Sun shines on Sunset corners in S.F.

Two of the Sunset district’s busiest intersections — where neighbors say near collisions between pedestrians and Muni metro trains are common occurrences — will receive long-awaited upgrades to increase safety and calm traffic.

A $250,000 project to install train-detection systems and countdown signals at the intersections at Ninth Avenue and Irving and Judah streets is in the works after neighborhood residents, pedestrian advocates and Muni officials raised concerns about dangerous conditions. The detection systems would provide exclusive train signals that would separate when trains, pedestrians and drivers cross the intersections.

The intersections serve high volumes of pedestrians, cars and transit vehicles and are home to a variety of restaurants, shops and bars at the heart of the Inner Sunset shopping district. The N-Judah — The City’s most heavily used metro train — travels through both intersections.

At a green light, pedestrians, drivers and Muni trains cross the intersections simultaneously. Oftentimes, pedestrians will hop in front of the trains without realizing train operators also have the right of way.

“I’ve seen a lot of near misses with seniors, the disabled, kids, cars — pedestrians don’t always see the train coming, and the train has to ring the bell or the horn,” said Greg Dewar, a San Francisco resident who blogs about Muni and the N-Judah. “If you separated pedestrians from traffic, at the very least you wouldn’t have the possibility of a train hitting a pedestrian.”

Oakland resident Joe Cohen, who used to live near Ninth Avenue and Irving Street, was visiting the neighborhood Wednesday. He saw an elderly woman slowly cross the intersection with a train advancing close behind her, waiting to turn.

“They compete,” he said. “Which comes first?”

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority recently awarded Muni $60,000 in Proposition K funds to begin the planning and conceptual engineering phase of the project. Pedestrians will have to sit tight for improvements, however, as the project is expected to stretch during the next year or two, according to reports from the authority.

arocha@examiner.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mohammed Nuru, head of SF Public Works, arrested in FBI corruption probe

A newly released federal complaint has detailed the stunning allegations that led… Continue reading

Housing at San Francisco’s Union Square? Maybe the time has come

This is no fantasy scenario; it’s real…if Sand Hill properties gets its way.

Preston, advocates pressure major landlord to sell buildings to city or nonprofits

San Francisco’s largest owner of rent-controlled properties is unwilling to entertain demands… Continue reading

SF police union calls for federal prosecution of man shot by police

San Francisco’s police union urged federal authorities to intervene Monday after newly… Continue reading

Most Read