Friday, July 23, 2010

Fell Street To Get Green Bike Lane Week of August 2nd

Soon to be a green stripe for the full block, Fell between Scott and Divisadero

Update, 5:30 pm: SFMTA has clarified an earlier message about the green bike lane coming to Fell Street. James Shahamiri, traffic engineer, wrote that the agency will not be painting the entire lane solid green. Instead, the green lane will incorporate the dashes in the current white-striped lane. "Where the bicycle lane has solid stripes, the green will be solid," Shahamiri explained. "Once the dashing starts, the green will be dashed too; the white stripes, whether solid or dashed, are the bounding areas for the green color." The end result will be a solid green lane from Scott to the middle of the block and then dashed green areas to the Divisadero intersection.

The much-scrutinized Fell Street bike lane between Scott and Divisadero will be much easier to see when the SFMTA paints it a solid green during the week of August 2nd. James Shahamiri, SFMTA traffic engineer, wrote in an email message that the agency will make one more change before the bike lane goes green.

"Next week two "DO NOT BLOCK BICYCLE LANE" signs will be installed along the approach to the Arco gas station. The week after, the bicycle lane will be painted green."

Shahamiri also explained the changes made to the bike lane yesterday, reported by BIKE NOPA this morning.

"Yesterday, 7/22, we changed the solid bicycle lane striping to a dashed pattern. We thought this would encourage cars to move over the queuing area. We realized that many drivers don't feel comfortable crossing two solid lines, and that by dashing the lines, it's more intuitive that cars can cross over to the queuing space. We also added three more turn arrows in the queuing space to make it clear that the area is a travel lane."

The green bike lane will be installed as bicyclists have expressed increasing frustration with the traffic lane configuration on Fell for motorists approaching Arco. Many cyclists believe that the only way to make the approach to Divisadero safe is to close the Fell entry and exit from Arco altogether. A protest at Arco -- with complaints about the unsafe biking conditions, excessive oil consumption, and the BP Gulf Oil spill -- has been underway for several weeks on Friday afternoons. The Fix Fell and Oak group provides updates on the protests at its Facebook page.

Only one block of Fell, from Scott to Divisadero, will be painted green, but the segment is the most tangled and risky for people on bikes and those who drive due to the Arco station with its curb cuts along the street. The Fell bike lane connects the much-used Wiggle bike route with the Panhandle multi-use path and serves as a primary bikeway in the city.

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