Bicycle activists make some improvements to dangerous stretch of Golden Gate Park

Some San Francisco cyclists say they're frustrated by the city's inaction to make streets safer so, they've taken a rather drastic step themselves to improve a dangerous turn near Golden Gate Park.

The curve into the eastern side of Golden Gate Park near JFK and Kezar Drive can be scary for cyclists.
That's why a group of vigilante cyclists who wish to remain anonymous installed 10 barriers called safe hit posts to give cyclists their own space, separate from cars.

"I'm not against a little bit of anarchism," said Dr. Elliott Isenberg of San Francisco, who noticed the posts today.
Normally an installation project like this would be the city's job but folks with SFMTrA- a play on SFMTA- or the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency decided they couldn't wait any longer.

"I think, you know, it takes the city a long time to put anything in motion," said Ricardo Gonalez, who helps manage Avenue Cyclery on Stanyan. "And it's great to see someone take that into their own hands and just make it happen."

In a surprise twist, the city said the barriers could stay, at least until permanent ones could be secured.
The SFMTA says it has avoided putting up safe hit posts in the past because it didn't have street sweepers small enough to fit between the curb and the posts. In the past those posts have been so badly damaged that they have to be replaced repeatedly.

According to the SFMTA, "Public Works recently purchased smaller street sweepers that are already operational in some locations. That is why the SFMTA can install permanent posts, pending a final design review process.

"I bike through there every day so it's definitely safer for me," said Ricardo Gonzalez. "It keeps the cars at bay and it keeps them from wanting to go into the bike lane so that's definitely great!"

The AFMTrA says it installed the barriers in about 15 minutes in broad daylight last week. The cost was $300 total. And while the vigilantes told KTVU the fix was quick and easy, they want to draw attention to the importance of accelerating work on larger projects, whole street transformations that will make pedestrians and cyclists safer.