Nearly one year and plenty of controversies into the center-running bike lane on Valencia Street, the SFMTA has had enough of the complaining, and will consider moving the bike lane back to the curb side at next week’s meeting.

Since the unconventional and many would say confusing Valencia Street center bike lane was unveiled last summer, its unusual design as the only center-running bike lane in town has been blamed for a number of traffic collisions. On top of that, Valencia Corridor shop owners claim that the new bike lane has run them out of business, set one small business owner literally on a hunger strike to protest it, and has storefronts all up and down the street with signs in their windows declaring “This bike lane is killing small businesses and our vibrant community.”

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews

Well, after ten months of Valencia Street merchant bellyaching, the Chronicle reports that the SF Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) is finally going to consider scrapping the center bike lane design at their meeting next week. When the SFMTA approved the center bike lane in April 2023, it was approved as a “pilot program” that could be reversed if things were not working out.

Image: SFMTA

As a new replacement, the SFMTA will consider the protected curbside lanes that many transit advocates have been calling for all along. The above images are from Oakland, showing a new “floating parklet design” where parklets would be in between the bike lane and car traffic. They will also contemplate  a “curbside parklet design” where the bikes would weave around the parklets.

And the agency had previously indicated they might overhaul the bike lane design earlier this year, but they’ve been taking their time to make up their minds. And even if they do vote for returning the bike lane to the curb side of the street next week, the physical renovation of the street and bike lane would take at least seven months, so there will not be new curbside bike lanes until probably early 2025 at the soonest.

SFMTA will consider the scrapping the center bike lane for a new design at their Tuesday, June 18 Board of Directors meeting, which starts at 1 pm, which will be at City Hall Room 400, and will be broadcast live on SFGovTV2. And yes, they will be taking public comment, which is sure to last a number of hours.

Related: Valencia Street Center Bike Lane Causing Confusion, Exasperated Shops Say It's Ruining Business [SFNews]

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews