by Tiana May
30 Nov 2022
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has announced that construction is now underway on the first protected bike lane in the city’s Financial District.
The Battery/Sansome Quick-Build project was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in September this year to provide a two-way protected bike lane on Battery Street, San Francisco.
This is a significant step forward for cycling in the city, as there are currently no protected bike lanes near the Financial District, with the exception of the Embarcadero waterfront boulevard. This is despite the fact that some of the most active bike share stations are located in this area.
The Battery/Sansome Quick-Build project was named in the Downtown SF Public Action Realm Plan as an essential part of transforming the downtown area into a more welcoming space for all.
The new route aims to offer a safer option for people looking for an active or non-car-based commute, with the number of workers returning to downtown offices after the pandemic continuing to grow.
Construction on the protected bike lane is expected to take up to three weeks. The project will also add pedestrian safety improvements on both Battery and Sansome Streets.
Despite the benefits of this project, SFMTA received several concerns that removing a motor-vehicle travel lane to make space for the two-lane bike lane could increase congestion in the downtown area, especially during peak commute hours. To combat this, the commercial loading zones on the western side of the street will not be available to local businesses during peak hours, so that the street will still have three functional lanes.
This solution was designed to keep traffic flowing while creating a dedicated space for active travel.
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