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Fulton Street Safety and Transit Project

Project Introduction

Fulton Street is a main traffic and transit thoroughfare in the Richmond District, bordering the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. Every day, residents and visitors cross Fulton Street by foot and bicycle to access the park, for commute and for recreational trips. However, prior studies conducted in this area – such as the Richmond District Strategy and Golden Gate Park Edges Study – have found that Fulton Street fails to provide a comfortable and safe experience for people walking and biking, and segments of Fulton are located on San Francisco High Injury Network, where the most traffic collisions occur. The Fulton Street Safety Project aims to improve safety and accessibility between Golden Gate Park and the Richmond District across Fulton Street. 

The 5 Fulton and 5R Fulton Rapid are two of Muni’s busiest routes, averaging more than 22,000 combined boardings per weekday. This project proposes to build 6 transit bulbs and relocate a bus stop, which altogether will help reduce travel time, make boarding easier, increase space at stops, and improve safety for pedestrians. The proposed bulbs complement extensive transit investments on Fulton Street east of Arguello and west of Park Presidio over the past ten years.


Project Update

Directive and Public Hearing Results

Proposed improvements of the Fulton Street Safety and Transit Projects were considered at the SFMTA Public Hearing on Friday, July 17, 2020. Improvements considered included sidewalk widening for new transit bulbs, daylighting, and changes to the San Francisco Bike Network.

Based on feedback received, staff recommended withdrawing item 1(c)XX from the proposal, a 10 foot red zone east of the east crosswalk on the south side of Fulton Street at 39th Avenue. This change restored one parking space to the proposed project. Other items were recommended for approval, and items 1(b), 1(c)B, 1(c)GGG, 1(d), and 1(f) have been referred to the SFMTA Board for final approval. The remaining items were approved for implementation by the City Traffic Engineer, and the final public hearing directive has been posted to the public hearing website. 

Next steps for this project include implementing safety elements by the end of the year. The transit bulbs will proceed with detailed design for future construction.


Safety

Segments of Fulton Street within the project area are located on San Francisco's High Injury Network, including the segments from 6th Avenue to 11th Avenue and from 17th Avenue to 29th Avenue. Between January 2014 and December 2019:

  • 249 injury collisions were reported on Fulton Street between Stanyan and La Playa, including 56 collisions involving a bicyclist or pedestrian.
  • 20 collisions resulted in severe injuries, including one fatal collision.
  • Park entrances such as Arguello Boulevard, Park Presidio Boulevard, 8th Avenue, and 36th Ave had the greatest number of collisions.
Collisions on Fulton Street between Stanyan and 22nd Avenue:

Map showing collision counts at intersections on Fulton Street between 22nd Avenue to the west and Stanyan to the east, including one fatal collision at 18th Avenue and Fulton in 2016.

Collisions on Fulton Street between La Playa and 23rd Avenue:

Map showing collision counts at intersections on Fulton Street between La Playa to the west and 23rd Avenue to the east.


Existing Conditions

  • 17 of 53 intersections between Stanyan and LaPlaya have traffic signals, including five signals installed in 2015 and 2017. Seven existing signals have been upgraded with two signals (at 30th and 36th Avenues) to be upgraded by Spring 2022.
  • Fulton is served by frequent Muni service via the 5 Fulton and 5R Fulton Rapid routes.
  • East-west bike travel is primarily concentrated on Cabrillo Street to the north and John F. Kennedy Drive within Golden Gate Park, and multiple north-south bike routes including Arguello Boulevard, 8th and 34th Avenues cross Fulton Street.

Community Outreach  

In October and November 2019, the SFMTA conducted an online, multi-lingual survey to learn about the concerns and preferences of Fulton residents and neighbors. Survey results were used to develop proposals to improve the safety and comfort of traveling on and across Fulton Street in the Richmond District. During the two-month survey collection period, over 1500 participants responded to the survey. Of the survey respondents: 

  • 79% visit the park via Fulton at least weekly. 
  • 62% live on or near Fulton and an additional 20% live elsewhere in the Richmond District. 
  • 149 respondents were over the age of 65.

