Protected Bike Lanes: The Basic Idea

The basic idea behind the bike lane is that it is protected from car traffic. There are many ways to create protection, from plastic bollards, planters, parked cars and much more.

Protected bike lanes have been common throughout Asia and Europe for decades, and have finally become the go-to design option in the U.S. over the last decade, researched and endorsed by national and local transportation boards.



Tour Bike Networks Around the World


Protected Bike Lanes in San Francisco

San Francisco already has low quality protected bike lanes on small parts of Polk Street, JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and Market Street. And a few other projects are in planning or construction.

What would high-quality protected bike lanes look like in San Francisco? The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has published renderings of protected bike lanes on key streets in San Francisco as part of its excellent (but inactive?) Connecting the City campaign.


Central Market Street


Polk Street




Photo Credits:
  • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
  • NACTO Urban Bikeway Guide