Bike lanes to shift toward sidewalk in SoMa

Protected-parking bike lanes are coming to Seventh and Eighth streets as part of near-term improvements for both streets.

The new protected bike lanes will include the location where bicyclist Katherine Slattery was hit and killed by a motorist at the intersection on Seventh and Howard streets in the South of Market area last June.

SFBay previously reported that a protected bike lane will be created on the east side of Seventh Street from Cleveland to Market streets, while the protected bike lane on Eighth Street will be on the west side of the street running from Harrison to Market streets.

Construction will start sometime this winter and the expected completion is May 2017.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors approved most of the changes on the Seventh and Eighth streets safety project on Tuesday, though directors decided to hold off from approving changes to the 19-Polk Muni bus route.

The proposal had called for a reroute of the 19-Polk because of difficult merges and turns on the current route, but the proposed reroute would skip the San Francisco Public Main Library stop at Larkin and Grove streets.

Tom Fortin, chief of the main library, said library patrons spoke in favor of keeping the bus current bus stop after the transit agency held an information sessions on the proposed changes last month:

“The responses we’ve heard have been overwhelmingly against the proposed relocation of the 19-Polk northbound bus stop from Larkin and Grove to McAllister and Hyde.”

Fortin said the library has heard from the public, staff, blind and low vision library patrons and patrons with mobility disabilities, who benefit from having a bus stop in front of the library.

He added that library patrons and staff members perceive the proposed new location at Larkin and Hyde streets as less safe:

“Our patrons and staff have expressed concern that this location with high crime and relatively lower foot traffic and visibility, would put riders waiting at that location for the 19-Polk at greater risk especially at night.”

Directors said they would come back in three months if SFMTA staff can find an alternative solution.