Monday, March 29, 2010

JFK Drive West-End to Feature Traffic-Calming Stripe

JFK Drive west-end striping will follow this model but without as much width

Solid stripe narrows and presumably slows vehicle traffic while giving space to cyclists

The now-smooth west end of JFK Drive from Crossover Drive to the Great Highway in Golden Gate Park will offer yet another benefit to bicyclists and motorists: a traffic-calming solid stripe that will narrow the traffic lane and, in some areas, create a de facto bike lane. The striping will be similar to the treatment on the east end of JFK, from Crossover to Stanyan, but with a much narrower roadway. In addition, the center line has been shifted to widen the lane in downhill portions of JFK to give cyclists more room and a better chance to avoid dooring. No parking will be removed as part of these enhancements. An extra benefit: as a traffic calming feature, the striping is not affected by the bicycle injunction.

According to Rick Thall, Project Manager for the Recreation and Parks Department, the east-bound lane of JFK from the Great Highway to Crossover will have a solid stripe outside the parking lane. This section of the roadway is narrower and does not permit similar treatment on both sides of the drive without removing the parking lane. Andy Thornley, SFBC Project Director, likened the treatment to a "floating bike lane" that permits safer bike passage where the road widens and when long stretches of the parking lane are unoccupied as often happens in the west end of the park.

The narrower traffic lane is intended to slow traffic through the park. That's an important feature since motorists might be tempted to drive faster on the newly-repaved surface. Last Wednesday a member of the Esquivel Construction crew that was completing the resurfacing of JFK suggested the park road "might become a freeway" once drivers no longer have to dodge suspension-wrecking potholes. Rec and Park hopes the new striping will keep that from happening.

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