San Francisco Protected Bicycle Lane Meshes Well With Transit Stop

  • Published on July 7th, 2014
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One of the challenges of adding bike lanes to cities can be the challenge that arises when a bus stop sits where a bike lane should go. But separated, protected bike lanes that step back from the roadway and bus stop work excellently, as can be seen in this video from San Francisco:

Appreciations for Michael Andersen’s description of the above video: “A self-regulating sidewalk ballet.” This Green Lane Project staff writer continues on People for Bikes and asks:

Why don’t more cities escape the curse of bus-bike leapfrogging by putting bike lanes between transit platforms and sidewalks?

Though “floating bus stops” and similar designs are being used in many cities, others have avoided doing so, sometimes out of concern that people will be injured in collisions with bikes while they walk between platform and sidewalk.

People for Bikes continues with an opinion from Seleta Reyolds, the San Francisco Municipal transportation Agency’s section leader for livable streets. She calls the corner of Duboce Avenue and Church Street “a great example of how to design for transit-bike interaction.”

Though it’s only been open since June 2012 and hasn’t worked its way into the city’s official collision records yet, Reynolds said she couldn’t find any record of a complaint arising from the intersection.


Following are more details worth noting:

  • “This block is unusual in that it’s closed to cars in the same direction, even on the other side of the transit stop. This removes any risk of right hooks due to limited visibility, an issue that other such designs must handle differently.”
  • “The relatively narrow bike-way here, with a curb on each side and a flat grade, prompts people to be moving at manageable speeds. This wouldn’t work as well on a slope.”
  • “There is no fence here between platform and bike lane. This gives people maximum visibility and maximum flexibility as they negotiate past each other.

One must appreciate the wind-blown, happy bicyclists actively changing our transit globally. California is one passionate forerunner with the LA bicycle train for the adept or the novice who needs help with safety and skill. This is another great example. A simple yet clever design that makes transportation easy, convenient, and safe for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders. Beautiful.

Related Articles:

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2014 “Green Lane Project” Kicked Off To Improve Biking Facilities In 6 US Cities

75000 Bicycle Trips A Day In San Francisco

US Bike Ridership Surges With Protected Bike Lanes, Study Finds

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  • Looks sub-standard to me. Too narrow, inevitably lots of peds crossing. A nice wide bus and cycle lane (4m+) is fine if you are serious about promoting utility cycling. Of course, many of these schemes “for cyclists” are anything but: they are an attempt to exclude cyclists from the normal road network.

    • I think the point is that it’s not only for bicyclists. The narrow lane encourages bicyclists to slow down, making it less likely a bicyclist will fly into a pedestrian. For a place with this scale transit stop, what would you say would be a better fit on the bicycle side?

      • I’m a “share the road, respect the cyclist” man myself. Even in the
        comprehensive Netherlands network oft lauded as a role model for
        elsewhere, the bike paths are often: 1) indirect, 2) poorly surfaced
        (tiles/cobbles/kerbs etc), 3) have complex junctions, and are 4) poorly
        signposted. I don’t know the details of this particular scheme, but
        pedestrian/cycle shared use paths are more appropriate for leisure settings e.g. parks, than utility/commute alongside roads.
        If that bus stop is well used, there will inevitably be peds to-ing and fro-ing in that bike lane. This is good if your objective is to slow and frustrate cyclists, whilst delegitimizing their presence on the road. And you can present it as “doing something for cyclists.” Genius!