Bike lanes for the Blue Greenway!
Good News: Legislation for new bike lanes on Illinois St. (on the Central Waterfront) and Cargo Way (in Bayview/Hunters Point) passed unanimously at the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee on June 7th.
Bad News: The legislation is being held up at the full Board on an appeal of the environmental review that the Illinois Street proposal received — once again, the environmental review process is paradoxically and cynically being used to hold up bicycle network improvements that would bring benefits to the city's environment, public health, public safety, open space access, and more.
Contact Supervisor Maxwell and Mayor Newsom and let them know that bike lanes on Illinois Street are an important element of the Citywide Bike Network, and that the city must make a strong and real committment to fulfilling its promise to provide a a safe, interconnected bicycle route network for all of its citizens and visitors.
For years, the Bayview/Hunter's Point and Dogpatch neighborhoods have lacked a safe North/South bicycle route to downtown. The traffic along the Third Street corridor has always made bicycling difficult and future plans for lightrail on the street will only make bicycle access more challenging. Illinois Street has been chosen as an alternative route, offering space for bicycle lanes in both Northern and Southern directions. The proposed Illinois bike lanes will serve as a connector to bike lanes on 17th Street, Terry Francois Boulevard, and Cesar Chavez (proposed).
The Project calls for bike lanes along most of Illinois from 16th to the Islais Creek, just south of Cesar Chavez. These lanes can be implemented by the following modifications to Illinois Street:
- 16th to Mariposa: reducing the width of traffic lanes.
- Mariposa to 18th : removing Giants game parking restrictions and converting 90° parking to either 60° parking or parallel parking with an extended sidewalk.
- 18th to 19th: removing Giants game parking restrictions, creating sidewalks on both sides of the road, and potentially removing parking to make space for MUNI lightrail tracks, dependant on MUNI's developing plans for 3rd Street.
- 19th to 20th: removing Giants game parking restrictions, and converting 90° parking to either 60° parking with sidewalk loss or parallel parking with parking loss.
- 20th to 22nd: relocating power poles underground, and converting 90° parking to either 60° parking or parallel parking with parking loss.
- 22nd to 25th: no change to existing parking or infrastructure.
- 25th to Islais Creek Bridge: creating new sidewalks, parking, bike lanes, and traffic lanes on this partially undeveloped stretch of roadway.
- Islais Creek Bridge: The SF Port Authority is awaiting funding for a new bridge, crossing Islais Creek, which will include public access.
Illinois Street is one of the top 20 priority projects chosen as part of the Bike Plan Update. Complete project summary sheets, street diagrams, and more information about the DPT's Bike Plan Update can be found on-line at the DPT Bike Program.
Illinois Street: Part of the Citywide Bike Network
Bike lanes on Illinois would help fill in the gaps of the Citywide Bike Network — a system of bike lanes, paths and traffic calmed streets connecting every neighborhood and business corridor in SF. Safe bike lanes open up more choices for mobility for more San Franciscans and can help reduce parking demand, reduce air pollution, and increase safety for all road users. Currently, about 4% of trips in SF are made by bicycle (that's better than the nationwide average of 1%, but far below Amsterdam, where over 40% of trips are made by bike). A major goal of the Bike Plan Update is to create an infrastructure of bike lanes and routes to encourage an increase in bicycling trips to 10% by 2010.