On February 29th, over fifty Fulton Street neighbors joined the SFMTA, Recreation and Parks, and Supervisor Fewer for a community open house at Argonne Elementary School to learn more about the proposed project and collect community feedback to help refine the final project recommendations. We reviewed over 200 comments received and have updated our proposal based on community feedback.

Open House Flyer

Open House Summary


Safety Proposed Improvements

Daylighting

Between La Playa and Stanyan, the SFMTA is proposing daylighting, or adding red painted curbs at intersection approaches to improve visibility for all road users. 75% of survey respondents identified improving visibility as a priority, and it was the top priority for Fulton Street identified by survey respondents overall.

SFMTA staff reviewed intersections on Fulton Street between Stanyan and La Playa to ensure a consistent approach to daylighting according to the following principles:

  • Daylight on Fulton on the approach side of all intersections with marked crosswalks, and on Avenues on the approach to signalized intersections.
    • At signalized intersections, daylight to the advanced limit lines, about 20 feet.
    • At unsignalized intersections, daylight to yield marks, varying from about 20 to 40 feet.
  • At T intersections, daylight between crosswalks on the south side.

Diagram of two representative intersections on Fulton Street demonstrating approach to daylighting.

Safety Focus Segments

The SFMTA is proposing additional safety infrastructure on three “focus segments,” including La Playa to 36th Avenue; 26th Avenue to Park Presidio; and Park Presidio to Arguello. Based on feedback at the February 29, 2020 open house, these focus segments were extended to include La Playa to 43rd Avenue and 26th to 23rd Avenues. In addition, Muni is proposing to build transit bulbs – wider sidewalks at stops – at six stops on the routes 5 Fulton and 5R Fulton Rapid, along Fulton Street between Arguello Boulevard and 10th Avenue, which will provide additional pedestrian safety benefits.

La Playa to 36th Avenue

"Cars are so fast and crazy here. Calming methods would help."

Diagram showing proposed improvements on Fulton Street between 30th Avenue and La Playa.

  • Install painted safety zones at five locations:
    • The northeast corners of 46th, 43rd, 40th, and 36th Avenues. Updated based on community feedback.
    • On the south side of the 39th Avenue intersection.

Through the SFMTA Traffic Calming program:

  • Westbound speed radar sign between 40th and 41st Avenues. Relocated based on community feedback.
  • Eastbound speed radar sign between 38th and 39th Avenues.

26th to 18th Avenues

"It’s not clear how to bike from here safely to a bike route."
"I'd like a bike light at this intersection - it always feels a bit dangerous to me. Also, the light is at 22nd (as is the egress to the park) but the bike route is on 23rd, which seems misaligned."
  • Diagram of Fulton Street between 30th Avenue and Park Presidio showing proposed improvements.Relocate bike route between Cabrillo and Fulton from 23rd to 22nd Avenue.
  • Install bike signal at 22nd Avenue.
  • Install advance limit lines at 22nd and 18th Avenues.
  • Install painted safety zones at the northeast corners of 26th, 25th, 24th, 22nd, and 18th Avenues. Updated based on community feedback.
  • Pave multi-use path from 22nd Avenue into Golden Gate Park.

Park Presidio to Arguello

"Bulb outs on this intersection please! It's a prominent entrance with good transit access."
  • Diagram of proposed improvements on Fulton Street between Stanyan and Park PresidioInstall advance limit lines at 10th, 8th, and 6th Avenues and Arguello.
  • Install painted safety zones at four locations:
    • The northeast corners of 10th, 8th, and 4th Avenues. Updated based on community feedback.
    • The southwest corner of 10th Avenue. Updated based on community feedback.
  • Establish bike route on 10th Avenue between Fulton and Cabrillo. Updated based on community feedback.
  • Install bike signal at 10th Avenue. Updated based on community feedback.

Through Muni Forward:

  • Build transit bulbs at 10th, 8th, and 6th Avenues and Arguello.

This project is made possible by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority through a grant of Proposition K Local Transportation Sales Tax Funds. 

