Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Panhandle at Masonic Sees 50% Increase in Cyclists Over Three Years

No one cycles past Mariana Parreiras without getting counted

One morning last August BIKE NOPA interviewed Central Avenue neighbor Mariana Parreiras about counting bike traffic on the Panhandle Path at the Masonic Avenue intersection. She was working as a summer intern for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and assisting with the annual bike count. The survey provides a snapshot of bicycling in the city and compares numbers of cyclists and other trends from year to year. Now we know the number of cyclists Mariana tallied on the multi-use Panhandle Path.

The Masonic and Panhandle intersection experienced a 50% increase in number of bicyclists since 2006, a jump from 152 to 228 riders. The percentage is similar to the 53.5% increase found at the other study sites in the city over the same three-year period. Bicycling proponents note that the counts swelled even though a court injunction prevented any new bicycle improvements (for example, bike lanes, bike parking, or painted lanes) in the city.

The bike count at the Panhandle catches the 8am to 9 am bike to work crowd. It would be interesting to get the numbers on the return trip at the end of the day. Further east along the popular Wiggle bike route, the number of cyclists at Fell and Scott streets soared with a 84.7% increase since 2006. With so many cyclists travelling west on Fell Street between Scott and Masonic at the end of the workday, advocates are urging a look at a bike lane along that stretch. That prospect might be especially appealing to pedestrians who sometimes find sharing space with cyclists on the Panhandle Path a bit risky.

No need to tell Mariana how busy the Panhandle Path can be


  1. I sure hope that the north Panhandle path can somehow be kept a shared space for cyclists and pedestrians.

  2. @Doug: Unless a possible Fell Street bike lane along the Panhandle was protected with more than a stripe of paint, only experienced cyclists might want to use it. If so, the Panhandle Path would be great for other cyclists to share with peds -- and have more space to do so.

  3. that is awesome - almost doubled!!
    go SF go <3

  4. What they should do is take the 4th unnecessary lane on Fell between Baker & Shrader and turn it into a bidirectional bike lane. Ideally they would put the bike lane between the parked cars and the edge of the park, with a small sidewalk for people getting in and out of their cars.

    The panhandle path is getting to crowded to be a shared path, and if it keeps growing, it will become a point of conflict between walkers/runners & cyclists.

    That 4th lane for such a short stretch is completely unnecessary as Fell is 3 lanes the entire rest of the way, and only becomes 4 lanes once most of the traffic has turned off of Fell.