Protected bike lane approved for eastbound 13th Street

Bicyclists who bike in the eastbound direction on 13th between Folsom and Bryant streets will soon get a protected bikeway away from traffic.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors approved installing a painted buffer with safety hit posts on 13th from Folsom to Harrison streets and installing a parking-protected bikeway on 13th from Harrison to Bryant streets.

The SFMTA would remove 35 parking spaces to create the painted buffer bikeway.

Transit officials also plan to install dedicated right turn lanes from Folsom to Harrison streets. One of the dedicated right turn lanes will be for the Rainbow Grocery parking lot, said Jennifer Wong, a transportation planner for the SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets Division.

To accommodate the new parking-protected bikeway, the project includes reducing the traffic lanes from three to two on 13th Street between South Van Ness Avenue and Bryant Street in the eastbound direction, according to a SFMTA staff report.

Wong said there have been 57 collisions over the past five years on 13th between Folsom and Bryant. Thirty percent of those collisions involved cyclists, making the street a high-injury corridor in The City for bicyclists.

Wong said the 13th Street corridor is becoming popular route for bicyclists:

“13th Street is becoming an increasingly well-used cycling corridor that sees over 140 cyclists in the a.m. commute.”

The segment of 13th Street also connects to the north and south routes on Folsom and Howard streets and provides a connection for bicyclists from the Mission to Caltrain, said Wong:

“It also connects to other high-quality cycling facilities further along on Division Street including The City’s first protected intersection at Ninth and Division.”

Charles Deffarges, community organizer for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, said the project fills an important gap in The City’s bike network:

“This new bikeway will open up this portion of the bike network allowing people riding to connect directly to existing infrastructure along 13th and Division.”

The SFMTA anticipates to start construction sometime in the summer.