Market Street and Octavia Boulevard is the Joan Rivers of San Francisco intersections, says an article in The Bay Citizen Bike Accident Tracker. No matter how much work is done on it, this dangerous bicycle intersection is still a wreck and is causing bicycle accidents in San Francisco.
The intersection was the site of the most bike accidents over the past two years. The primary cause is cars making illegal right turns from Market Street onto the Octavia freeway onramp, while cyclists are cruising along together down the side of Market Street in the bike lane.
Much attention has been paid to this interaction in the form of:
Three “No Right Turn” signs added
Straight vertical arrows installed into the traffic signal
“No turn” painted onto the pavement
White pylons added to protect the bike lane
Larger signs added to show the right way to get onto the highway
Signs added to warn bikers
Concrete islands installed separating the bike lane from the road
Illegal right turns still occur, unfortunately, to the cyclists’ detriment causing bicycle accidents–six in 2009, eight in 2010 alone. Numbers have increased along this route as more San Franciscans are choosing to ride bikes over cars.
As a San Francisco Bicycle Attorney I am always trying to look out for the safety of cyclists who have bravely chosen to ride their bicycles instead of further polluting our air by driving their car. I blogged about this intersection at least two years ago in our Injury Board blog as it’s one of the more familiar dangerous streets of San Francisco. Sadly, the hopeful, healthy choice to commute by bike made by many bicycle riders’ often leads to danger from motorists and to severe personal injuries.
While the City of San Francisco seems to be making efforts to improve dangerous intersections as the one illustrated here, there is only so much that can be done to protect the more vulnerable cyclist.
Please ride defensively. If you or anyone you love has been injured while cycling on one of the busy San Francisco streets, please feel free to call me or send me an email. Even if your case is not worth hiring an attorney, I try to help with free advice when you call.