Sunday, June 12, 2011

NOPA Streets: Bike Sharrows for McAllister

Sharing the road westbound on McAllister before the hill

Sharrows in the westbound lane to Baker

McAllister is the most recent street to get bike sharrows, the shared lane markings that remind motorists to accommodate cyclists who are also using the street. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) stenciled the sharrows last week on much of the westbound lane from Market to Baker streets. Presumably the markings will be extended the full length of the McAllister bike lane to Masonic, including the eastbound lane.* The street additions are part of the extensive bicycle safety efforts by SFMTA that has included miles of sharrows and striping of new bike lanes across the city.

McAllister is the preferred route for many cyclists traveling to the Civic Center and Market street from NOPA. (Others slalom down Golden Gate from Broderick, an efficient thrill ride now more risky with the uneven pavement west of Divisadero). Although Muni management has fretted about bicyclists slowing buses on McAllister, cyclists are often the ones trying to get around slow-going buses. In 2009 McAllister was one of the proposed routes for a new striped bike lane, but the project was put on hold awaiting a better design and strategy for creating bike space. For now the new sharrows provide visual cues to drivers and encourage cyclists to take the lane when necessary to avoid the door zone.

* UPDATE: Or not. Seems McAllister is a bike route only in the westbound direction due perhaps to its one-way orientation from Market to the Civic Center. Whether this makes much sense, especially with "inner McAllister" soon to switch to two-way traffic, is another question.

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