SF's First 'Protected Intersection' Breaks Ground At 9th & Division This Week

The city's ongoing Vision Zero initiative to prevent pedestrian and cyclist deaths has led to a variety of infrastructure changes around San Francisco, from concrete bulb-outs to revamped bike lanes. This week, the city plans to break ground on another experiment: its first "protected intersection," set to go in at the busy crossing of Ninth and Division streets in SoMa.

Ninth and Division is one of the intersections in the city's "high-injury network," the 12 percent of streets where severe and fatal crashes are most likely to occur. Safety issues on SoMa's streets have received particular attention since 26-year-old cyclist Katherine Slattery was killed in a hit-and-run at 7th & Howard in June—the same night another cyclist, 41-year-old Heather Miller, was killed in a separate hit-and-run in Golden Gate Park. 

The new intersection will install concrete islands at two corners to promote slower turns, and raised crosswalks also intended to slow down cars. A new bikeway design to separate bikers and pedestrians is also planned. 

A rendering of the planned changes at the intersection.

As part of the project, Ninth Street will become two-way from Division to Brannan, with a new sidewalk and angled parking on the south side to narrow the roadway. The parking-protected bikeway on Division, installed between Bryant and Folsom last year, will also be extended between Ninth Street and Potrero Avenue in both directions. 

The project will also entail some street improvements: roads will be re-paved not only at the intersection itself, but on Ninth between Brannan and Division and Division between Ninth and 10th. 

SF Public Works is starting construction later this week, and hopes to wrap up the changes by the end of the year.

Interested in how protected intersections work? Here's a video guide:

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