Today we installed the beginning of rapid street safety improvements to the Valencia street bike lane, northbound from 17th to 14th. What we installed today on Valencia is just a taste of what this street could be. With just paint and posts, we can transform Valencia St. to work for all road users: rideshare, delivery trucks, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
We want to see our city move much faster to address the urgent need for safe streets and to achieve #VisionZero. The transformation of Valencia can happen one block at a time over weeks not decades. It can be done for tens of thousands of dollars not millions. And it can serve our shared desire for safe and pleasant city streets.
With new classifications of street space, simple paint re-striping and adding protective white posts, we can engineer safe biking conditions for people age 8-80, calmer driving speeds for pedestrian crossings, and safe loading zones for automobile users and delivery vehicles. This can be done quickly while a permanent, fully protected street redesign is developed.
Eventually, these lanes should get true physical protection, like curbs or a raised lane like what has recently been installed at Valencia and Cesar Chavez. While we will withhold judgement until the project is complete, we applaud the move towards more dedicated, protected lanes. But we can’t wait years to feel safe bicycling. We're showing that we can make these changes quickly and cheaply.
In fact, citizens are willing to donate money to see this change! Citizens have donated over $8,000 to us in the last few months to pay for street safety materials. San Francisco citizens are self-taxing because they want to see the transformation of our shared living and moving environment in their lifetime. Going for walks through San Francisco with their aging parents. Meeting for coffee with an exciting new love interest or friend. Biking with their child to school. Staying fit and improving everyone’s air quality by biking to work.