Lanes and Gains for Excelsior/Outer Mission by Mary Brown

Not a single inch of bike lanes can be found in all of District 11. The extremely bike-unfriendly neighborhoods of Excelsior and Outer Mission are also bounded by Interstate 280, which is difficult to cross under and over. It can be a pretty grim place to ride a bike.

Luckily though, Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval is well aware of the dangers and difficulties bicyclists face and is committed to getting bike improvements in his district (he frequently commutes by bike to City Hall via Mission Street and the Valencia bike lanes).

Plus, there is a brand new SFBC bike committee that's pumped to promote bicycling and get bike lanes in their neighborhood. On a recent scouting mission, a dozen Excelsior/Outer Mission Committee members biked to local hot spots, ooohed and aaahed at dangerous intersections, and found a hidden pathway that bypasses the San Jose Avenue tunnels. The committee decided to focus on bike lanes on Alemany Boulevard and San Jose Avenue; safer crossings under and over I-280; bike awareness signs and stencils on Ocean and Geneva; a multi-use path to bypass the San Jose Avenue tunnel; and bike lanes on the Monterey Street exit and on-ramps.

First up is pushing through the long-delayed legislation to stripe bike lanes on San Jose Avenue. These bike lanes are a crucial link to southern San Francisco neighborhoods including Glen Park, and are an important addition to the Valencia - Tiffany - 29th - Dolores Wiggle. Look for the lanes to be striped in the next few months.

Next up is a campaign to remove two lanes of car traffic on extra wide Alemany Boulevard and use the extra space to stripe bike lanes. The bike committee is planning to host a neighborhood meeting in February to explain the plan to Alemany residents and gather support for this and other traffic calming projects in the neighborhood.

Bicyclists currently cut across a median to access the Monterey exit of San Jose Ave, avoiding busy intersections on Arlington
Other important projects include working with Caltrans to pave an official bikes-only path through an ivy-covered median between the Arlington exit and the Monterey exit on San Jose Avenue (see photo at right). It's currently used by bicyclists as an illegal short cut to safely access the Monterey exit. Also in the pipeline are plans to create and promote a semi-existing multi-use path that bypasses the San Jose Avenue tunnels. It runs parallel to the tunnel northbound between Tingley and Lyell Streets.

The Excelsior/Outer Mission bike committee invites everyone who lives in or bikes through the neighborhood to join us as we gather support for these bike improvements. Help is needed handing out flyers, canvassing, outreaching to neighbors, and gathering signatures for the Alemany petition. For more information, check out the committee's web site at www.sfbike.org/campaigns/bicycle_network, and contact Mary Brown at 431-BIKE, ext. 4, or marybrown@sfbike.org. You can also help by downloading multi-lingual flyers and petitions from the web right now!