The road to Twin Peaks in San Francisco became much friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians Wednesday as the the city launched a two-year pilot program that dedicates fewer lanes to vehicle traffic.
Using paint and temporary barriers, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency converted the northbound lanes on the west side of the roadway to bike- and pedestrian-only lanes. Cars and buses are being routed to the east side.
Essentially, the western half of the roadway will be converted from one-way traffic to two-way traffic, according to a project update on the SFMTA website. Legitimate parking spaces at the center and south intersections also will be created to address the illegal parking that already occurs, the agency said.
The idea is to make things safer for everyone, and on day one, those on foot gave it the thumbs-up.
"I think it's great," said Ren Volpe of San Francisco. "I love it when they shut down the streets; I get to bring the dogs. I almost brought my bicycle. And I like to run up here."
Arturo Ruvalcabo enjoys the view from Twin Peaks. He didn't ride the new route because he didn't know it was changing. But he says it makes sense.
"There is no shoulder really for coming up to Twin Peaks, so with all the tourist buses, it gets a little tight," he said.
Some tour operators are concerned that their passengers won't see the city view on the way up to the iconic peaks.
Over the next year, the SFMTA will evaluate how well the project works by observing how people use the roadway, counting the number of vehicles like cars and tour buses, taking speed surveys, observing parking behavior and surveying people who use the area. It will use the findings to form a plan for more permanent changes.
The agency also will be asking drivers and pedestrians to provide feedback on the project via its website.