Many of the safety upgrades that were supposed to have been made to Oak and Fell streets by the end of last year have yet to materialize and the cycling supporters who fought so hard for the projects to be approved are calling the delays unacceptable.
To the residents who rely on the streets everyday, it seems that SFMTA has put the improvements, the most crucial being the installation of bike lanes that are separated from street traffic by physical barriers, on a back-burner. The bike lane on Oak Street is nonexistent and Fell Street’s bike lane has no barrier between it and the fast-moving street traffic, making it a dangerous thoroughfare for cyclists.
Ed Reiskin, Transportation Director for SFMTA, said that the labor-intensiveness of the projects along with some unforseen circumstances, like private construction along Oak Street, have caused the delays, not the agency’s lack of initiative in pursuing the projects.
In spite of these reassurances, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is requesting that both projects be completed by Bike to Work Day on May 9. And the SF Bike Coalition is not the only group frustrated by the delays and speaking out about it. In addition, to protests by individuals at the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting Tuesday, April 2, the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association sent a letter to the transit agency asking for the projects to be completed, saying that without the completed bike lanes, the streets are unacceptably dangerous for cyclists.