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Ben Jose

Friday, May 19, 2017

Two photos of a man in costume as the Vision Zero Hero, wearing a cape, a wig, a bicycle helmet and eye mask, holding a speed radar and sign that says, "SPEED LIMIT 25."
The Vision Zero Hero at Bike to Work Day on May 11.

As San Francisco opens its arms this Sunday to Bay to Breakers, its annual tradition of costumes, revelry and (a bit of) athletics, a new participant will be in the mix: the SFMTA’s Vision Zero Hero.

If you plan to join the event, keep your eyes peeled for a photo op with our caped safety hero, who will run (or let’s be honest – jog) in the race to call attention to Vision Zero, the citywide effort to end traffic fatalities. The Vision Zero Hero is among San Francisco’s newest mascots, and will join caped heroes in other major cities in advocating for safer, more livable streets.

Friday, March 24, 2017

From Friday, March 31 to Friday, April 7, the SFMTA is closing off a small segment of northbound Octavia Street, from Linden to Hayes streets, for the Octavia Open Street events that will experiment with opening this block for people who want to walk or bike more in the neighborhood. Through our ongoing community outreach work on the Octavia Boulevard Enhancement Project, we’ve heard a clear and consistent neighborhood interest in creating more public space and creating livability improvements near Patricia’s Green. 

People sitting in chairs and bicycles parked in a public space next to Patricia's Green park on Octavia Street near Hayes Street.

This open streets event won’t just help us evaluate how a closure like this would work. It will highlight the overall public realm opportunities along this popular boulevard for everyone in the area.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rendering of the Wiggle
“Neighborway” projects will combine traffic-calming design features like raised crosswalks and sidewalk bulb-outs, like those seen in this rendering for the Wiggle Neighborhood Green Corridor Project.

Neighborhood streets should feel quiet, safe and inviting, especially to walk and bike to nearby destinations like parks, schools and shops. But residential streets often need design help to feel truly welcoming, especially if you’re taking kids along for the journey.

As laid out in our new Pedaling Forward document this week, we’re launching a new type of street design project called “neighborways.” Open houses for the first of these projects — on Page Street and 8th Avenue — will take place this Saturday and next week (more on those below).

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A view of the newly upgraded intersection of 9th and Division streets, looking west down Division.
The newly upgraded intersection of 9th and Division streets, looking west down Division.

San Francisco’s first “protected intersection” is ready for a spin at 9th and Division streets.

Protected intersections use simple design concepts to make everyone safer. Instead of requiring people driving and biking to look over their shoulders for one another, traffic movements are arranged so that everyone can see what's going on by simply looking forward.

We were thrilled to unveil this forward-looking design in San Francisco yesterday with Mayor Ed Lee and our partners at SF Public Works and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Friday, December 2, 2016

Folsom Street with car traffic and bicycle riders in a bike lane.

How can we make Folsom and Howard streets in SoMa better and safer? Share your ideas at one of our two open house events next week.

We’re kicking off the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project to look at ways to make these streets safer and provide better options to get around in the growing South of Market neighborhood.

Next week, we’ll collect input on how to do that at two open house events on Thursday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 10. We’re hosting two similar open houses to help ensure people with a variety of schedules can come, but both events will feature the same materials, information and opportunity to provide feedback.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Parking-protected bike lanes, Muni boarding islands and pedestrian safety measures are bound for 7th and 8th streets in the South of Market District.

On Tuesday, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved sweeping improvements that will make 7th and 8th streets, between Market and Folsom streets, safer for everyone.

View of plan for 8th and Howard streets.
A view of the plan for 8th and Howard streets, with a parking-protected bike lane and Muni boarding island on 8th. Painted safety zones are shown in yellow at street corners. Full plan views are available on the project webpage.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A view of busy Mission and 19th streets, with a painted safety zone on the sidewalk corner.
A painted safety zone at Mission and 18th streets.

When it comes to making pedestrians safer, painted safety zones work.

Painted safety zones are the khaki-colored painted areas, flanked by flexible white posts, which wrap around a growing number of sidewalk corners in San Francisco on streets like Polk and 2nd.

Painted safety zones are a relatively cheap and quick measure to make pedestrians safer. While that may seem intuitive, we put the theory to the test by collecting safety data at eight locations (listed below) before and after they were installed.

Here are our three key findings on the effects of painted safety zones:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A new type of safer intersection design for San Francisco breaks ground this week: The city’s first “protected intersection” treatment is coming to 9th and Division streets.

Protected intersections use a simple design concept to make everyone safer. Under this configuration, features like concrete islands placed at the corners slow turning cars and physically separate people biking and driving. They also position turning drivers at an angle that makes it easier for them to see and yield to people walking and biking crossing their path.

“Earlier this month I issued an executive directive for city departments to accelerate our Vision Zero goal and make our streets safer,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Today, San Francisco’s first protected intersection is breaking ground on 9th and Division and we will continue to deliver more safety improvements through engineering, education and enforcement to make our streets safe for everyone.”

Illustration of a protected intersection.
How a protected intersection works. Video screenshot from Nick Falbo/Vimeo.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

If San Francisco’s 2015 Annual Bicycle Count Report is any indication, today we should see another record-breaking number of wheels spinning along city streets. City leaders, agencies and community partners took to two wheels once again for San Francisco’s 22nd Annual Bike to Work Day, which sees some of the highest participation in North America.

SF’s Annual Bicycle Count Report, released last month, showed a whopping 184 percent growth in ridership since 2006, according to counts at 19 intersections across the city. From 2014 to 2015, weekday bike commuter trips jumped 8.5 percent – an increase of 200,000.

Those who ride in for Bike to Work Day 2016 might notice a couple of new additions to the city’s bike network.

A woman bikes down a street past a bike wayfinding sign posted on a street light pole.

One of our new bike wayfinding signs on Hugo Street in the Inner Sunset.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The intersection of Folsom and Essex streets is now safer and saner for everyone.

Last week, we installed a curbside bike lane and bike signal on eastbound on Folsom, between 2nd and 1st streets. That eliminates the need for people on bikes to make a harrowing maneuver to merge across two lanes of heavy vehicle traffic turning right towards a freeway on-ramp. People walking also now have a dedicated signal phase to cross the intersection before right-turning vehicles get a green light.

A daytime view of the improved intersection at Folsom and Essex streets with a man and woman bicycling through as cars wait behind. Another photo shows a traffic signal displaying a green bicycle signal.

Bicycle commuters pass through the intersection at Folsom and Essex streets with separate signal phases for bikes and turning cars.