Public opinion sought on pedestrian safety changes to deadly Sixth Street corridor

Public opinion sought on pedestrian safety changes to deadly Sixth Street corridor
The intersection of 6th and Howard streets. | Images: SFMTA
By Carrie Sisto - Published on August 15, 2018.

The SFMTA and the SF Department of Public Works are finalizing changes to improve pedestrian safety on Sixth Street, from Market to Brannan streets. As part of that process, the two agencies are seeking public feedback through an online survey that closes today.

Sixth Street sees one of the highest concentrations of severe and fatal pedestrian-related traffic collisions in San Francisco, according to the two agencies. According to SF Public Works, pedestrians on the corridor are struck by vehicles an average of once every 16 days.

The proposed Sixth Street Pedestrian Safety Project aims to improve pedestrian safety at crossings, calm and reduce the speed of motor vehicle traffic, and create inviting public spaces.

Rendering of proposed safety improvements.

Current plans include wider sidewalks, corner bulb-outs to reduce pedestrian crossing times at crosswalks, additional traffic signals, and new painted crosswalks. 

The proposed changes would also reduce the four-lane street to three lanes: one southbound and two northbound. Between Folsom and Brannan streets, the tow-away lanes that are parking-restricted during rush hours would be replaced with full-time parking spaces. 

The project also includes new 'pedestrian-scale' lighting aimed at increasing sidewalk safety, as well as some landscaping improvements to make the area more inviting. 

Rendering of pedestrian-scale lighting.

The safety improvements are part of the city’s broader Vision Zero goal of eliminating pedestrian traffic collision fatalities by 2024. 

As we reported last year, many safety projects designed to achieve the 2024 target have faced delays, largely due to interagency coordination issues.  

The 6th Street Pedestrian Safety Project is expected to be presented to the SFMTA board sometime this fall, with construction anticipated to begin in winter 2019.