Transit officials in San Francisco are expected to unveil a suite of street safety improvements in the Bayview on Saturday designed to calm traffic and create dedicated space for cyclists and pedestrians.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will reveal a reduced number of traffic lanes from four to two along Evans Avenue, Hunters Point Boulevard and Innes Avenue between Jennings and Earl streets, and newly implemented protected bicycle and pedestrian lanes on Evans Avenue and Hunters Point Boulevard.
“This is something the community has been looking forward to for a while,” said Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, who represents the area. “This traffic calming measure will make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and people who drive. We have a lot of work to do in the area of making our streets safer and steps like this let our residents know this is important and we will keep working to make people safe.”
The improvements stem directly from the Bayview Community-Based Transportation Plan, approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in February 2020 after nearly two years of community engagement from an agency long criticized by Bayview residents for its lack of outreach.
Architects of the plan included not just transit professionals and planners, but the people who live in the neighborhood and have had to contend with the difficulties created by lack of reliable transit, limited mobility options and lackluster streetscapes and safety measures.
“The Bayview Community-Based Transportation Plan started by meeting the community where they’re at, and listening closely to their needs,” SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin said in a statement. “Then we worked with the community to establish clear action priorities.”
The plan includes 101 total mobility-related projects, big and small, that together constitute a road map for how The City can help residents enjoy better transit and street safety.
With the traffic lane reduction and protected bike lanes to be revealed on Saturday, 41 of these projects will have been completed, with nine more on the way. Previous work includes crosswalk re-striping, deployment of Muni support staff and placement of barricades on existing bike paths.
Funding for the most recent set of improvements came predominantly from Proposition K, a half-cent local sales tax passed by voters in 2003 to fund transportation efforts. The revenues were doled out by the County Transportation Authority.
Additional dollars to support the entire community-generated plan come from a combination of sources, including a $4 million pledge from the SFMTA made in Spring 2018 to deliver on-the-ground transportation improvements.
SFMTA sought to involve the community in the latest changes in a unique way.
Working with the Box Shop, a collaborative that provides studio workspace to local artists, the agency commissioned murals from six artists who live or work in the Bayview, to paint the concrete barriers along both sides of Evans Avenue and Hunters Point Boulevard with designs that reflect the culture of the neighborhood.
Artists include Claudio Talavera-Ballon, Tanya Herrera, Rhonel Roberts, Ira Watkins, Afatasi The Artist and Malik Seneferu.
“It is wonderful that four Black artists with studios at the Hunters Point Shipyard are painting murals and bringing the art out from the Shipyard into the community,” said Barbara Ockel, President of the Shipyard Trust for the Arts. “We appreciate the SFMTA for their thoughtful inclusive project.”