As the evidence backing protected bike lanes as a helpful safety measure mounts and infrastructure policies fail to keep up, guerrilla efforts have been on the rise. In Wichita, Kansas, one brave soul created a protected lane from plungers. In Boston, another separated a bikeway from cars with flower pots and traffic cones.
The “human bike lane” went up Monday on Golden Gate Avenue near the intersection with Market Street, StreetsblogSF reports. It was organized by SFMTrA (which stands for San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency), and is a “collective organization of men and women committed to making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and doing it quickly,” according to the group’s website.
About 15 people showed up in yellow T-shirts and “stood, arm to arm, in the buffer of the existing bike lane on Golden Gate,” according to Streetsblog. Along with keeping cyclists safe from cars, the lane was also an act of protest against two street safety projects that had, in SFMTrA’s view, been watered down.
“The original [San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency] plan was to have a parking protected bike lane on both Turk and Golden Gate, but pushback from the San Francisco Fire Department and others got the city to propose a ‘Revised Block Design,’” according to Streetsblog. “This outraged cycling advocates, including the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which came out against the new Turk Street lane design.”
Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian.