Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project
Earlier this year, the SFMTA installed buffered bike lanes on Oak Street and Fell Street between Scott and Baker, including plastic “soft-hit” posts to add some physical separation from vehicle traffic and deter motorists from encroaching on the bike lanes. These changes have drastically improved bicycling conditions on these busy thoroughfares, but further enhancements are still to come.
The SFMTA is excited to announce that we have teamed up with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) so that the corner bulbouts that are planned for this project can be expanded and landscaped. The SFMTA also plans to make additional crosswalk upgrades, bikeway paving improvements, and add more permanent features to separate the bikeway from traffic in areas where driveway and emergency vehicle access would not be inhibited. A more complete project update is posted on our Project Description page.
As a result of these improvements on Oak and Fell, bicyclists report feeling safer and riding more often. Additionally, preliminary observations indicate a decrease in bicyclists riding on the sidewalk, an increase in traffic signal compliance by bicyclists, and a roughly 3-5 mile-per-hour reduction in vehicle speeds. A more complete analysis of our findings will be published in the project's final report.
No upcoming meetings have been posted
This project will implement improvements for people who walk and ride a bicycle along the Fell Street and Oak Street corridor between Scott Street and Baker Street by installing bikeways that are physically separated from motor vehicle traffic as well as various pedestrian safety and neighborhood greening measures. In order to accommodate wider bikeways, sidewalk extensions, and storm water management features within the existing right-of-way, the SFMTA has reallocated curbside space currently used for automobile parking along these three blocks.
In addition to carrying tens of thousands of cars each day, Oak Street and Fell Street are vital links in San Francisco's bicycle network, connecting the Panhandle bike path and the “Wiggle” bicycle route that serve thousands of cyclists. Oak and Fell Streets are the flattest, most direct connection from Market Street to the Panhandle path, Golden Gate Park and western neighborhoods.
Also, many people who live in this neighborhood or visit local businesses do not feel safe as they walk along and across these busy streets. In response to many requests from local residents, the SFMTA has investigated ways to improve neighborhood livability through pedestrian safety measures, landscaping improvements, and measures to calm vehicle traffic, and to attract new bicycle riders by adding a bikeway that is separated from motor traffic.
Project elements include:
- “Cycle track” bikeways that are separate from motor vehicle traffic
- Corner bulbouts to shorten narrow the roadway
- Neighborhood greening
- Curb ramp upgrades
- Crosswalk enhancements
- “Day lighting” intersections to improve visibility of pedestrians
- Traffic signal enhancements for pedestrians and cyclists
- Bicycle parking
- Bus stop consolidation to improve muni efficiency
The project has resulted in a net loss of 55 parking spaces after various parking mitigation measures, or less than 6% of the existing parking supply within a 1-block radius of the project area. The project required the removal of approximately 100 parking spaces, primarily on the south side of Oak Street and the south side of Fell Street between Scott and Baker streets. The SFMTA implemented several measures to offset the parking loss, including increasing the parking supply by consolidating bus stops at two locations on Hayes Street and by implementing angled and perpendicular parking on Baker Street between Fell and Haight, and on Scott Street between Haight and Waller. The SFMTA is also investigating how residential permit parking could free up additional parking spaces for area residents.
The SFMTA Board of Directors unanimously approved the project on October 16th, 2012. SFMTA crews implemented parking mitigation measures as well as the Fell Street separated bikeway in November 2012. Implementation of Oak Street crosswalk enhancements, traffic signal timing changes and a new bikeway were completed in May 2013.
We have heard from many people that these changes have drastically improved their safety and comfort, and more enhancements are still to come!
- The SFMTA has teamed up with the SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to integrate stormwater management features within corner bulbouts that are planned to improve pedestrian safety. The SFPUC is adding rain gardens to the bulbouts along Oak and Fell Streets to allow stormwater to infiltrate into the soil, diverting water from going into the sewer. These bulbouts will improve traffic safety and add beauty and character to the intersections as well. While the addition of green infrastructure will not result in any additional parking losses beyond what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in October 2012, four of the bulbouts will be larger than initially proposed. Originally scheduled for construction in 2013, the landscaped bulbouts are now slated to begin construction in summer 2014.
- More crosswalks will be upgraded to wide "continental" striping to improve their visibility.
- The pavement within the bikeways will be repaired.
- The SFMTA is planning to convert the existing plastic "safe-hit" posts to more permanent features to separate the bikeway from traffic in areas where driveway and emergency vehicle access would not be inhibited.
- The SFMTA is also working with local residents to craft a potential new Residential Permit Parking zone to better manage on-street parking.
We will keep you posted as we refine the design for these further enhancements.
Quick Project Links:
- Project Overview Video (YouTube)
- Proposed Oak and Fell Conceptual Design (pdf)
- Common Questions and Concerns (pdf)
- Public Notices (pdf)
- Current, Real-Time Bicycle Levels on Fell Street
Public Meetings to Date
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - The SFMTA held a community meeting to discuss the project scope and collect input on project goals. Meeting attendees participated in an activity to identify and prioritize goals for the project. Top goals that emerged from the exercise include increasing safety for all street users, increasing bicycling, maintaining access to residences and businesses, making the neighborhood greener, and improving connectivity at the boundaries of the proposed bikeway. Background information and conceptual design shared at the meeting are available here: Oak and Fell September Community Meeting Presentation (pdf).
Saturday, December 3, 2011 - The SFMTA hosted an open house to collect public feedback on the potential benefits and challenges of various design alternatives of the proposed project. There was a four-hour window of time in which the public could drop in to review design options and potential project impacts.
Saturday, March 31, 2012 - The SFMTA hosted the third and final planning workshop to review the proposed conceptual design for pedestrian and bike safety improvements on Oak and Fell streets.
Friday, May 18, 2012 - The Oak and Fell Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Project was discussed at a public hearing at City Hall. This Traffic Engineering Public Hearing was an opportunity for stakeholders to give their feedback on the proposed project and alternatives considered. The proposal for Residential Permit Parking is still under development and was not discussed at this public hearing.
The SFMTA has also met with individual neighborhood groups, merchants and residents to discuss this project throughout the planning and design process.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - The project was presented to the SFMTA Board of Directors for consideration of approval. SFMTA staff gave a brief presentation, and members of the community were given an opportunity to share their comments with the Board. Several directors asked clarifying questions of SFMTA staff, and one bulbout was removed from the proposal based on concerns raised by the adjacent business owner. The Board voted unanimously to approve the project.