Pretty soon, bikers in San Francisco won’t just have the moral high ground over cars: They’ll literally ride on higher ground.
The city plans to install new elevated bike lanes that will not only keep cyclists safe from speeding cars, but also give them a better vantage point from which to flip off the drivers of said cars. Here’s CityLab with the details:
The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency will oversee the construction of an elevated pathway on Valencia Street in the southern Mission District. The curb-hugging lane will be raised about 2 inches above the road surface, and will measure 6-feet wide with an additional 5-foot “buffer zone.” The city will follow up with a handful of other raised lanes next year, all planned for areas with high rates of bicycle injuries.
Of course, this is already a thing in Europe, where cyclists rule and drivers drool:
Raised lanes are a relatively new concept in the United States, though they’ve been around for a while in Europe. The idea is that by jacking up the path a bit, motorists will be less likely to stray into cyclist space. Cyclists, meanwhile, won’t feel as compelled to ride on the sidewalk in heavy-traffic corridors. It’s a minimalist form of what’s known as a protected bike lane, and one that’s not as in-your-face as, say, defensive lines of bollards or planters.
You can imagine the city of San Francisco is a lot like a mom (let’s call her Fran) with three kids: the jerky eldest (Auto), the quiet middle child (Walker), and the quirky and rebellious younger one (…Bike? Wheeler?), and this is Fran’s way of saying “Auto, Bike — stop hitting each other! And leave your poor brother Walker alone; if he just wants to sit by himself and read, let him!”