Pedestrian Master Plan aims for a walker-friendly San Francisco

A citywide master plan is underway to make walking an attractive option to San Franciscans and to get people to leave their cars at home.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency planners Thursday presented their progress as they work to create a citywide Pedestrian Master Plan to guide the city toward more pedestrian-friendly streets

MTA Planning Director William Lieberman said he hopes the plan will help improve pedestrian safety and access for disabled people.

“Walking is the glue that binds the city together,” he said.

The pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco reported March 15 that at least 13 pedestrians have been hit and killed by vehicles in San Francisco since last August.

The MTA has a budget of $535,000 for the creation of the master plan, MTA spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said. Of that money, $320,000 comes from funds raised by Proposition K, the half-cent sales tax renewed until 2030 in the 2003 election. Of the remainder, $90,000 will come from fines on red light runners and $125,000 will come from the Mayor's Office on Disability.

Work on the master plan began in earnest in January. It is slated to be finished in the summer of 2007. But not everyone is happy with the resources being dedicated to creating the master plan. Supervisor Fiona Ma's spokesman Bill Barnes said The City had enough plans.

“Some action is required now,” he said. Ma co-chairs the transportation committee.

Tom Radulovich, a BART director and executive director of the urban environmental advocacy group Transportation for a Livable City, said he would prefer to have pedestrian interest included in an overall streetscape plan, and not promoted separately.

Once the plan is completed it will be subject to approval by the MTA board and the city's Board of Supervisors, Lynch said. After that, it will guide funding priorities for Prop K monies administered by the San Francisco Transportation Authority. A variety of agencies will execute the plan's recommendations.

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