Four More Green Waves Coming to San Francisco Streets

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced that it would be installing four new “Green Waves” to San Francisco streets by the Spring of 2014. On streets with green waves, the lights are timed at bicycle speed (usually 13-15 mph), allowing people on bike to encounter a series of green lights as they pedal down the bikeway.

Valencia Street Green Wave; photo by SF Streetsblog

The four new green waves will be implemented on popular bike routes: Arguello Street (from Lake to Clement Streets), Folsom (from 15th to 24th Streets), Fulton Street (from Laguna to Steiner Streets) and North Point Street (From Stockton to Polk Streets). Each of these green waves will be two-way, so people on bike will make the green wave heading either direction.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is pleased to see the City expanding the successful green waves to other core bicycling corridors. Green waves are a great example of a relatively easy and inexpensive improvement that can improve the ease and comfort of biking in San Francisco, and help the City reach its official goal of 20% of trips by 2020.

Green waves not only make bicycling more convenient and less physically demanding, they also create safer, more livable streets as a whole. Pedestrian conditions are also improved with green waves, as vehicles are encouraged to slow down to experience the wave of green lights.

“Innovative measures like these encourage bicycling and foster a safer and more effective transportation network,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “Green waves are impactful tools that boost corridor safety for all.”

Currently, there are three green waves in San Francisco: Valencia Street, 14th Street between Dolores and Folsom Streets, 11th Street between Howard and Harrison Streets. These streets have all seen huge increases in ridership over the years, and the green waves encourage even more people to pedal on these bike routes.

Larger, more visible signage will also accompany existing green waves on Valencia, 11th and 14th streets. The increased visibility of larger green wave signage will help bicyclists and motorists better prepare and adjust their speeds to experience a wave of green lights. This work will be completed in October 2013.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been advocating for and encouraging green waves for years. In addition to our larger Connecting the City campaigns, we regularly advocate for spot improvements like green waves and safer intersections. Support this work by becoming a member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

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