8th Street Buffered Bike Lane—Does SoMa Feel Safe?

New Buffered Bike Lane on 8th Street in SoMa – Do Bicyclists Feel Safe?

Bicycle Lane

For years, 8th Street in the South of Market district has been a bane to bicyclists. Until recently, a skinny bike lane alongside four speed-inducing lanes made bicycle travel on 8th Street treacherous. The bike lane was recently reconfigured, widening the bike lane and removing bicyclists from the door zone. The upgrade came about after bike advocates and D6 Supervisor Jane Kim urged reconfiguration as a way to slow down motor vehicle traffic, reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, and create a safer and more comfortable space for bicycles and bicyclists.

Kim acknowledges that the 8th Street project received priority because of its history of pedestrian injuries, but notes that the changes will offer significant benefit to bicyclists as well. She also believes that the changes will make it easier and safer for people to walk or ride bikes for short trips, further reducing congestion in the area.

Leah Shahum, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition, stressed that the original proposal for 8th Street was to provide more room for motor vehicles and less for bicycles. However, due to successful lobbying by pedestrian and cycling interests, the area now offers safer passage for un-motorized traffic. Shahum notes, however, that the new configuration is far from ideal. She concedes that the traffic still moves at a pretty rapid pace for a neighborhood street, and that motorists often drive in the bike lane. In addition, public transit vehicles must cross the bike lane and parking lane to get to bus stops.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a personal injury, including people hurt in a bicycle accident. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.

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