by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt
Ever since the Embarcadero was uncovered from beneath a freeway more than two decades ago, San Franciscans’ appetite for a more people-friendly waterfront only seems to have grown…
At a series of recent public design workshops this month, groups of attendees were asked to put together a display of how they’d re-allocate street space on the Embarcadero. The main idea was to figure out how to provide a protected bikeway, so that riders of all ages can enjoy the popular waterfront without having to mix it up with either motor vehicles or crowds of pedestrians on the shared sidewalk.
At one of the workshops, two groups suggested that half of the roadway, on the waterfront side, be dedicated primarily to walking and biking, even if it includes a shared-space zone where delivery drivers can move through slowly for loading. Finding a design that allows deliveries to safely co-exist with the bikeway seems to have been the main challenge since the SFMTA launched its redesign process in July…
There were a handful of attendees who wanted to see little change to the status quo. Rick Hall, who identified himself as a driver, said he sees “a lot of potential for the [design] process to not be fair and open,” and that the project is symbolic of “San Francisco’s war on cars, that I have awakened to.”
Hall said he sees a ”built-in bias” in the design process towards bikes and people, exemplified by the size of the paper traffic lane templates workshop participants used. Participants could place 10-foot-wide traffic lanes on their design board — not wide enough for buses — while the bikeway could be eight to 12 feet, he said.
If you want to keep your lifestyle alive, you better get out and let the SFMTA and your Supervisors know what you want.