Monday, November 30, 2009

Take a Last Look at the Scott Street Bike Shuffle

With new bike improvements on the way for Scott Street, the artful dodging of motorists and cyclists approaching Oak and Fell from Scott may finally change for the better. A brief visit to Scott Street during our warm, dry and breezy weather Saturday yielded pretty typical views of some safe and some risky driving ... and biking too. Only the pedestrians seemed to get it right all the time.

In no particular order, here's what transpired during a fifteen minute visit:
  • bicyclist eased into the bike box and stopped waiting for the light to change (just as intended)
  • motorist decided to "share the box" and the traffic lane, straddling both for right turn on Oak
  • truck driver at mid-block on Scott saw the light at Oak change to yellow and floored it just in time to reach the intersection on a full red...and continued through (not shown with pic)
  • US Postal Service truck parked in the red zone at the SW corner of Fell and Scott, partly blocking the crosswalk
  • motorist travelling south from Hayes on Scott suddenly turned left onto Fell and then gunned it up the hill ... against the traffic
  • two bicyclists approached Fell on Scott and veered off to the left onto Fell ignoring the red light
  • pedestrians maneuvered around the postal service truck in the crosswalk
  • Fell Street traffic was no faster than usual but ...
Will all this change when the Municipal Transportation Agency stripes new bike lanes and a new bike box on Scott? Even harder to say than usual since the particular bike lane configuration has not been announced. Will MTA actually inform motorists -- and bicyclists -- about the bike box? All may be revealed today along with a schedule of implementation: which bike lanes get striped first, where the sharrows will be painted, and what sites get badly needed bike parking first.

NOPA and Alamo Square neighbors might be among the first to enjoy new bike improvements and hopefully better traffic management. Only nine new bike lanes were permitted under the partial relief from the bike injunction (see that story here), and Scott Street is one of the shortest and easiest to implement with few, if any, parking spots to be removed. Another plus: the blocks between Page and Fell were recently repaved. Bring on the stripes and box!

Whenever the changes occur, expect a celebration, either organized or spontaneous. And if that party happens to land on Tuesday, December 1st in the late afternoon and early evening-- the very same day and time as the NOPA BIKE, MEET, & MINGLE -- we're doing BOTH!

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