SFMTA board to consider traffic calming measures for Dewey Boulevard area

A main residential corridor in the Forest Hill neighborhood awaits approval Tuesday by The City’s transit agency board for its share of Proposition K funds intended for traffic calming measures.

Dewey Boulevard – extending from Laguna Honda to a traffic circle joining Taraval Street, Claremont Boulevard, Kensington Way and Montalvo Avenue – and the area around it was prioritized for traffic calming due to high speeds, traffic volume, collision history and proximity to pedestrian-heavy sites like West Portal Elementary School and a number of churches.

From 2004 to 2010, 24 collisions were documented in the area and unsafe vehicle speeds accounted for about 40 percent of the incidents, said Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Speed was also an issue in a bicyclist’s fatal collision into a grass median in December 2011.

If transit agency board members OK the project, the streets around the boulevard would see new speed humps, speed cushions, raised crosswalks, median islands, sidewalk bulb-outs and traffic circles. The proposed modifications would require a vote by residents before construction is approved.

Over the past few decades, the neighborhood has become more clogged with vehicle traffic, mainly during commute hours, said Supervisor Norman Yee, who in October released a pedestrian safety improvement report for District 7 from the City Controller’s Office.

The Dewey Boulevard project is a sound approach, Yee said, because it involves traffic calming not only on the main artery but the surrounding streets where drivers tend to cut through to avoid congestion.

“This particular approach takes the whole area into consideration,” he said. “Hopefully it slows down everything to where it’s a little safer.”

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