One week after cyclist Tess Rothstein, 30, was killed by a driver on Howard Street in San Francisco’s South of Market, a protected bike lane on the dangerous stretch was finished in record time.
“This is the fastest we’ve seen a protected bike lane go in the ground, and it goes to show that changes on our streets can happen quickly,” says Charles Deffarges, senior community organizer of San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “Now, we need to see this type of action on other streets, before someone is hit and killed, starting with Folsom and Howard from Embarcadero to 11th Street.”
Days after Rothstein’s death, and following an outcry from Mayor London Breed and District Six Supervisor Matt Haney, SFMTA removed parking on the block. (Rothstein was doored by the driver of a parked car. The dooring forced her to swerve out of the way and into traffic.) The protected lane was then implemented and finished by Friday, seven days after Rothstein died at the scene.
Unlike unprotected bike lanes, a protected bike lane has a buffer between the bike lane and the vehicular lane or street parking.
Here’s a map of protected bike lanes in San Francisco:
Noted by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition as one of the city’s most traveled bicycle corridors, Howard Street is also the location of several delayed street safety projects, including ones on Fifth Street, Seventh Street, and Townsend Street.
On Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Supervisor Haney, the SF Bicycle Coalition, grassroots advocates from People Protected Bike Lane, and YIMBY Mobility will gather on the steps of City Hall to hold a rally demand faster implementation of more protected bike lanes across San Francisco, including the entirety of Howard Street.