SFMTA Delays Traffic Diversion Plans For 8th Avenue 'Neighborway'

SFMTA Delays Traffic Diversion Plans For 8th Avenue 'Neighborway'
Updated 8th Avenue neighborway proposal. | Photo: SFMTA
By Lauren Alpert - Published on February 02, 2018.

On Wednesday evening, Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and SFMTA hosted a community meeting to discuss a traffic-calming plan that would divert traffic away from 8th Avenue.

While the plan originated with SFMTA initiatives and gathered feedback from neighbors, some residents have expressed concerns about traffic being shunted to adjoining streets.

Officials from the transportation agency say the proposed 8th Avenue "neighborway" would create a “safe, pleasant north-south route” for pedestrians and cyclists, noting that the street "carries 2 to 3 times the amount of vehicle traffic when compared to parallel routes.”

Entrance to Golden Gate Park at 8th & Fulton. | Photo: Camden Avery/Hoodline

Much of this traffic funnels either onto Fulton Street, or into Golden Gate Park, two popular pedestrian and bicycle commuter routes.

Residents who favored the plan referred to collisions and near-misses at the busy 8th and Fulton intersection, but others expressed concerns that it could push more traffic onto nearby streets and closer to schools, including McCoppin Elementary and Zion Lutheran School.

Several students from Zion Lutheran shared their perspective on street safety and expressed gratitude that diversion plans have been delayed.

Residents met with Supervisor Fewer and SFMTA on January 31. | Photo: Lauren Alpert/Hoodline

Before the meeting, SFMTA announced that the updated plan now includes installation of “new speed humps, painted markings, and stop signs on 8th Avenue and surrounding streets.”

The project also includes "daylighting," a practice that removes parking spaces near crosswalks to increase pedestrian visibility.

Through studies, SFMTA will assess if these measures calm traffic or if additional changes are needed. The updated proposal will go through a formal approval process this spring before the agency shares it with the public.

SFMTA's Livable Streets team will begin adding aspects of the updated plan this summer, with work continuing into the fall. The agency will re-evaluate the project's impact in 2019 via online surveys, tracking vehicle speed and volume, and by tracking bicyclists' safety and comfort.

“I was very happy to see so many neighbors attend and the thoughtful dialogue between residents and the SFMTA at the neighborway community meeting," said Fewer.

The District 1 supervisor said she appreciated feedback on the latest iteration of the proposal. "I believe the incremental approach presented will help meet the goal of creating safer and more livable streets,” she said.

The updated 8th Avenue neighborway project proposal can be viewed on the SFMTA website.