Those flashing crosswalk lights on Page between Masonic and Ashbury are getting upgraded to a new set of flashing beacons, according to this sign we recently spotted.
Presumably, the combination of the Urban School location, the Page bicycle thoroughfare and the fast left turn from Masonic got planners concerned.
Based on this filing with the Department of Public Works, Bay Area Lightworks will be installing a new signal on Page Street "mid-block between Ashbury St and Masonic Ave" as part of a contract to install new lights in various parts of the city.
There haven't been an exceptional number of accidents at this crosswalk recently, if you look through the city maps of accident data available on Walk First SF
and other sites
But the Planning Department has separately said that it has had maintenance problems with flashing crosswalks, per page 106 of its Better Streets document
. It goes on to describe the uses of flashing beacons, which we think seem like a good fit here.
"Flashing beacons can be used to control traffic at intersections where traffic or physical conditions do not justify a full signal, but crash rates indicate the possibility of a special need, or to provide supplementary warning of a midblock or uncontrolled school crosswalk. They should be considered for use at high-conflict uncontrolled crossing locations with significant pedestrian volumes where visibility is compromised by grades, curves or other conditions."
We have a call out to the Traffic Engineering office for any more information on the upgrade. In the meantime, we'll note that it's coming right as the Urban School is expanding
. Most of the action is happening on Oak Street, at the church near Masonic, but the gym on the Page Street side is becoming a performing arts space. You can read more about the plan here.
The city-wide light project will be ongoing from now until January 2015. Until then, we'll keep digging.