Biking In The City’s Scenic Park Just Got Easier With Addition Of European-Style Bicycle System
Like many places, San Francisco has seen a huge increase in bicycle riders and a reduction in car traffic during the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking note of this, the Presidio has become even more bike friendly with the addition of Advisory Bikes Lanes, a system that is prevalent throughout Europe but new to the United States. The system is in place are along Graham Street on the Presidio’s Main Post.
These are the first Advisory Bike Lanes in California and Presidio Trust partnered with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to implement them in a two-year pilot program.
“As we confront climate change, we all have to find ways to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “At the Trust, we want to be a leader in showing how people can have great national park experiences without using a car.
“Advisory Bike Lanes are a way of making biking safer and more comfortable without reducing access by people who need to drive, such as folks with mobility challenges. We’re very excited to be a part of this innovative study.”
The Advisory Bike Lanes allow for two-way travel by people biking and driving. They also keep parking to one side of the street, an important benefit for bicycle riders.
They are used on narrow, low-volume, and low-speed roads, common to the Presidio. Vehicles share the center lane while bicyclists use the bicycle lanes on each side. When two cars traveling in opposite directions approach each other, they merge into the bike lane to pass, yielding to any cyclists who are present. This is similar entering a bike lane to make a right turn, a common practice.
The Trust expects yielding and passing maneuvers to be rare due to the low vehicle volume on Graham Street.
In addition to the Advisory Bike Lanes, the Trust recently formed a partnership with Bay Wheels to provide bike share with dockless e-bikes in the park and is completing other road projects to improve safety and comfort for people walking and biking in the park.
This includes the recent installation of a mini roundabout with protected bike lanes and additional crosswalks at the intersection of Lincoln and Girard, and additional separated bike lanes in other areas of the scenic park, which provides some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
During 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, car traffic in the Presidio dropped to less than half of pre-pandemic levels and bike traffic more than doubled.