Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Masonic Avenue: Where are all the cyclists?

Masonic geary plaza
This Hoodline story on Masonic Avenue (below in italics) reads like a City Hall press release, full of puffery and falsehoods.

The writer adopts City Hall's happy-talk terminology about "improvements" and that the new, unimproved Masonic is a "streetscape" project. 

In reality it's a $26 million bike project tarted up with some landscaping. (The city uses the same rhetorical strategy with the Polk Street bike project.) The only good thing about this project is the new pavement. 

That Masonic Avenue was unsafe for anyone ("notoriously dangerous") before this bike project is simply a lie that I deconstructed five years ago: Big Lie on safety to justify screwing up Masonic.

Not surprising that you rarely see any cyclists using the new green-painted bike lanes, which have been in place for weeks now. Few cyclists used Masonic before this bike project, and few will use it now that it's implemented. 

The city never had any information that many cyclists even want to travel North/South in this part of town. Apparently there aren't many.

The project was only "conceived" by the Bicycle Coalition and then implemented after a long campaign of lies and disinformation by the coalition and its allies in City Hall.

At 11:30 a.m. today a ribbon cutting ceremony, with Mayor London Breed, will officially mark the closure of the Masonic Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project, the years-long redesign of the central Masonic corridor between Geary Boulevard and the Panhandle.

Other city leaders expected to be present at the ceremony include SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, and a smattering of other local community leaders.

Initially conceived of 10 years ago and under construction for over a year, the project was designed "to safely and efficiently accommodate the needs of all roadway users," according to Public Works, including cyclists, motorists, public transportation and pedestrians.

With new bicycle-dedicated lanes, redesigned median and planter configurations, and a total overhaul of the Geary and Masonic intersection, the city is in the final stages of deeming corridor improvements complete.

In addition to giving the area's plantings a sprucing up, the bulk of the Masonic corridor improvements were designed with an eye towards improving pedestrian and bicycle safety in the area, which had long been notoriously dangerous.

Other local traffic improvements geared toward safety include a proposal for trimmed parking along the Panhandle's intersections and rerouted traffic at Scott and Fell.

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