Photographs & Text by John Entwistle, Jr., July 25, 2018.
The People Protected bike lanes movement is a relatively new phenomena in San Francisco. It is a truly grass roots cross of street theater, direct action and political/social networking in our local political battlefield of transportation planning and land usage. The idea is simple. Pick a problem area and show up in numbers during the evening rush hour wearing bright yellow tee shirts bearing the message: “Protected Bike Lanes Save Lives.” Lining up to separate the bike path from the roadway prevents drivers from using the bike path as a drop off zone.
These safety demonstrations provide a forum for journalists, politicians and activists to intelligently discuss bicycle safety in the places that need that discussion most. People Protected welcomed many politicians and has obtained some wonderful achievements in their short history of activism in San Francisco. I have attended most of these events as both an activist and as a photographer. Below are a few photos from some of the People Protected bike lane protests held in San Francisco. I will be adding more events to the list and for those interested in the upcoming actions I suggest following @PeopleProtected on Twitter.
Townsend Street — July 10, 2018
Two additional links for this Townsend Street people protected bike lane story. First a little background. We organized this action as a response to SFMTA suddenly announcing at the beginning of July that plans that had been years in the making to upgrade the safety of this street were being shelved indefinitely. Here’s the story and a few additional details as well. And as a result of our actions and the wonderful journalism that it inspired SFMTA backed down from their earlier decision and protected bike lanes for Townsend Street are going to be installed in the very near future. Here’s the latest on that. And this campaign also included a serious visit to our friends at the SFMTA Board of Directors for their monthly meeting. StreetsBlogSF reporter Roger Rudick covered that highly successful day in this article.
Market Street at Valencia — May 9, 2018
Bike to work Day — May 10, 2018
Howard Street at 7th Street — May 2, 2018
Upper Market Street — March 22, 2018
Market Street above Octavia — December 4, 2017
Supervisor Jeff Sheehy was a bike messenger as a young man and attended almost every People Protected Bike Lane protest of this series. Jeff was very active for us in City Hall where he sponsored legislation to create a protected bike lane on Valencia Street and he was active in getting the SFMTA to upgrade the bike lane shown in this demonstration. (Just out in front of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on Market Street.) This path is now protected and the car parking along the curb has been removed. These protections are the entire block on both sides of Market Street dramatically enhancing the safe passage of bicycles through this vital corridor.
The following pictures show this wonderful new bike infrastructure that was the direct result of grass roots advocacy reflected in the People Protected bike lane protests seen above.
Valencia Street — September 14, 2017
This was one of several People Protected bicycle safety demonstrations held on this part of Valencia Street. Supervisor Jeff Sheehy was very moved by these events and introduced legislation in City Hall to spend more than $140,000 on planning a new protected bike lane for Valencia Street. That work is ongoing. Below is the latest design considerations as of July, 2018. One of these will be selected.
More photos from other demonstrations at different locations featuring different politicians and people will be forthcoming. Other links of interest will also be added in the very near future.