Safer Streets and Sidewalks in the Heart of San Francisco
As our city continues to grow and our streets become busier, we need to work harder and faster to ensure people can get around safely. Two projects currently underway, will soon create a safer and more welcoming environment for walking, biking, shopping and living in the Mid-Market area along Taylor and 6th streets.
These streets have been identified as a part of the city's High Injury Network (i.e. the 13 percent of city streets accounting for 75 percent of traffic injuries). We are implementing pedestrian and traffic calming improvements in the near term, as we work on more comprehensive longer-term changes. While the larger sidewalk widening projects will take more time to deliver, the “quick-build” safety projects on both streets will be delivered by the end of 2019.
Examples of quick-build improvements include road paint, signal timing changes, plastic posts, parking and loading changes. They also serve as demonstration projects that provide an opportunity for community feedback before we start construction of the final projects. The 6th and Taylor Street quick-build projects are just two of the ten projects that we have committed to in 2019.
Safer Taylor Street
Construction of quick-build improvements began on Taylor Street between Market and Sutter in mid-June. You can already see the changes on the street, which primarily removed a northbound lane from Golden Gate Avenue to Sutter Street. Over 90 percent of the collisions that occurred on Taylor in the last five years were a result of the street being over-built, resulting in speeding and unsafe maneuvers. We have already observed traffic moving at a more reasonable speed, making the neighborhood safer for everyone who lives, works or visits the community.
We also installed a new left turn signal on Taylor at Ellis Street, so that people who are crossing don’t have to worry about turning vehicles. All of these improvements are in advance of the larger streetscape project that will widen sidewalks and incorporate streetscape amenities like better lighting and more greenery, with construction starting next year.
6th Street Pedestrian Safety Project
To address a critical need for pedestrian safety, quick-build improvements on 6th Street will begin in mid-August. In the coming months, similar to the current project on Taylor, we will reduce 6th Street by one travel lane (southbound) to improve safety for everyone on the corridor. We are also adding pedestrian safety zones and removing the parking spaces closest to each intersection from Mission to Howard, motorists and sidewalk users will have a clearer view across streets and alleys on the corridor. Removing a southbound lane of motor traffic and restricting left turns from 6th Street onto Mission will reduce conflicts between vehicles and people on sidewalks and crosswalks. Further improvements, including sidewalk widening and community design enhancements are scheduled to begin construction in 2020.
More to Come
Both quick-builds will bring needed protection to vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, seniors, children and people with disabilities on one of the most traveled corridors connecting the Tenderloin and SoMa. These follow SFMTA’s efforts on Valencia and Howard streets earlier this year and will be followed by projects on 7th Street in Mission Bay, 5th and Brannan streets in SoMa and California Street in the Richmond. The projects represent our commitment to making our Vision Zero goal a reality.