While the people of planet Earth has mostly forgotten about the BP Gulf disaster and gone on with whatever it is we normally do, a small group of San Francisco radicals continue to keep the fire of indignation burning through direct action against a BP supplied gas station.
The Arco/BP gas station on Fell at Divisadero consisently sells some of the cheaper gasoline in San Francisco. Naturally, car drivers like to fill up at this station, and large numbers of motorists frequently line up in the bike lane along one-way Fell waiting for their turn to fill up.
This section of Fell Street is also part of the very popular Wiggle bike route that connects the City’s major eastern and central neighborhoods with the western neighborhoods while bypassing major inclines.
The continued bike lane blockage at the Arco station has annoyed some San Francisco cyclists for some time, so when the BP spill occurred, Josh Hart and a few others in the SF bike community took the opportunity to draw attention to what our dependence on oil for transportation does to our cities. They started out with calls to boycott the station. More recently, they barricaded the Fell Street entrance to prevent motorists from driving into the station from that direction. (The Divisadero Street access remains open).
Last Friday, several laid down at the Fell Street entrance demanding that the removal of the Fell Street curb cut for cyclist safety. The U Locks around their necks were cut off by the fire department and the demonstrators were arrested.
If you’d like to know more about what these folks are doing, here are a few starting points:
- Fix Fell is the website run by the main organizer, Josh Hart. Disclosure: I consider Josh a friend of mine. He’s willing to go far beyond what I’m willing to do in the name of cyclist safety.
- Aggressive Panhandler on on some changed traffic patterns when that gas station closed for other reasons.
- Chris Carlsson (the guy who invented Critical Mass) has photos, videos and his throughts on the Fell Street protests.
Every Friday night @ Fell & Divis if you’d like to see it.
It's kind of funny that some bicyclists are complaining that motorists are following the law and doing the safe thing, merging into the bike lane before turning. The alternative would be for motorists to stay in the main travel lane and do a right hook across the bike lane when turning into the station.