bicycle lane is nearly as wide as a car lane. A car should not be able to fit between the posts and the curb.

    Can somebody explain?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    I don't understand why the bicycle lane is nearly as wide as a car lane. A car should not be able to fit between the posts and the curb.

    Can somebody explain?
    Interesting thread. I was just out there during Thanksgiving and stayed right near 8th and Market.

    On many SF streets, and particularly Market, cyclists and cars share lanes. Market doesn't use a curbside bus stop set-up like most cities use. Market, in that area, had a very small dedicated bike lane, which was part of a car lane. The car lane was to the right of, and separate from, the dedicated Muni/Trolley lane which buses/trolleys use the overhead wires for locomotion. Typically, at lights and intersections where vehicles stop, the car lane is separated from the Muni/Trolley lane by a partially raised island where people stand to get on/off the buses/trolleys.

    Based on the article and the photos it looks as if the SF Dept. of Public works closed off the car lane to the right of the bus lane and dedicated it solely to commuters.

    I could see how this would be a problem because a fair amount of drivers used and shared the bike/car lane. IMO it's a recognition problem which will likely be overcome in time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    I don't understand why the bicycle lane is nearly as wide as a car lane. A car should not be able to fit between the posts and the curb.

    Can somebody explain?
    Traffic volume is the most likely reason. Wider lanes are safer and allow more cyclists. It would be impossible to pass with a standard width lane. WI law says that the minimum width for a lane to be a bike lane is 5ft from the vertical section of the curb. So you can have 4ft of asphalt and 1ft of concrete curb to the vertical section of the curb. Then you're riding 3ft from the edge of the asphalt, so only 1ft (or 2ft in a full asphalt lane) from the car lane. If someone was going to pass on a bike they would need 3ft of clearance from you and 3ft from the cars, so it would need to be a 9ft lane A typical car lane is 9 to 15 feet. Multi-lane roads tend to be more towards the 9ft limit.

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    Sigh....

    the only way to keep a car out of a bike lane is to set up barriers that a driver cannot drive through or around without destroying the car. A six inch diameter steel tube 5 feet long, burried in the pavement two feet and then filled with concrete would work. But some flop over when hit, "wishful thinking", almost a barrier ain't gonna cut it. But something like the above would be horribly expensive and not very practical either.

    As noted though, a fair amount of signage and allot of education and get used to it time, and maybe some paint, will likely help. At least somebody is trying to do something to help out, that's a plus. The sooner it becomes more wide spread the more recognition will start to take over. I think that's the major problem right now, nobody knows what the heck the posts are there for yet. It's still no protection against stupidity, but then there isn't much that is.

    Only time will tell.

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  9. #9
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    Market street is really a disaster for everyone. It's where the two grid orientations in San Francisco intersect, so most of the intersections are weird. The separated bike lane is problematic because right-turning cars need to turn across it. Combine that with the Shoal of Idiocy that forms in front of it during commute hours and pedestrians blocking the intersections when the lights change, and there's serious problems with every signal change during rush hour. It's also a slow enough street because of all of that that it's safer for a cyclist with a decent sprint to merge with regular traffic, where he won't be in danger of a right-hook.

    I think that the visibility is nice. While next to useless, the Market street lane is a constant reminder that the streets are shared. For those of us who are in a hurry to get somewhere, (whether I'm driving or cycling) Mission is one block south and typically moves pretty nicely. Market's always better used as the first or last leg of a trip, or in the Castro where the traffic volume's lighter and the grid is consistent on both sides.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    whats an epic fail about that?

