• Country

Is This the Way to Do It? Guerrilla Bike Lanes in San Francisco Were Made Permanent

By Monica Buck

A group of anonymous activists known under the name of San Francisco Transformation Agency managed to do what previously seemed impossible to happen. Following the tragic hit-and-run deaths of two cyclists last summer, they put out a set of soft-hit posts and built a protected bike lane alongside Golden Gate Park. Usually, this type of stuff does not last long, but amazingly, the authorities agreed with the activists and made the lanes permanent.

“Generally, we have no choice but to remove cones and posts that do not go through an official process because it’s a code violation to place objects in the roadway, and they could create conflicts for various types of traffic. In this case, our hope has been to install our own safe-hit posts, so we plan to leave these in until we can replace them,” reads the official statement of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Newly installed bike lane in San Francisco

The activist group SFMTrA, a play on the name of the city’s official agency, is an organization committed to making streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. According to their website, they use tactical urbanism to accomplish a range of objectives, including drawing attention to areas of the city that are unsafe for vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists and putting pressure on the public officials.

They usually use orange traffic cones to grab visual attention, but those are easily damaged and get lost very soon. The soft-hit posts seem to be doing a much better job. What do you think about this kind of activism? Do you see it as a threat to safety on roads, or quite the opposite? Let us know in the comments.