The Embarcadero offers unparalleled views of the San Francisco Bay and serves as a prime route to popular destinations, workplaces, and homes. Because this route is often overcrowded, the SF Bicycle Coalition’s vision is to upgrade current on-street bike lanes into a two-way protected bikeway, giving more space to you and your bike.
The SF Bicycle Coalition’s vision is to upgrade the current on-street bike lanes on the Embarcadero into a designated and connected two-way separated bikeway, giving you more space to get to work, go to the Farmer’s Market or soak up the views on your bike. Besides on-street biking, the only other available option is the shared-use promenade that is already beyond capacity. There has always been a movement to get more people biking on the Embarcadero and with so much energy around waterfront developments, now is the time to get involved.
This 12-minute Streetsfilm video gives more context about the history of the Embarcadero and how far we’ve come since 1989 earthquake that irreparably damaged the Embarcadero freeway. Since then, the city and its residents have been slowly taking steps to return our beautiful waterfront to the people with public open space.
On December 31, 2010, San Francisco was selected to host the 34th America’s Cup, the world-famous sailing competition. With the expectation of massive attendance numbers, it was crucial to develop a package of transportation options, which was named the “People Plan”. The plan included recommendations for those traveling by transit as well as those arriving by walking, biking, or driving.
This led to the implementation of a weeklong pilot program from September 8-15, 2013 that temporarily created a two-way protected bikeway on the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Pier 23. Additional signage made for clearer signals and designations for bicycles.
The result was obvious. People rode their bicycles en masse to America’s Cup. Over 6,700 bicycles were parked using the SF Bicycle Coalition’s free, public valet bicycle parking service. Bicycles were encouraged to use the temporary facilities, clearing up space on the Promenade and thus reducing conflicts between people walking and biking. SFMTA bike counts recorded 1,205 bikes during a two-hour period on Saturday, September 14, 2013 during the pilot phase. Public feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with no complaints being received by SFMTA.
While SFMTA does not recommend permanent implementation of the pilot design, it showed that creating adequate infrastructure benefits all modes of transportation and that a two-way protected bikeway is possible. At this time, we continue to work with the SFMTA to move these efforts forward.