Citizens have a chance today to express concerns about parking and traffic changes intended to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety on 17th Street between Church and Sanchez.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will hold an Engineering Public Hearing at 10:00am in Room 416 of City Hall to discuss a variety of proposed parking and traffic changes, including several ideas presented at a public meeting about the 17th Street Safety Improvement Project last month.
SFMTA plans to remove parking on both sides of 17th Street on the block between Church and Sanchez, and will install bikeways protected by islands and posts, where possible. The plan is designed to accommodate driveways and fire hydrants.
The proposal would remove 26 parking spaces on the north side of 17th Street and 19 spaces on the south side. SFMTA considered other options that would have preserved more spaces, but those designs were found to be unfeasible or insufficient, according to SFMTA.
During a public meeting in February, SFMTA received comments from 49 people; of the 17 of who expressed an opinion about the loss of parking, 15 supported removing parking spaces.
It is rare for the agency to receive major pushback at this stage of the process, which comes after the majority of its public outreach efforts associated with a project.
But SFMTA has reversed course before due to strong community opposition, such as when it proposed a scaled-back bike lane along Turk Street, rather than the protected one bicycle and safety advocates preferred.
“We're grateful for the SFMTA staff's effort to address community concerns and fully support the solutions they've identified,” SFBC spokesman Chris Cassidy told Hoodline. “The proposed bike lane is a significant improvement for people biking.”
But SFBC would like the safety initiatives to continue further downhill into the intersection of 17th and Church. The information SFMTA provided at last month’s community meeting shows that a majority of crashes along this stretch of 17th Street occur between Church and Sanchez streets.
“We would love to see similarly responsive and robust community outreach for those issues that remain along this bike route when the opportunity arises,” Cassidy said.
If SFMTA moves ahead with the proposed parking changes after today’s meeting, the plan is expected to be brought before the SFMTA board in late summer or fall of this year, with construction beginning this fall.
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