1.5 miles of safe and comfortable bikeway in Golden Gate Park
Thousands of daily commuters, weekend visitors to the Academy of Sciences and de Young Museum, and explorers of Golden Gate Park are now enjoying 1.5 miles of separated bikeway on the eastern half of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.
We recognize there is some confusion on JFK Drive as this is a new kind of roadway design in San Francisco. We are working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Recreation and Parks Department on outreach, and if you have time in the coming weeks to help the SFMTA pass out fliers to people driving, walking, biking and parking on JFK Drive contact Miriam Sorell of the SFMTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-4770.
The SF Bicycle Coalition has been out surveying the project during construction and now that it is complete we are thrilled to see the separated bikeway attracting people of all ages and abilities on bicycles. We’ve heard from some people on bikes, whether they’re a new rider or have been riding for years, that they appreciate the protection from moving automobiles when biking on JFK Drive. Read a few words from Miri – a new bike rider from the Outer Sunset who just started riding a bike for transportation around Bike to Work Day this year. We’re hearing from her and others that separation from motor vehicles on JFK Drive helps her feel much safer.
However, we’re also witnessing and hearing about some problematic behavior and believe that some design changes and additional outreach efforts can improve the situation.
Please take the SFMTA survey on the JFK Drive Separated bikeway here and add your thoughts on the design and how to improve it.
Some problems we’re seeing:
- Occasional vehicles parking in the bikeway – This was originally a bigger problem than it is today. People seem to be getting used to not parking along the curb, though some problems persist on Saturdays. The SF Bicycle Coalition will be working with the SF Municipal Transportation Agency to ensure this doesn’t persist. The addition of green pavement markings to the area could improve this situation. Are there specific locations you see this happening repeatedly? Please take the SFMTA survey and let the city know about this.
- Automobiles parked in the buffer area – We’ve heard many complaints of cars parked in the buffer area where there shouldn’t be any parking at all, or overhanging from legal parking spots. This creates a potentially hazardous situation and puts people on bikes in the door zone. Most cars seem to be parking legally, but we encourage the city to further encourage and enforce legal parking.
- We’ve also heard some reports of people exiting vehicles and darting across the bikeway without looking. We at the SF Bicycle Coalition want to ensure that everyone has a safe experience in Golden Gate Park and don’t want to see any collisions in this new mixing zone. People biking through the separated bikeway and people exiting vehicles will need to be aware of each other and go slower in some locations and circumstance. Those that do not feel comfortable biking in the separated bikeway are legally allowed to bike in the lane with automobiles.
Most observed problems seem to be improving over time and are related to automobile parking. The SF Bicycle Coalition will be further cataloging any unsafe conditions and working with the city to address them. Please fill out the SFMTA’s survey on the bikeway here.
Now that the JFK Drive separated bikeways is complete, please take a moment and send an email to Mayor Edwin Lee, Recreation and Parks Director Phil Ginsburg, SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin and Supervisor Eric Mar today to thank them for their work in bringing a safer bikeway to JFK Drive. Your voice will help show the rising demand for more safe and comfortable crosstown bikeways in San Francisco and help bring more projects across the city.
You can use the text below to email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and CC Neal@sfbike.org:
Dear Mayor Lee, Mr. Reiskin, Mr. Ginsburg, and Supervisor Mar
Where you live.
Where you work.
Do you bike on JFK Drive to go to work, school or for recreation?
How has the JFK Drive separated bikeway improved your ride?
What other streets would you like to see separated bikeways on?
Do you bike with your family or friends?
Add anything else about yourself.
As one of the thousands of San Franciscans who ride a bike, I thank you for making these critical safety improvements to our streets.
Please continue to make it easier for me, my family and my friends to bike in San Francisco
The JFK Drive separated bikeway design includes a continuous painted buffer between the bikeway and moving vehicles, with parked automobiles adding an additional buffer in some sections. This project will be on JFK Drive from Transverse Drive to Stanyan Street, including improved connections to the Panhandle Path. The SFMTA is also adding new curb cuts along JFK Drive, to improve access to the curb for many visitors using wheelchairs and scooters. See the SFMTA’s JFK Drive project page for more specific information on the design.
Parking-protected bikeways have been in the ground in cities across North America and around the world for many years, with many promising benefits. People biking enjoy an extra level of comfort being separated from motor vehicles – helpful for both seasoned bike commuters and those new to urban biking – and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is thrilled to see this first example go in on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park.
People traveling on JFK Drive should take care of the following once the new design is in the ground:
- Enter and leave the bikeway at intersections and stay clear of the buffer zone.
- Be alert for people crossing the bikeway to enter or exit parked vehicles.
- Be aware of people with disabilities who may need to use part of the bikeway to exit vehicles.
- Obey all signs and markings and yield to pedestrians.
- When driving, be alert for people biking and walking and yield to pedestrians at intersections.
- When driving, park away from the curb along the buffer zone and use the buffer to enter and exit your vehicle. Watch for people on bikes when crossing the bikeway.
Watch this informative video from Portland to see how this new design will work:
The Department of Public Works and the Recreation and Parks Department have fixed drainage issues in many locations along JFK Drive, allowing for a pond-free bike ride during the rainy season. The city has also added new curb ramps and added addition van-accessible blue zone parking stalls – making JFK Drive more accessible for some mobility-impaired visitors. These improvements come after many months of the SF Bicycle Coalition, the SFMTA, the Mayor’s Disability Council and others working together to create a design that will be safer and more inviting for everyone.
For more information or questions, contact Neal Patel, Community Planner at Neal@sfbike.org, or 415.431.2453 x312.