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SFMTA To Study Octavia Area For Traffic Calming Enhancements

Photo: Steve Boland/Flickr
By Rose Garrett - Published on December 05, 2014.
Back in July, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association hosted a lively meeting discussing the neighborhood's traffic flow pain points, pedestrian safety concerns, and future ideas for improvements. At the meeting, local residents aired their grievances, London Breed vowed action, and representatives from SFMTA and SF Planning lent their ears. 
Following that discussion, the HVNA honed a list of high-priority projects to submit to the city for review and action, including a focus on the intersections where Fell and Oak streets intersect Octavia, where Octavia and Gough meet Market, where side streets meet Octavia, and more. 

Last night, the HVNA reconvened with a follow-up meeting at which SFMTA representatives Casey Hildreth and Nick Carr presented their progress on the Hayes Valley area projects prioritized by the HVNA. 

According to Hildreth, the many disparate enhancements suggested for the Octavia corridor area, such as the addition of speed bumps at Patricia's Green, have prompted the SFMTA to designate a "Phase II" look at the area as a whole. 

"We’re proposing to look at Octavia Boulevard in a comprehensive fashion, from Market to Hayes and a bit beyond," he said, noting that fees collected from the many new developments in the area would help fund the project. "We're going to take a comprehensive look at all the projects touching the boulevard and have a more robust public engagement process," which Hildreth said would include an open house in the spring and a series of public "walk and talks" around the neighborhood.

In addition to looking at the area as a whole, the upcoming Phase II project will include study and consideration of the following:

  • Traffic calming adjacent to Patricia's Green and various development parcels
  • Octavia Blvd northbound and southbound frontage streets
  • Octavia Blvd and Fell/Oak street intersections
  • Laguna Street between Oak and Page streets
  • Page Street between Octavia, Laguna and Buchanan
  • Improvements to the Page Street bicycle route already in development

In last night's meeting, Hildreth presented preliminary drafts of pedestrian safety enhancements for the intersections of Hayes and Laguna, Hayes and Buchanan, and Oak and Octavia, of which the latter could include:

  • Restriping Oak between Octavia and Laguna and reconfiguring parking so that two full right turn-only lanes would stretch the entire block of Oak and two additional lanes would continue straight 
  • Widening of sidewalk on north side of Oak by developer (in progress)
  • Curb extensions at Oak and Laguna and at the right turn from Oak on Octavia
  • Possible medians across Octavia, particularly north of the Octavia intersection
  • Forcing a right turn from Octavia's northbound frontage road onto Oak

Already approved are the addition of crosswalks on Fell Street at Franklin (east side of intersection), which was completed in October, and on Fell Street at Gough (west side of intersection,) which is in development. The idea to add another crosswalk on Franklin Street at Oak (north side of intersection) has not been approved. 

We'll keep you posted as the SFMTA's closer look at the neighborhood gets going, and especially as the opportunity for community participation presents itself in early 2015. 

In the meantime, what are the traffic and pedestrian safety areas in the neighborhood that concern you most? Weigh in in the comments.

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