Saturday, November 28, 2009

SF Examiner Picks up the SFgo, Fell/ARCO Issues

A not so busy moment on Fell; other times 4-5 motorists line up in the bike lane

The San Francisco Examiner reported recent developments for two of NOPA's several transportation, livability, and safety issues. Staff writer Will Reisman covered the problems with the traffic tangle on Fell Street at the ARCO service station and the freeway-style SFgo signs still standing on Oak and Fell Streets in a Friday, November 27 article. More extensive updates on the recent meetings related to SFgo and Fell/ARCO appeared here and here in BIKE NOPA. A few new items about the Fell/ARCO trouble spot in the Examiner article:
  • SFBC Community Planner Neal Patel suggested "soft-hit posts" would be the most effective way to keep motorists from entering and blocking the Fell bike lane
  • A NOPA neighbor -- that would be me -- suggested ARCO should help manage traffic trying to enter the station (currently an ARCO sign advises motorists to not block the driveway without mentioning the sidewalk and the bike lane)
  • MTA spokesman Judson True assured Examiner readers that the agency "will continue to work with stakeholders to identify a possible solution" (note: NOPA and Alamo Square neighbors as well as the SFBC identified possible solutions and discussed them with MTA reps at the NOPNA meeting November 19th)
  • Solutions that explicitly involve bike lane improvements may have to wait until the bicycle injunction is fully lifted by the SF Superior Court in June 2010 (note: but perhaps traffic management and pedestrian safety might get a nod from the court)
  • Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's office is seeking an opinion from the City Attorney about possible code enforcements to encourage ARCO to address the problem the business helps create
  • In case you wondered, gas prices at ARCO are the ninth cheapest in the city
The Examiner piece described the problem with the SFgo signs without providing new information to readers who have been following the issue.

The North Panhandle and Alamo Square neighborhood associations continue to meet with city officials about both these matters as well as the the speeding that occurs on Fell, Oak, and Masonic Avenues.


  1. this is such a congested corner for both us cyclists, and also cars going northbound on divis. so stressful, hope there is a solution for everybody soon ;)

  2. When I spoke to the Examiner, I mentioned that a parking attendant at the entry to Trader Joe's on Masonic generally helps with orderly parking in the lot and that the ARCO station might assist in similar fashion. While ARCO could step up and help address the problems, the solutions for this location are mostly traffic engineering issues. An ARCO monitor could keep vehicles out of the driveway and thus keep the sidewalk clear. The analogy to Trader Joe's is pretty limited though, and their attendant only helps get cars parked without any attempt to keep motorists off the sidewalk.

  3. Soft hit posts are a great temporary solution that can be implememted now since they are temporary and won't interfere with the bike injunction. However, this still will not stop motorists from blocking the bike lane as they enter the driveway. Removing parking on the left, creating a left turn lane is also a potential solution that can be easily reversed, thus within the current ruling of the partial lifing of the bike injunction.