One Of San Francisco’s Most Dangerous Streets Gets a Bike Lane
San Francisco bicyclists can now ride on Turk Street’s new bike-protected lane. At the unveiling ceremony on April 26, 2018, leaders in the Tenderloin area said they hope this green protected lane will greatly enhance the safety of local cyclists and pedestrians.
Turk Street’s bike lane runs between Mason and Polk Streets and features a line of posts designed to protect bicyclists from vehicles. Initially, construction crews suggested building concrete barriers between the bike lane and street, but local firefighters said concrete barriers would make it difficult for them to move around Turk Street.
The decision to put a bike-protected lane on Turk Street came after data from San Francisco’s Vision Zero initiative revealed 75 percent of the city’s car accidents occur on this relatively small stretch of street. Although it accounts for 75 percent of SF injuries, Turk Street only takes up about 13 percent of the city’s total streets.
Over the past five years, there have been almost 175 serious traffic-related accidents on Turk Street. Safety officials say jaywalking and drivers making sharp turns are the most common reasons for these accidents.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been working with city officials on installing a bike-protected lane on Turk Street for years. Bike safety activists were pleased to hear about the opening of Turk Street’s bike-protected lane and look forward to working with SF officials on other safety initiatives.
Besides helping pedestrians and cyclists, city leaders say these new bike lanes will help deter drug dealers from using the south-side of Turk Street to make sales. It’s well known that dealers often meet clients behind parked cars in this area of Tenderloin. The construction of the new bike lanes, however, brought down the south-side parking area.
Locals also hope these new bike lanes will encourage elderly pedestrians in Tenderloin to get more exercise. The Curry Senior Center is located at 333 Turk Street.
Founded in Sweden, the Vision Zero initiative works with city governments around the world to bring traffic-related fatalities to zero within a given span of time. San Francisco hopes to complete its Vision Zero program by 2024. Residents can learn more about the progress Vision Zero SF is making at the official website www.visionzerosf.org.