After initial reports that work might not be done until the end of this year, crews have now started adding a bike lane to a stretch of Oak Street as part of a project approved last October.
On Thursday, workers began adjusting traffic lanes on Oak Street to allow for the creation of a bike lane on a three-block stretch between Scott and Baker streets, according to Paul Rose, a spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the project coordinator.
The agency’s board of directors approved the creation of bike lanes on Oak Street, along with the parallel-running Fell Street, more than six months ago after a decade of advocacy from cyclists. While the Fell Street path was installed fairly quickly, the Oak Street portion remained unfinished largely because of ongoing construction work at a nearby building.
In April, Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the transit agency, said he hoped to have the Oak Street lane finished by the end of the year.
Those delays frustrated the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, whose members vocally derided the slow progress. The transit agency seems to have heeded those concerns, as it now hopes to have the Oak Street bike lane done by this week; Bike to Work Day happens to be Thursday.
The work from Baker Street to Divisadero Street will be on a permanent bike lane on the artery, but because of the construction work at the intersection of Divisadero Street, a temporary bike lane will be added from that corner to Scott Street, Rose said.
“It has definitely been frustrating that it’s taking so long for a relatively small project to be completed,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the coalition. “What they’ve got up now isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world, but it’s an encouraging start.”
The work on Oak Street will eventually entail the removal of parking spots and meters, along with the installation of new signs and the modification of traffic signal timing, Rose said.