17th Street Quick-Build finally crosses the finish line

Last Tuesday, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the 17th Street Quick-Build to build a parking-protected bike lane on 17th Street between Mississippi Street and Potrero Avenue!

What led to the delay?

The project received the greenlight for approval from the City’s traffic engineer last year in September. We were confident the project would get final approval from the SFMTA Board of Directors by the end of the year and were gravely disappointed when that did not happen. Even with overwhelming support from residents and neighborhood associations like Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association, the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, and the South Beach Rincon Mission Bay Neighborhood Association, the project remained in limbo for six months over parking concerns from a handful of local businesses. 

MTAB hearing recap

Those concerns were brought to light during public comment and were clearly addressed in the SFMTA staff presentation and by the Board of Directors. The project will remove 155 on-street parking spaces along 17th Street and Mississippi Street while the new Flower Mart parking garage will provide 205 parking spaces to members of the public during off hours. 

We commend SFMTA staff for working diligently on addressing these concerns and to the SFMTA Board of Directors who said during a February hearing, “We will not compromise people’s safety for parking.” We were very heartened by the Board upholding that commitment in one of the most robust discussions about biking and parking we’ve heard to date. 

Our thoughts

17th Street is a critical east-west corridor for people on active transportation. We know protected bike lanes improve safety for all people on active transportation and this project moves us towards our goals of a citywide, interconnected network of people-prioritized mobility corridors. While we celebrate this success, it is important to remember that delaying projects means putting people’s safety at risk , not to mention this project is only one segment of the entire 17th Street corridor which needs improvements. The SFMTA must prioritize a protected bike lane along the entirety of 17th Street to keep people on bikes and active transportation safe. 

Lastly, this project would not have been possible without the work of our amazing member and advocate, Peter Belden. For almost four years, Peter has tirelessly advocated for protected bike lanes on 17th Street and has shown up consistently to every milestone of this project. We’re grateful for all the work Peter has put into this project. Our members are the power behind our organization and we need your help to keep the momentum going and make sure the SFMTA commits to working on the entirety of 17th Street immediately.

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