New Lighting Comes To Panhandle As Improvement Project Kicks Off

If you've seen trucks in the Panhandle recently, it's for a good reason: they're upgrading the park's lighting to new, energy-efficient LED bulbs. 

As we mentioned last month, the new lighting is just the first phase of a major Panhandle improvement project, which will upgrade pathways, install new signage, and improve lighting, to the tune of $500K.

After a series of open houses to collect feedback, the city has presented a detailed workflow and prioritized components. The project will kick off with the replacement lighting, which is slated to start in earnest next Monday, August 24th (although at least one light near Baker Street has been replaced already) and continue into October. After a string of attacks on cyclists last year, the LED bulbs were given first priority, to help promote safety. 

The project's second phase will address inadequate signage in the park, including signs reminding people not to bike on the south path. According to the Rec & Park website, the current plan is for that phase to kick off in summer 2016. 

The third and most controversial phase of the project will include repaving the south pathway, which is notoriously uneven. On Nextdoor, Amy Moore of SF Rec & Park explained that while repaving the south pathway was the most popular option, it was much more expensive than installing new lighting. Once funding is secured, the department will go ahead with the repaving.

Certain intersection crossovers will also be redesigned, including the Masonic intersection, which has had its share of horrific accidents in recent yearsMoore explained that Rec & Park is collaborating with advocacy groups to ensure the redesign will work for everyone. 

We are also working closely with WalkSF, San Francisco Bike Coalition, NoPNA, SFMTA and several other community groups to adjust crosswalks and create other traffic calming measures. The Supervisor's Office is also helping with that conversation and we will hopefully have an answer to the traffic calming question soon.

Given that funding has yet to be secured, no date has been set as of yet for the commencement of the project's third phase. We'll let you know when it's announced.

Do you agree with the Panhandle improvement priorities set by Rec & Park? Take it to the comments. 

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