Nearly a year ago, the Folsom and 6th intersection was the scene of a tragic collision that cost a young woman her life. The outcry that followed led to an exceptionally speedy reaction from the City, with the SFMTA reducing the number of lanes on Folsom Street between 4th and 11th Streets and replacing them with a partially green, buffered bicycle lane that has seen constant, incremental refinements, greatly improving the experience of people biking on one of San Francisco’s busiest streets.
We have continued calling for similar improvements to be implemented on the other half of the east to west SoMa couplet: Howard Street, which is the natural choice for many residents and daily commuters. After months of advocacy by local residents and your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Howard Street made it to the City’s list of Vision Zero projects and last Wednesday, the SFMTA held an open house announcing the Howard Street Buffered Bike Lane, which we expect to be in the ground by fall of this year.
Unlike the Folsom Complete Street Pilot Project, which extends for seven long SoMa blocks, the new Howard Street bike lane will only extend from 6th to 10th Streets and will not remove any vehicle lanes, but instead narrows existing lanes to reclaim the needed space for the bike lane. Two-stage left turn boxes are also part of the project, providing people biking a safe space to make left turns. Pedestrian improvements, such as temporary bulb-outs, will be included as well.
Learn more about our Folsom and Howard campaign as we continue advocating for protected bike lanes east to the Embarcadero and sign up for updates to find out about upcoming SoMa improvements, including pedestrian and bicycle improvements to 6th Street.