The Wiggle offers a relatively flat route between Duboce Park and the Panhandle, enabling bicyclists to avoid some of San Francisco’s notorious hills. We support a “neighborhood greenway” along this route that prioritizes walking and biking.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Public Utilities Commission are working together to improve the walking and biking experience along the Wiggle. In 2013, they unveiled final plans that include a traffic diverter at Scott and Fell Streets as well as traffic-calming measures that will improve biking conditions on this well-used stretch of the bike network. While there are still opportunities for more improvements, it’s crucial that we voice our support now so that this plan is not compromised.
After a series of community meetings, SFMTA revealed the following plans following a final open house on January 22, 2014:
- A southbound traffic diverter on Scott Street at Fell Street: This will prevent vehicles from using this residential street as a cut-through. Bicycles will be able to continue in both directions with improved markings to highlight bike access.
- A raised intersection at Scott Street and Page Street: Unique markings will improve the pedestrian experience with this slight gradient meant to slow down people who are driving or biking.
- Improved traffic engineering on Divisadero Street: The SFMTA will accommodate southbound traffic diverted from Scott Street by improving the traffic flow on Divisadero.
- Raised crosswalks, bulb-outs, and “speed reduction stripes” throughout the Wiggle: These treatments will slow bicycles and cars that approach intersection throughout the Wiggle. The SFMTA is considering pilots to ensure that the stripes will not be disruptive to the biking experience.
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, “neighborhood greenways are residential streets with low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds where bicycle and pedestrians are given priority.” Watch this short Streetsfilm on Portland’s neighborhood greenways.
Neighborhood greenways create a calmer experience by allowing bicycle riders, pedestrians, and drivers to slow down in an often-stressful city. Rather than focusing on separated bikeways and bike lanes, neighborhood greenways promote the sharing of street space between bicycles and cars.
Residents and planners pushing for neighborhood greenways usually have the following goals in mind:
- Reduce the use of neighborhood streets for auto cut-through
- Reduce auto speeds
- Provide safer bicycling and pedestrian connections
- Improve wayfinding
- SF Municipal Transportation Agency page (http://www.sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/wiggle-neighborhood-green-corridor)
- SF Public Utilities Commission page http://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=671
- ThinkBike report (2011) http://www.sfbike.org/download/thinkbikesf/ThinkBike_Wiggle.pdf