New 7th Street Protected Bikeway Construction Begins
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency started a much-awaited protected bike lane on 7th Street between Townsend and Harrison. This will finish the 7th Street Safety Project that started in 2016 and was driven by events of a tragic night where two cyclists died in separate hit and run accidents earlier that year.
The safety project identified potentially dangerous sections of 7th and 8th streets in the South of Market neighborhood. Both streets are one-way and provide freeway access and are part of a bus route. This activity created a danger to people walking, biking, transit riding, and driving.
In phase 1 and phase 2, protected bikeways were built on 7th between Market and Cleveland, between Harrison and Townsend as well as between Townsend and 16th. The 7th Ave protected bike lane quick-build was the last phase of the project.
The late Mayor, Ed Lee was the driving force behind the project after the accidents in 2016 and other tragic incidences in the area. This project phase was approved in 2017 after a public hearing on the issue. Local Bicycle Coalition leader, Janice Li stated in a hoodline.com article saying: “This was one of the quick-build projects that we strongly advocated for and was approved back in December. This project will close the gap on 7th Street so that people biking will have a fully protected bike lane from Market Street all the way through SoMa to connect to Mission Bay.”
After the project is completed, hopefully at the end of June 2020, passengers will be able to board the bus on the new island on Townsend just west of 7th and the north bus stop will be removed. The new island was created to allow passengers a safer and easier transfer to the 10-Townsend bus.
With the new island and protected bikeways in place, city leaders hope to see a reduction in the number of accidents in the area as well as promote ease of use of the city’s bus system and protected bike infrastructure.