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17th Street plan adds bike lanes, deletes parking

Protected bike lanes may be in the future for a dangerous stretch of 17th between Church and Sanchez streets.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency held a second community meeting on Thursday night inside the Mission Police Station to bring a proposal of installing one-way protected bikeways along the curb on both sides of the street. A first community meeting was held in February.

Bicyclists have had to navigate on the block of 17th between Church and Sanchez streets where there are Muni rail tracks. Bicyclists frequently get their tires stuck in between the tracks, or hit potholes along the trackway.

The proposed one-way parking protected bike lanes on both sides of the street would eliminate a total of 45 on-street parking spaces, according to the SFMTA.

The one-way protected bike lanes will include green paint, concrete islands where possible, improving the pick-up and drop-off location for Everett Middle School, possible changes to the traffic signal to give bicyclists and pedestrians a head start, and new curb ramps around the intersections.

Officials said they will maintain driveway access for residents who live on the street.

Kelley Plasterer, a bicyclist who regularly uses 17th Street, said she would prefer the transit agency to remove the rail tracks, but was in favor of the proposal because bicyclists would not have to go around double-parked cars and into the rail tracks:

“That’s when you don’t have any option whether or not you hit the tracks.”

Plasterer said she had wiped out not from riding her bike, but on her motorized scooter when she maneuvered around a double-parked vehicle and into the rail tracks.

Data on the number of incidents involving bicyclists crashing on the Muni rail tracks is limited to reports of crashes from the San Francisco Police Department. There have been 13 incidents of bicyclists and one electric scooter who have crashing on the rail tracks.

The SFMTA has said they will not remove the rail tracks because transit officials will start using the 17th Street rail tracks for the F-Line historic streetcars to travel to and from the Cameron Beach Yard.

Patchwork on the pavement around the rail tracks has begun, but there are no plans to fully repave that portion of 17th Street, the SFMTA said. The public can report any additional pothole repairs through SF 311.

The SFMTA plans to hold a  public hearing on the proposal this summer.

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