New bike lanes, extended crossing zones and other traffic-calming measures on a three-block stretch of both Fell and Oak streets were approved Tuesday as part of a controversial plan that also will remove more than 50 parking spaces.
Cycling, pedestrian and transit advocates have been pushing for the project for more than a decade. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors unanimously approved the plan. Work is scheduled to start later this year.
The separated bike lanes will be installed along three-block stretches of Fell and Oak streets between Scott and Baker streets. The crosswalk extensions—called bulb-outs—will be added to 12 corners, and traffic signal lights will be altered to slow speeds on the notoriously fast-moving arteries.
“This will help people of all ages walking to and from some of the most beloved parks in San Francisco,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy organization. “For too long, the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park have been like islands in the middle of these freewaylike streets.”
Dozens of people spoke at the board meeting, with opinions split on the plan. Cyclists, pedestrians and some residents praised the plan, while motorists, business owners and others expressed concerns about the loss of parking spaces and the adverse impact on traffic flow.