After unexpected delays and a global pandemic that delayed it’s refurbishment, the new eastbound path in this important bike connection has finally come to fruition. The Hairball, where Potrero Avenue, Bayshore Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street collide and connect to Highway 101, is an amalgamation of roads, freeway overpasses, underpasses and multi-use paths.
It is a critical intersection between many southeastern neighborhoods including the Mission, Potrero Hill, The Bayview, and Bernal Heights. Providing bike and pedestrian access across Highway 101, it also serves as a key connection for people on bikes and pedestrians to access these areas of the city.
The Hairball has long been in need of updates, so in 2016 the tangled mass of infrastructure was divided into 15 segments labeled from A to O. This path, which covers sections F and G, is the most recent spot improvement and received significant work. It was lowered and regraded to create a safer slope with sufficient head space for people to travel safely under the overpass. It was also widened from 6 feet to 10 feet and sports new metal railings on each side leading to the underpass. Along with updates to the path, there were trees planted as well as a landscaped buffer installed.
Along with improvements to the path itself, agencies San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Caltrans have updated lighting in the area as well, with 30 new LED bulbs being installed earlier this month, with more in the coming weeks. Thanks to the work of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), Department of Public Works (DPW), and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the area will also be getting improvements that will be up for approvals this coming March. After facing neglect for a long time, it seems that the Hairball is slowly starting to untangle, allowing people on bikes to safely connect to and from our city’s southeastern neighborhoods.
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