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Next Steps for the West Portal Station Safety and Community Space Improvements Project

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May 2, 2024

Since launching the West Portal Station Safety and Community Space Improvements Project just over two weeks ago, we’ve heard feedback on the project proposal from thousands of community members. Thank you to those who completed the survey, attended pop-up events in the corridor or met with us as members of neighborhood, merchant or community groups. 

Several people stand in front of a table where a man in an SFMTA hat is speaking as a street corner.

Pop-up outreach on Monday, April 23 on West Portal Avenue at Vicente Street

While we are still reviewing all the feedback we received, we wanted to share what we’ve been hearing and how we’re using this feedback. 

  • There is broad agreement on the importance of improving traffic safety and diverging opinions about the connection between the proposals and the recent crash. While stakeholders had mixed opinions about the project proposals, there is broad agreement that West Portal should be safe for everyone who travels through the neighborhood. We heard diverging opinions on the connection between the crash and the project proposals. Some expressed the opinion that the streets around West Portal station function fine as is, while others expressed that the many conflict points at the station area are indicative of a problem that should be proactively solved.   

    • While a large focus of the SFMTA’s safety work is focused on re-designing streets where data shows a disproportionate share of severe and fatal collisions, we also want to be proactive in addressing high conflict areas that do not have a significant collision history. The SFMTA recommends safety improvements at the West Portal Avenue and Ulloa Street intersection based on traffic safety principles of minimizing the frequency at which pedestrians and vehicles conflict with each other. At a busy, multimodal intersection like this, drivers are also affected by stressors like vehicles behind them resulting in a sense of urgency and, at times, more aggressive driving. In addition to safety benefits, simplifying the intersection can make it calmer and less confusing for all people - whether walking, driving, biking or riding transit. 


  • Community members want to have focused discussions to get the details right and want a public forum to share their feedback directly with decision-makers. Supervisor Melgar, in collaboration with the West Portal Merchants' Association will convene the Welcoming West Portal Committee to provide a forum to collaboratively explore opportunities to refine and/or develop additional project proposals to address community concerns while preserving the project goal to improve traffic safety. We have heard from people who earnestly want more time to sit down around a table with community members who live, work or travel through West Portal to work together to identify the best solution.  Anyone interested in applying to serve on the committee can apply by May 7.  

    • We will also keep meeting with neighborhood, senior and community organizations to gather feedback and review all feedback that we have received thus far. 

    • The ultimate decision-makers for this project will be the SFMTA’s Board of Directors. The project team will consider changes to the project proposal and, when we finalize a proposed design, we will share this updated proposal with the community. In early June, we plan to hold a public hearing at the SFMTA Board, where community members can share feedback on the proposal directly with SFMTA Board members. The SFMTA Board would hear this feedback and provide direction to SFMTA staff on the proposal to bring back for a final decision 
  • Project implementation (if approved by the SFMTA Board) is best coordinated with the return of rail service on the L Taraval this fall. Because L Taraval construction has shifted traffic circulation in the neighborhood, waiting for the L Taraval project’s completion will allow traffic circulation to normalize and take some pressure off neighborhood arterial streets like Vicente Street and 14th and 15th avenues. Many community members provided this suggestion regarding implementation timeline and we agree.  

Design feedback. Some of the major areas of design feedback we have received include: 

  • Opportunities for additional safety and traffic calming measures. Many stakeholders have expressed interest in exploring whether there are additional locations within the West Portal neighborhood that would benefit from safety improvements as a part of the project proposals. This includes additional focus on locations near where the crash occurred such as considering traffic calming along Ulloa Street and improving safety at the Ulloa/Wawona intersection. It also includes considering whether traffic calming measures can be included in additional locations that may see increased traffic because of project proposals.  

  • Turn restrictions could make accessing businesses difficult or confusing for people driving. For example, we heard that the proposed restrictions on westbound traffic on Ulloa Street would make it less convenient to drive to the Ulloa/Claremont Lot or to businesses on West Portal Avenue between Ulloa and Vicente streets. 

  • Bus stops and terminal space on Ulloa Street pose challenges for businesses. We heard that the existing 48 Quintara-24th Street bus stop space on Ulloa Street between West Portal Avenue and Claremont Boulevard creates difficulties, including limiting curb space available for parking and loading and creating crowding on a narrow, busy sidewalk. With the project’s proposal to re-locate the 57 Parkmerced and 91 3rd Street/19th Ave Owl stops and terminal space in this location, businesses on this block expressed concern that the existing difficulties would be exacerbated. There is interest in considering alternate bus stop locations. 

What’s Next 

Tentative next steps for this project include: 

  • Several meetings of the Welcoming West Portal Committee, which is anticipated to begin weekly meetings the week of May 13. 

  • An informational presentation at an SFMTA Board Meeting in early June to provide an overview of the project proposals and feedback heard to date. This public hearing will include an opportunity for members of the public to share their feedback directly with the SFMTA Board. 

  • A presentation at an SFMTA Board Meeting this summer to consider transportation changes that require their approval (e.g. turn restrictions, transit lanes) 

  • August: potential start of implementation for beautification of the West Portal station entrance horseshoe (while maintaining all existing traffic circulation) 

  • Fall: potential start of traffic circulation changes, if approved by the SFMTA Board, linked to the return of L Taraval rail service. 

To be the first to know about next steps, including when the above meeting dates are finalized, sign up for project updates. Additionally, we have added a new Frequently Asked Questions page to address some of the common questions we have received.