Freeway Frustration: The Cesar Chavez-101 Interchange
by Steven Bodzin

In 1996, SFBC volunteer and Hampshire Street resident Fran Taylor began promoting bike lanes between the interchange and Bryant Street on both sides of Cesar Chavez. The lanes would help cyclists travel between the slower part of Cesar Chavez and the off-street bike path that weaves through the interchange.

Taylor flyered the neighborhood with the proposal. But at three community meetings, neighbors showed up en masse to oppose the bike lanes because they would remove about 20 parking spaces. Taylor had to choose between creating a long-term coalition with the neighbors to reduce traffic on Cesar Chavez or forcing the bike lane issue. Taylor chose not to push forward with the bike lanes, accepting a compromise: a bike lane on the south side only, between Hampshire and York, that would revert to automobile parking from 7 PM to 7 AM.

Since the lane was striped in December, however, residents have disappointed Taylor. Motorists who used to park on Cesar Chavez now park on the adjacent sidewalk. The Department of Parking and Traffic has a policy of only enforcing the law against sidewalk parking in response to a complaint; their number is (415) 553-1200.

Two more improvements to the area are currently in the works. One is a new ramp from westbound Cesar Chavez to the traffic signal between northbound Bayshore and westbound Cesar Chavez. This ramp will allow westbound cyclists to avoid the off-ramp to 101, the chute down Cesar Chavez, and the on-ramp from Potrero. Two, the off-street path eastbound through the interchange is being widened, repaved, and improved lighting and signals will be installed.