Oct 21, 2011

Panhandle Pathway connections to East and West making news

News this week about changes to the connections for cycling to the east and west of the Panhandle:

To the west, one-way cycle tracks for John F. Kennedy Drive received strong support from Mayor Ed Lee and General Manager Phil Ginsburg and were approved by the Rec and Park Commission on Thursday Oct 20. The Rec and Park Department has been collaborating with SFMTA and conducting public outreach on the project for about a year. This project is important for folks who want to be able to continue their bike ride from the Panhandle Path, and continue west, without having to ride on the open roadway of JFK Ave alongside cars, buses, and trucks.

To the east, a project for Fell and Oak Streets between Scott and Baker has been moving forward under the SFMTA, with Luis Montoya as Project Manager. One-way cycle tracks on these streets could be installed if we either remove a lane of car parking or a travel lane. Montoya started talking with neighbors this summer, and helped us set up public meetings, including one on July 26 held in conjunction with NOPNA that was a forum to discuss how the proposed project might impact the Panhandle Park.

Last week, an SF Examiner story reported that the Haight Ashbury Improvement Association opposes all options under study in the Fell/Oak project. You can click to download HAIA's letter to the SFMTA. NOPNA & other neighborhood groups seem to be informing the community about the issues so that people can provide input and make a better end product. I'll continue to speak out about potential impacts on the already crowded multi-use path and the need for better street-path transitions, especially at Baker Street. I'll post info about what's next for this project as information becomes available. In the meantime, it seems like an opportune moment to let your elected representatives know your thoughts about the proposals and the process.

UPDATE: Luis Montoya from SFMTA replied to an email inquiry. He said that he is working on finalizing the exact time/place of public workshop that will happen in December. He also pointed out that it is too early to identify "one-way cycle tracks" as the only option under consideration for Fell/Oak; the two-way method is also being looked at. Even though the one-way option was chosen for JFK, the two-way configuration may have advantages for this very different project. 

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