These two white posts have been installed at the foot of Golden Gate:
Here’s the view from Market:
I suppose this closes a chapter on the book of the new Golden Gate Ave bike lane…
Here’s the scene at the foot of Golden Gate yesterday during the Evening Drive – what’s new is the orange traffic cones:
So of course these cones are unofficial (unlike this one from last week, when a made member of our City Family put an orange cone near the curb so drivers wouldn’t run over the legs of people warming up in the slow lane of Market inbound).
Here it is, your Bunker Road Tunnel* to Rodeo Beach and beyond.
The driver of this old Datsun(!) pickup truck seemed to be giving this cyclist a little bit of room, but then a shout came out…
…from this guy going the other way. So whoops, the Datsun driver moves a yard or two to the right. Thusly:
Bikes have dedicated lanes in this tunnel but cars don’t. Does that mean that bikes don’t have to wait up to five minutes for a green light the way cars have to? I know not. The surfer dudes in the 4WD pickup could not possibly look more like Marin Locals, like Regulars on this stretch of road, but the driver was surprised to see a cyclist going the other way? Now because it’s a tunnel, shouting works, but what if dudes had had the radio on and couldn’t hear? There could have been an accident.
A single-lane tunnel carries Bunker Road from the Rodeo Valley to U.S. 101. Built in 1918, this tunnel is known as Baker-Berry Tunnel but also known as the Bunker Road Tunnel or the Five Minute Tunnel. A date stamp on the western entrance to the Baker-Barry Tunnel lists 1994, which may have been the year the tunnel was retrofitted for earthquake protection or reconstructed for other reasons. Additional work was completed in 2013 to allow for wider approaches for bicyclists. A traffic signal governs the flow of traffic into the tunnel, since only one direction may proceed at a time.
*Some mock the Yelp for rating a tunnel:
“Solid four-star tunnel… Screw you, Yelp.”
“What can I say, it’s a hole in the ground..lol”
So I heard that the beginning part of Golden Gate in the ‘Loin, the Tender / Twitter -loin, was going to get a bike lane just a few weeks back. And I says to myself, I says, “I better check it out afore things change.” And I did but then I thought, no, neighboring McAllister is a much better way to travel inbound, even though our SFMTA / DPW just recently rejiggered the traffic lights in front of the troubled Hibernia Bank Building most unhelpfully.*
But then a week later, I saw this – it’s just a paint job, for now:
Speaking of signal timing, I think you’d really need to hustle to make the green lights. I’ll be satisfied to be delayed by just one red light from Polk to Market – prolly the one at
Anyway, speaking of that area, drivers turning right from GG onto Hyde just might get in your way. A lot. We’ll see how this works out.
Oh, and here we go – on the same day, just by coincidence, I came through in a car. Lots of backed up traffic, as one might expect, oh well. See the pedestrian timer? The light turned red soon after and it was stop and go at each intersection even though traffic was not backed up at the intersection with Market, oh well:
So now Golden Gate seems more like the foot of troubled 6th Street, which is the SoMA street what GG feeds into.
IDK, maybe I’ll start using this part of GG every day. The new bike lane is in beta, more or less, so we’re not yet aware of all its issues.
*So they take the trouble to make the foot of McAllister a two-way street and things seemed to be working out, but then they make the intersection with Market a mess with blocked #5 Fultons all over. Perhaps this is due to nearby construction? Our SFMTA has a real problem with traffic light timing – it’s like it doesn’t care a whit. The SFMTA isn’t a safety organization, it’s an un-safety organization. This isn’t a money problem, it’s a management problem. Sry.
What’s this? It’s just a simple massive 50-feet steel beam double-parked for a long time in front of historic million-dollar-plus mansions.
Why? Well, it’s a part of the lengthy, noisy extension at THE URBAN SCHOOL, a private high school what costs three times (3x) as much as tuition at our University of California campuses.
And yet, nary a peep I’ve heard from the nabes.
Here’s how she looks with the new striping:
The leftmost lane allows drivers to turn left or go straight – this seems like a mistake to me, but, then again, lots of things the SFMTA does seem like a mistake.
That’s the update regarding this sitch on Oak betwixt Masonic and Ashbury.
The big issue was notice, but notice has been achieved.
Next comes the lane restriping…
It used to have four foot wide lanes.
Then it got six foot lanes, but now it’s lots busier these days, with all manner of transport upon it:
And the SFPD and Rec & Park drive upon this path with Crown Victorias all the time too, right?
So what’s wrong with eight foot lanes, I ask you.
(Oh, no other “improvements” are required, no beautification efforts are required, or desired. Just work on the basics, SFGov.)
What’s this? Well, it’s traffic backing up on Oak from failed Octavia Boulevard all the way up to the top of Alamo Heights, like Fillmore.
Why? Let’s hear about the SFMTA’s 2014 to-do list from Rose Garrett of Hoodline:
Restriping Oak between Octavia and Laguna and reconfiguring parking so that two full right turn-only lanes would stretch the entire block of Oak and two additional lanes would continue straight
What’s happened is a change of driving culture so that nowadays, drivers feel less like suckers when they queue up in the right lane of Oak and there’s less line-jumping to the right between Laguna and Octavia:
None Shall Pass! over this newly painted solid line:
Some still do of course, but this happens less than before:
Now’s not the time to get into why the 100% perfectly earthquake safe Central Freeway was ash-canned for this deadly Octavia Boulevard monstrosity. But now, apparently, is the time to try to fix things, you know, a decade later.
Already, those wishing to stay in Frisco now have a clearer shot of escaping this mess by using the left lanes. New construction with $3000-something per month non-rent controlled studios will dominate the north side of this block. We’ll see how this one goes.
It’s hard for a needlessly prideful political animal like the SFMTA to admit that it made a mistake constructing this “vision” of the New Boulevard Movement or whatever the Hell it was called backed when the failed Boulevard Movement was in full swing. But now, after some Berkeley prof has gotten all that money in consulting fees and basked in the glory of those award ceremonies, our SFMTA is less possessive of its creation – it’s more willing to admit its mistakes, if not through a press release, but at least by trying to fix things.
Now, is it good for traffic to back up a half-mile on a regular weekend afternoon? No, but this is an improvement nevertheless.