Brendan P. Bartholomew/Special to the S.F ExaminerPlanned upgrades on Geneva Avenue are part of Daly City’s efforts to improve the Bayshore neighborhood.

Geneva Avenue in Daly City set to receive bike lanes, pedestrian safety upgrades

Bike lanes and pedestrian-safety enhancements will soon be added to the Daly City portion of Geneva Avenue.

The improvements, which will stretch from Bayshore Boulevard to the San Francisco border, will include painted bicycle lanes, traffic-calming pedestrian bulb-outs at various intersections, and upgrades designed to make those intersections safer and more accessible for people with disabilities.

The planned bulb-out sidewalk extensions along Geneva are designed to encourage motorists to slow down as they approach intersections, and to reduce the distance pedestrians must travel as they cross intersections.

Regarding the accessibility improvements, city Public Works Director John Fuller said many of the wheelchair ramps on Geneva were put in place years ago and are too steep to meet current Americans With Disabilities Act standards. In addition to the installation of fully compliant ramps, Fuller said the intersections will also receive raised surfaces that provide tactile feedback to people with visual impairments who use canes. He said the surfaces let blind people know when they’re about to step off curbs and into intersections.

At a recent City Council meeting, Councilman Mike Guingona praised City Manager Pat Martel and her staff for putting together applications to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the City/County Association of Governments that secured $450,000 worth of improvements to Geneva Avenue with the use of just $75,000 in Daly City funds. Guingona later said that after identifying the need for bike lanes on the thoroughfare, staff determined that funding was available under the Transportation Development Act, which provides for the planning and construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as route improvements.

Daly City’s matching funds of $75,000 would come from gas taxes collected by the city, Guingona said. He stressed that because the money comes from an earmarked fund, the project isn’t taking funds away from other municipal needs or services.

“This is not coming out of the city’s general fund or savings,” Guingona noted. “We’re not doing this instead of doing other things we’re tasked with.”

The councilman said the new bike lanes tie in with other projects to improve Daly City’s Bayshore neighborhood, such as the recently approved PG&E utility undergrounding project, designed to beautify Geneva Avenue by eliminating aboveground utility poles and wires. Another improvement project is the recently launched SamTrans Bayshore Shuttle, which provides free east-west bus service to connect residents with north-south transportation corridors.

“Not only does this tie in with those projects, but it also goes along with our trend, which is to provide more services and improvements to the Bayshore,” Guingona said.

Guingona, who is a member of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, said he’d like to see better integration so that bike routes in any area city are more likely to be connected to routes in adjacent cities. He plans to meet with representatives of the Peninsula chapter of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to discuss ways of making Daly City even safer for bicyclists.

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