SFMTA to tackle pedestrian safety in Central Richmond

SFMTA to tackle pedestrian safety in Central RichmondThe project focuses on intersections with a history of collisions. | Images: Courtesy of SFMTA
Lauren Alpert
Published on January 24, 2019

On January 14, the SFMTA held its first town hall for the Central Richmond Traffic Safety Project, which will create traffic calming from Park Presidio to 25th Avenue, and Lake Street to Fulton Street.

District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who attended the meeting, noted that this project was an outcome of community feedback during the 8th Avenue Neighborway Project. At the time, some neighbors complained that the project focused solely on 8th Avenue, and didn’t delve into its impact on surrounding streets.

With this new project, the SFMTA aims to calm those surrounding streets, with the goal of “improving safety conditions for people walking, biking, or being dropped off at schools” in the central Richmond District. It's focusing on intersections with a history of collisions, especially those between vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists.

The proposed project includes several types of traffic calming designs. | Image: Courtesy of SFMTA

The project's manager, Jeff Banks, noted that the project does not involve a lot of asphalt. Instead, it will use faster and quicker improvements to slow traffic, like paint and signaling.

Additional speed humps will go in near areas that are frequented by children, including the Richmond Playground, Alamo Elementary, St. Monica’s, Argonne Playground and Argonne Elementary.

On California Street, SFMTA has proposed adding several pedestrian refuge islands. Meanwhile, Geary Street from 25th Avenue to Park Presidio will see changes in its crosswalk timing to include "pedestrian headstarts," with three seconds of lead time for crossings.

Cabrillo Street, a popular bike path, will get daylighting treatments at a number of intersections, with red curbs painted on corners to increase visibility. Daylighting often involves the removal of parking spots, which can be controversial. But residents at the meeting were largely in favor of daylighting, despite possible parking cuts.

Other improvements involve high-visibility crosswalk markings and "yield teeth" leading up to busy intersections, to encourage drivers to slow down.

The town hall meeting was well attended, with Chinese and Russian translators on hand for residents. Attendees were seated around tables in large groups, with each group led by an SFMTA staff member. They were encouraged to draw on printouts of the current project plans, sharing their ideas and concerns.

Fulton and Park Presidio were highlighted as needing more traffic calming, to improve pedestrian and bike safety. An SFMTA representative said that a project focused on Fulton is in the works, with more information to come.

Several residents commented on the need for daylighting near schools.

“It was wonderful seeing so many neighbors at the community meeting," said Supervisor Fewer. "I also want to thank SFMTA for being so inclusive, and giving my residents an opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions for addressing safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the Central Richmond."

Community outreach for the Central Richmond Traffic Safety Project will continue throughout 2019, with the goal of receiving initial approvals later this spring. Construction is set to begin in the fall or winter of 2020.

For more information or to offer feedback, residents can contact SFMTA project lead Jeff Banks at [email protected] or 415-701-5331.