    giving them an amount of protection (a common commute route) is better than making them ride 100% of time in traffic, isnt it?
    Take a close look at the above pics again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    the only way to keep a car out of a bike lane is to set up barriers that a driver cannot drive through or around without destroying the car. A six inch diameter steel tube 5 feet long, burried in the pavement two feet and then filled with concrete would work. But some flop over when hit, "wishful thinking", almost a barrier ain't gonna cut it. But something like the above would be horribly expensive and not very practical either.
    That's what they were saying on bikeforums.net as well. The problem with this is that people will hit them anyway and it won't be their fault. It will be the fault of the city or the cyclists or President Obama or whoever else they want to project the blame onto for the fact that they are incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. We had some safe-hit posts marking a crosswalk here in front of a school. With-in days they were completely obliterated. Bright orange and reflective, too.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    The problem with this is that people will hit them anyway and it won't be their fault. It will be the fault of the city or the cyclists or President Obama or whoever else they want to project the blame onto for the fact that they are incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. We had some safe-hit posts marking a crosswalk here in front of a school. With-in days they were completely obliterated. Bright orange and reflective, too.
    Too true, Gary; modern society has no real sense of responsibility. Someone else always has to be at fault because some idiot can't seem to pull head from anal orifice.

    It's like the common excuse drivers give for hitting a cyclist -- "I didn't expect to see the rider there!" DUH, you're on the road -- if all you had to worry about was what you EXPECTED, nobody would need insurance!

  12. #12
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    Just need to put one of the flexi-posts in the middle of the lane.

    Cars won't hit it and bikes can go around it. End of problem.

  13. #13
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    Hey, as a SF resident, I think the SF Bike Coalition is doing an excellent job getting things done.

    There was one clown who filed a lawsuit for an environmental study about bike lanes (yeah, more bike access might create more pollution), but now that its over, we are moving ahead with lanes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Hey, as a SF resident, I think the SF Bike Coalition is doing an excellent job getting things done.
    This is true and I did not mean to poke fun at the SF Bike Coalition or the city's efforts to get this underway (it's pretty cool actually), I only meant to call attention to the "hilarity" that ensued before they were even finished installing it. Let me re-post that last pic again, it's my favorite.


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  15. #15
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    its a start, and its really better than nothing. you cant stop stupid, but you can at least make an attempt. that could be a narrower lane lined with a concrete wall and some guy is still going to ride in traffic.

    see the unnavigable S-turn they put on the bay bridge for further proof turning slightly right than slightly left after being warned by flashing signs is difficult for certain people.

    im happy its moving forward.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    the only way to keep a car out of a bike lane is to set up barriers that a driver cannot drive through or around without destroying the car. A six inch diameter steel tube 5 feet long, burried in the pavement two feet and then filled with concrete would work. But some flop over when hit, "wishful thinking", almost a barrier ain't gonna cut it. But something like the above would be horribly expensive and not very practical either.

    As noted though, a fair amount of signage and allot of education and get used to it time, and maybe some paint, will likely help. At least somebody is trying to do something to help out, that's a plus. The sooner it becomes more wide spread the more recognition will start to take over. I think that's the major problem right now, nobody knows what the heck the posts are there for yet. It's still no protection against stupidity, but then there isn't much that is.

    Only time will tell.

    Good Dirt

    You have no idea how true that is. When I was younger I worked in construction and quickly saw the IQ of the average driver. If the car was 75" wide and we left 75.5", they would squeeze through and drive into the construction zone. I watched one lady go out of her way to get in and then drop the right side into the open 5' trench. If we gave them 1,500' to merge over in a 45mph zone, there were still squeeling tires all day long with people not making it in time. I did a test and it took me over an hour and all the cones we had but I merged a lane over the course of 1/2 mile in a 45mph zone, the most ridiculous thing I've seen with an obscene amount of merge and right lane ending signs and it had no effect on the drivers. There were still many near hits. After that we did the legal minimum amount. You can't fix stupid.
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  17. #17
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    Cycle track...

    We have one those up here in Portland too. The City calls them Cycle Tracks. I ride through it every day on my commute. The one thing that they did differently here is to put a row of parallel parking along the cycle track next to traffic. Man it was hill-air-i-us to watch drivers pull up behind a parked car and honk their horns thinking they were in the slow lane.

    It has been a learning experience for the mentally challenged drivers. The thing that really pisses me off is that drivers pull into the bike lane to drop of passengers and pedestrians that step off the curb without looking.

    It beats the hell out of riding along next to traffic though. I am looking forward to more of them going in.
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