The Embarcadero

Whether it’s heading to a Giants game, visiting the Exploratorium or hanging out at the piers for unparalleled views of the Bay, the Embarcadero is a uniquely San Francisco experience. But as it attracts more visitors every year and our city grows, we need to think about how people move along our waterfront. Our iconic waterfront deserves a world-class biking experience with the highest quality bikeway connecting AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf.

If we’re going to have an inviting, high-quality bikeway anywhere in the city, there is no better place than the Embarcadero, which serves as the heart of our Bay Trail Bikeway and as a critical part of Connecting the City. Our vision for the Embarcadero is a continuous and consistent protected bikeway for the entire length of the Embarcadero that connects multiple neighborhoods together along our iconic waterfront. There is no better time to get involved, as the City recently launched the Embarcadero Enhancement Project, a year-long public planning process to develop what a bikeway from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf will look like.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition continues to work towards securing this vision for a beautiful, continuous protected bikeway on the Embarcadero.

The Embarcadero

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The Embarcadero Enhancement Project

The Embarcadero Enhancement Project is a year-long planning process led by the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to improve the safety and comfort for everyone along the Embarcadero. The goal of the project is to develop a conceptual design for a continuous and protected bikeway along the Embarcadero from AT&T Park to Fisherman’s Wharf. There are no designs or proposals currently; there will be many opportunities for you to get involved and be a part of the planning process over the next year.

We are very excited by this project and the City’s dedication to Connecting the City. Our vision for the Embarcadero is an inviting, continuous and consistent “8 to 80” protected bikeway for the entire length of the Embarcadero that connects multiple neighborhoods together along our iconic waterfront.

Timeline
Winter 2013 – Summer 2014: Data Collection
Summer 2014 – Winter 2015: Initial Outreach
Winter 2015 – Summer 2015: Develop Design Alternatives
Summer 2015 – Fall 2015: Final Design Selection

Why a bikeway? Isn’t there already a green bicycle lane?
The existing conditions include a narrow on-street bike lane for portions of the Embarcadero in each direction as well as a mixed-use Promenade shared between people walking and biking. There are significant gaps in the network, particularly towards AT&T Park in the southbound direction and towards Fisherman’s Wharf in the northbound direction. These gaps have led to serious injuries as well as a fatality earlier last year at 3rd Street, where the bicycle lane ends. Even with the bike lane, the fast-moving traffic and lack of physical protection or separation makes it an unwelcoming ride for even the experienced. Vehicles regularly park in the bike lane, forcing bicycles into fast-moving traffic.

This is not adequate for a high-quality facility that is welcome for people of all ages, and there is no better time than now to give your input on what that bikeway will look like.

History

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.

34th America's Cup

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.