A week ago, a local cyclist using the name Steve Sanders on YouTube uploaded some revealing (if not necessarily surprising) footage of the large homeless encampment along the bike path winding its way underneath the 101 freeway near Cesar Chavez Street. Turns out that was the tip of the iceberg.
The network of bike bridges and side paths known as “the Hairball” connects Bayview cyclists and others from southern lying neighborhoods to SoMa, Civic Center, and downtown. It also provides a popular harbor for San Francisco’s homeless population, going back decades.
Commenting on Curbed SF’s blog about the Sanders video, Bernal Heights cyclist Angela Logan provided a YouTube view of her own Hairball commute, which revealed bikeways even more crowded with tents, lean-to’s, and people coming and going.
At one point Logan must shout “Coming through!” to warn those up ahead of the impending danger of collision.
“My commute to CalTrain every morning,” Logan writes on the video. “When I have submitted a request for SF to address the issue, my open request get closed without any action by the city. More than once.”
Fellow bike commuter Chris Waddling provided his own similar footage to the San Francisco Examiner. In comments to the paper, Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s office promises to tame Hairball situation.
For the record, Sanders also uploaded a follow-up video a week later when he says the bike path was much less crowded than in his initial run, and said in comments that a neighbor on NextDoor used his original footage to recover a stolen bike.