City Routes Cyclists into Harm's Way

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 13: A bicyclist rides their bike down Market Street on Bike to Work Day May 13, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Thousands of bicyclists are expected to participate in the 16th annual Bike to Work Day event that promotes exercise and helps reduce pollution. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    The city of San Francisco knows exactly where cyclists ought to ride: smack dab in the center of some of the busiest streets in the city.

    It's the unfortunate result of some half-hearted planning. Street stencils on Post and Sutter indicate that bikes should stick to the middle lane, with motor vehicles whizzing by on both sides.

    The strange setup came about because the right lane is dedicated for buses and taxis only. State law prohibits bikes from traveling in the transit-only lane. So, as a result, bikes are officially instructed to travel in the next lane over, according to the Bay Citizen.

    The Tenderloin streets are long overdue for a makeover. Designed years ago, when automobiles were desirable modes of transit, the streets have trouble accommodating contemporary transportation like Muni, bikes, and pedestrians.

    The solution would be expensive, and involves physical separations for bikes and transit. That's just what the city's planning for Market Street, which is getting re-paved in 2015. Although the plan is still being formulated, it's expected that transit and bikes will get safe, dedicated lanes, preventing conflicts.

    Car access may be restricted, or drivers may be charged extra like morbidly obese people on airplanes.