Cyclists protest bike lane removal

January 16, 2009 4:15:26 PM PST
Bicyclists in San Francisco held a protest Friday over plans to remove a bike lane at a dangerous intersection.

The section of Market Street where the central freeway touches down has been the site of numerous car and bike accidents. Officials say many of the problems are caused by drivers trying to make an illegal right turn across the bike lane, and onto the freeway.

Now the Municipal Transportation Agency wants to remove the bike lane entirely. It claims forcing cars and bikes to merge will make the intersection safer. Bike advocates disagree.

"If we get rid of that island, and if we permit the merging of traffic, we really think there's going to be more conflict between bikes and cars, and it's going to make it even easier for folks to make that illegal turn. So we think this may cause even more collisions than the current situation," said Andy Thornley with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Bicyclists support an alternate proposal by the city planning department that includes a raised bike lane and colored pavement.