Safety Improvements Needed for All at the Hairball


Despite upcoming infrastructure improvements for the Hairball, the issue of tent encampments blocking the public right of way has been persistent, creating dangerous conditions for all involved.

Both people biking and living in the area face safety concerns under existing conditions. We need to push for immediate and long-term fixes to this issue now. See our Executive Director, Brian’s letter to the Mayor and Supervisors below. Now we need you to add your name to our call to bring real solutions to the Hairball.

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Dear Mayor Lee, Supervisor Ronen and Supervisor Cohen:

I write today to call your attention to unsafe conditions both for people biking and those experiencing homelessness at the Hairball, and also to request your leadership in delivering solutions.

The Cesar Chavez, Bayshore and Potrero intersection underneath the 101 Highway, commonly referred to as the “Hairball,” is one of San Francisco’s most important bike routes. This location is one of the only ways that people can bike between the Mission and northern neighborhoods to the southeast of the city.

The presence of encampments obstructing the bike lane has quickly become the biggest safety issue for people riding through this area. This overlap between a well-used bike route and a large encampment site creates dangerous conditions for everyone. People riding face large obstacles in the right of way while people living risk collisions with rush hour-levels of bicycle traffic. We need an immediate solution so that people experiencing homelessness have adequate space that does not block the existing path.

Given the current situation, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for urgent action as follows:

  • Create immediate changes to the bike path and surrounding areas to open up space, preventing encampments overlapping with the bike path.
  • Begin planning for a future a navigation center or other transitional housing dedicated to the residents of the 101 interchange.

We are calling on you, our elected leaders, to work with our City departments and implement these changes that will make this dangerous intersection a safe place to live and bike in. Thank you for your attention on this pressing safety issues for all people presently using the Hairball bike path. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and our 10,000-plus members look forward to working together on opportunities to improve safe passage for people biking while creating safer conditions for people experiencing homelessness.


Brian Wiedenmeier

Executive Director

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