A woman was struck on 6th and Howard streets on Friday, March 8, 2019. The truck that struck her is on the left in this photo. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A woman was struck on 6th and Howard streets on Friday, March 8, 2019. The truck that struck her is on the left in this photo. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

SF pledges new ‘action plan’ for dangerous streets

Ten people have died in traffic collisions on San Francisco’s streets this year — and now those deaths are spurring action.

The City is implementing a new “quick-build” strategy to implement easy, fast fixes to the most dangerous corridors for people walking or on bikes.

At the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors regular meeting on Tuesday, Tom Maguire, the agency’s director of sustainable streets, said the effort will make streets safer without waiting years for action.

“There’s no reason to wait for a long drawn out process,” Maguire told the board.

While street-specific information on engineering fixes were not immediately available, they generally include posts along bike lanes, green paint to make bike lanes more obvious to drivers, “daylighting” techniques like removing some parking to make crosswalks more visible, adjusting walk signal timing, and modifying paint at crosswalks to be more visible to drivers, among other changes.

Streets scheduled for safety engineering improvements include Sixth, South Van Ness, Market Street, Hyde Street, Van Ness, Turk, Geary, Polk, Mission, Broadway, and Masonic. Some of those efforts to make walking and bicycling safer are rolled into existing projects, like the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project, or Better Market Street.

The SFMTA also will continue safety engineering efforts on Howard, Townsend and Valencia streets.

Those fixes are slated to be completed by the end of 2019.

The “quick-build” approach was partially inspired by the agency’s recent work on Howard Street, in South of Market, Maguire said.

After Tess Rothstein, a Berkeley resident, was struck and killed while riding her bike on Howard in early March, cyclist and pedestrian advocates cried out for safer streets. Following sustained advocacy from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, People Protected Bike Lanes, Walk San Francisco and others, the SFMTA installed light-weight posts to create a physical barrier between cyclists along Howard Street.

“That action leads to a question, ‘Why can’t you do this on every street?’” Maguire said. “It’s a good question.”

Importantly, San Francisco has a map called the “high-injury network” that shows where people are injured and killed in collisions most often. That map will inform where a suite of bicycling and pedestrian improvements will be installed by the end of 2019.

Charles Deffarges, a senior community organizer at the bike coalition, spoke skeptically of the plan at the SFMTA board meeting.

“That’s a good start, but the list could be bigger,” he told the board. Deffarges added that many of the projects slated to net quick-build improvements “had significant design and outreach work done already,” but other dangerous streets with less work already complete were left off the list.

But Kevin Stull, who sits on the San Francisco Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee, a citizen group, expressed optimism to the SFMTA.

Those fixes are “definitely one hundred percent” needed, he said. “I’m in full support.”

joe@sfexaminer.com

Transit

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

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

Most Read