New San Francisco Bike Lanes: Feel the Ecstasy

ford_newsom.jpgSF MTA Chief Nat Ford and Mayor Gavin Newsom work the green rollers. Photo: Matthew Roth.

These are heady days for San Francisco cyclists. After three years that saw the addition of pretty much zero bike infrastructure, this week the city hailed the arrival of its first new bike lane since 2006 and its first-ever physically protected bikeway. Thanks to a partial dismantling of Rob Anderson’s crowning achievement — the legal injunction banning bike lanes under the guise of environmental review — more projects are on the way. The atmosphere is fairly giddy.

Meanwhile, here in New York, we’ve been shouting and muttering curses over the loss of a well-used bike lane segment in Williamsburg. So I figured it might lift everyone’s spirits to share some of the good vibes emanating from Streetsblog SF. Here are some highlights from just the past few days:

thornley.jpgAndy Thornley of the SF Bicycle Coalition rides the new left-turn bike lane on Scott Street. Photo: sfbike/Flickr.

The city stripes its first new bike lane since 2006, a left-turn bike lane at that.

bike_lane_market.jpgPhoto: Bryan Goebel.

On Market Street, the city installs its first physically protected lane.

Mayor Newsom announces that Clear Channel is backing out of its bike-share deal with San Francisco, but that he intends to launch a robust public bike network with 2,700 bikes in the pilot phase.

green_box.jpgPhoto: Bryan Goebel.

Newsom and MTA Chief Nat Ford join bike advocates to paint a green bike box on the new Scott Street lane.

  • Feel the /ecstasy/?


  • Marty Barfowitz

    I’d love to see Mayor Bloomberg proudly standing in front of some new bike infrastructure. Has he ever done that? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.

  • Ian Turner

    Hey man, it’s SF, why you gotta hate?

  • Kermit Green has really grown to be such a nice color!

  • piqued

    When will these bicyclists have to pay for the “privilege” of using the roadways? I have to pay, and pay and pay for the “privilege” of driving my car, AND I have to obey traffic laws or I get a ticket. I think if the bicyclists want their own lanes and the right to ride on the freeways they should be licensed and taxed like the rest of us. They should also be required to obey basic traffic laws.

  • I hope that’s environmentally-friendly green paint they’re using.

  • mike

    @piqued.. straight out of central casting

  • James

    Piqued, is that snark? I can’t tell. If you are indeed serious, then I will direct you to this:

  • Seven

    Looking forward to dodging fewer bikes as I walk on the sidewalk and on pedestrian-only paths in Golden Gate Park.

  • MrManhattan

    Wait for the backlash from San Francisco’s Hasidim.

  • Doug


    I have to pay pay pay for YOUR driving “privilege” as well.

  • Danny G

    Dear Piqued,

    I look forward to paying bike taxes and getting a bike license just as soon as there are traffic-separated bike lanes on every street.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • piqued, we are already paying, paying, paying the price for breathing in your “privilege” as well. so please don’t whine.

    if you read the news, you would see that you don’t have to obey traffic laws. you can pretty much do anything you want and get away with it, and that includes killing people, because our elected officials cater to your needs significantly more than ours, even though our numbers are rising significantly more than yours. so don’t worry about that. maybe you could do some research on how money money is spent on our respective infrastructures to see who comes out on top.

    i recently saw someone run over a pedestrian, in a crosswalk and with the right of way, and drive away without even a ticket. you could even see them laughing at the officer’s jokes as the pedestrian was being lifted into the ambulance on a gurney. i read about this kind of nonsense every week. meanwhile, we can get arrested for doing something as simple as riding our bicycles on the last friday of the month.

    we will also pretend that you obey every traffic law, not driving at least 10mph above the speed limit like every single other person in a car on every road, street, avenue, freeway, alleyway, etc. in this country and never running the red after you just sped up yet another 5-10mph to get through the yellow.

    pity you that have so many privileges and still have to shell out less than you owe for them. i could be so lucky.

  • Not only “Feel the Ecstasy” but, here comes more Bikes for Utopia!

  • “I’d love to see Mayor Bloomberg proudly standing in front of some new bike infrastructure. Has he ever done that? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.”

    A photo op is still just a photo op.

  • Put less succinctly, we got 3 miles of bike lanes and a photo op, you got 200 miles of bike lanes.


Budnick v. Anderson on “Talk of the Nation” This Afternoon

Transportation Alternatives’ Noah Budnick will be on NPR’s "Talk of the Nation" this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST. He’ll be debating Rob Anderson, the one-man wrecking crew who filed the 2006 environmental impact law suit that stopped San Francisco from building out its citywide bicycle network. I don’t think "Talk of the Nation" is available […]

NACTO Previews a Progressive Design Guide for City Streets

One of the interesting developments to come out of the National Association of City Transportation Officials “Designing Cities” conference (currently in its second day) was the announcement of a wide-ranging new design guide to be released next year. NACTO’s “Urban Streets Design Guide” will show how streets of every size can be re-oriented to prioritize […]

Green Lane Project Picks Six New Cities to Make Big Progress on Bikeways

More than 100 cities applied for the second round of the Green Lane Project, the program that helps cities build better bike infrastructure, including protected lanes. People for Bikes, which runs the program, announced its selections for round two today: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. “The selected cities have ambitious goals and a vision for […]