SFMTA Plans More 2-Way Blocks On Eddy Street To Calm Tenderloin Traffic

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will switch two more blocks of Eddy Street from one-way to two-way as part of a years-long traffic-calming strategy in the Tenderloin that has yet to show results.

Eddy Street has one of the city's highest concentrations of collisions involving pedestrians, according to SFMTA.

In the five years between 2011 and 2016, 67 pedestrian-related collisions occurred on Eddy between Leavenworth and Mason streets, 58 of which resulted in an injury or fatality, according to the agency.

Most blocks of Eddy Street in the Tenderloin  are part of the 2017 Vision Zero High Injury Network (shown in red). | Image: San Francisco Department of Health

In 2012, two blocks of Eddy Street between Leavenworth and Larkin and four blocks of Ellis between Polk and Jones streets were converted to two-way streets in an effort to slow traffic and make the neighborhood more accommodating to pedestrians. 

Those changes have not produced measurable results, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose told Hoodline.

"There was no reduction in the number and severity of traffic crashes after implementing the two-way conversions on Eddy and Ellis," he said.

Because many variables contribute to traffic crashes, it "would not be accurate to say there is a direct cause and effect relationship between traffic crashes and a single engineering measure," Rose added.

Two-way traffic on Eddy at Hyde Street. | Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

The conversion idea came from a 2007 Tenderloin-Little Saigon Community Transportation Study led by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, during which city agencies and nonprofit partners conducted outreach to identify, prioritize, and design area transportation improvement projects.

The study found that Tenderloin residents own fewer cars that the citywide average—only 18 percent of households own a vehicle—and nearly 60 percent of residents walk as their primary mode of transportation.

The study also found the one-way streets in the neighborhood had been designed to funnel traffic quickly from downtown to the freeways.

The one-way traffic flows were designed to speed travel between the freeways and downtown. | Image: SFCTA

This design, while convenient for drivers, leads to unsafe conditions for pedestrians when drivers fail to yield, run red lights, or pull into crosswalks.

SFMTA last summer held public meetings and conducted community outreach on its proposal to convert the two blocks between Leavenworth and Mason streets, ahead of the SFMTA Board approving the plan in July 2017, Rose said.

The conversion of the two blocks of Eddy between Leavenworth and Mason will begin this month, weather permitting, Rose said.

Image: SFMTA

Current detours of other streets onto Eddy make it infeasible to convert all of the street's remaining blocks, east to Market Street, at this time, Rose said.

The detours are to accommodate the Central Subway project, which is well over budget and behind schedule, so it's unclear if or when the remaining blocks of Eddy Street may be converted.

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Sftma plans more 2 way blocks on eddy street to calm tenderloin traffic