Project Timeline 
Fall 2019
Online Survey & Planning
Completed
Winter 2020
Community Feedback
Completed
Spring 2020
Project Recommendations
Completed
Fall 2020
Safety Project Implementation
Pending
Project Status
Detailed Design
Implementation / Construction
Bus Routes and Rail Lines

Transit Proposed Improvements

Muni is proposing to build “transit bulbs” – wider sidewalks at stops -- at six stops on Routes 5 Fulton and 5R Fulton Rapid, along Fulton Street between Arguello Boulevard and 10th Avenue. Transit bulbs provide a range of benefits, including:

  • reduced travel times and improved schedule reliability, as buses can stop in the travel lane, and aren’t delayed waiting to merge back into traffic;
  • easier boarding for passengers in wheelchairs, riders with strollers and others who may have difficulty getting on or off, as buses can more easily pull up to the curb;
  • more space for both waiting passengers as well as pedestrians passing by (and passenger amenities such as shelters); and
  • enhanced pedestrian safety, as the distance required to cross the street is reduced.

From east to west, the six locations where transit bulbs would be built are:

  • Outbound (westbound) at Arguello
  • Inbound (eastbound) at 6th Avenue
  • Outbound at 6th Avenue
  • Outbound at 8th Avenue
  • Inbound at 10th Avenue
  • Outbound at 10th Avenue

As part of the project, the inbound (eastbound) stop at Park Presidio would also be relocated from the near (west) side of the intersection to the far (east) side. This would reduce the amount of time buses have to spend stopped at the intersection waiting for the traffic signal to change.

Together, these changes would benefit thousands of Muni riders and pedestrians. The 5 and 5R are two of Muni’s busiest routes, with an average of more than 22,000 combined boardings per weekday. Fulton, meanwhile, is a wide, busy street that can be challenging to cross – Fulton between 6th and 11th avenues is part of the City’s Vision Zero “High Injury Network” where the most collisions occur -- and each of the four locations where the crossing distance would be reduced is a pedestrian entrance to Golden Gate Park. The changes would require removal of just two auto and three motorcycle parking spaces, on the park side of the street at 6th Avenue.

These changes are being proposed in coordination with the SFMTA’s Fulton Street Safety Project, which is currently conducting community outreach to solicit additional ideas for improving pedestrian safety in the corridor.

Fulton Improvement Project 7th Ave to Arguello

From 7th to Arguello

3 Transit bulbs would be built on:  

  • Outbound (westbound) at Arguello
  • Inbound (eastbound) at 6th Avenue
  • Outbound at 6th Avenue

1 Pedestrian bulb on:

  • Inbound at 6th Ave 

Remove 2 Parking Spaces on:

  • Inbound 7th Ave

Remove 3 Motorcycle spaces on:

  • Inbound 6th Ave

Relocate 2 ADA parking Spaces on:

  • Inbound 6th Ave

 

Fulton Improvement Project 14th Ave to 8th Ave

From 14th Avenue to 8th Avenue

3 Transit bulbs would be built on:  

  • Outbound (westbound) at 8th and 10th
  • Inbound (eastbound) at 10th Avenue

14th Avenue, Park Presidio, and Funston were legislated and approved by SFMTA Board in 2017
Remove 4 Parking Spaces on:

  • Inbound Funston 

Relocate 2 ADA parking Spaces on:

  • Inbound 14th Ave, Funston 

Relocate Bus Stop 

  • Inbound Park Presidio to far side Funston 

Previous Improvements to the 5 and 5R

This project is the final phase of a larger, long-term project to make major improvements to Routes 5 and 5R. Over the past decade we have made a series of improvements to both routes, including:

  • 2009: Evening service on the 5 is extended from McAllister and Jones streets to the Transbay Terminal.
  • 2011: McAllister is converted from a one-way to a two-way street between Hyde and Market streets, eliminating a detour that added an average of three minutes per trip.
  • 2013: 5 Fulton Limited (later Rapid) service is launched, reducing travel times by up to seven minutes per trip and reducing collision rates on Fulton between Masonic Avenue and Shrader Street.
  • 2015: Frequency is improved to reduce crowding.
  • 2016: Larger buses are introduced on the 5R, further reducing crowding.
  • 2017-2018: A series of improvements is made between McAllister and Larkin streets and Fulton and Cole streets, including bulbs at Rapid stops, new traffic signals, and traffic circles in place of stop signs.
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Contact Information
Lolita Sweet