Eyes on the Street: Raised Crosswalk Installed at Stonestown Galleria

raisedcrosswalk1
Families appear comfortable in the new crosswalk at Stonestown. Photo: Aaron Bialick

A raised crosswalk was recently installed on 20th Avenue where it runs through the parking lot of the Stonestown Galleria in the city’s southwestern Parkside District. It provides access to the parking lot in front of the Olive Garden restaurant near the mall’s front entrance, where there was previously no designated crossing.

Where implemented, raised crosswalks have been found to be a successful treatment for slowing vehicle speeds and increased yielding to pedestrians.  “[They] are a good way to make it clear to drivers that they need to drive especially carefully because they’re entering the world of the pedestrian,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF.

A partial SFMTA list of raised crosswalks in San Francisco shows previous installations in places where very low-traffic alleyways exit onto larger streets, with the roadway crossing the pedestrian space at-level. The new Stonestown crosswalk may perhaps be the city’s most high-profile raised crosswalk, acting as a large speed bump and emphasizing visibility with reflectors and angled stripes on the grade change. The street carries fairly heavy vehicle traffic for its size and is designated as the most direct bicycle route connecting SFSU with the Parkside and central Sunset districts.

“I think it’s great because everybody was already crossing there anyway, so now it’s made it safer,” said Meredith, a woman who used the crosswalk walking with her husband and two children. “There weren’t really any convenient ways to get across, so it’s nice that it’s there. You don’t have to feel like you’re stepping into traffic but that the traffic is coming into your space.”

For visitors and passersby at Stonestown, crossing the roadway may now feel less like a game of Frogger.

  • Nick

    Stonestown is private property. So why exactly did it take them 60 years to install a simple crosswalk?

    Along the same line, be careful to park your bike at a disignated bike rack when you shop there. Quite a few people have had their bikes confiscated by the Stonestown mall security for locking up at tree and street sign.

    This happened to me a few years ago. They cut my cable lock and left no note as to how to retrieve. I told a security guard my bike was just stolen and he took me to their guard station where 4-5 other unclaimed bikes were sitting. He said “a lot of the time people don’t even ask about them.”

    I was absolutely shocked that this could happen in San Francisco. I hope they changed their policy since then. I think they put a sign by the bike racks stating “Bikes to be parked at bike racks only.”

  • Joel

    Actually, that crosswalk is located on 20th Ave. which is a public street with city operated traffic lights, Muni lines, etc.

    The Parkside area could use more traffic calming, as there are many schools in the area.

  • Vincent

    @Joel

    20th Ave through Stonestown is private property. It is not maintained by SFMTA.

    It’s about time Stonestown did something about this parking lot. They need to install more of these, especially down by Macy’s.

  • Nick

    Vincent’s right. In addition to my bike confiscation tale, when I was a kid riding my BMX on 20th Avenue I was told by their private security guards that I couldn’t ride through there (a designated bike route!).

    They were on bikes too. Oh the irony.

  • EL

    If a pedestrian gets hit here, Stonestown can expect a lawsuit because the hatch lines and reflectors are yellow instead of white (yellow is for school crossings only). Even if a pedestrian isn’t hit here, they can still get an ADA lawsuit from an enterprising lawyer because the raised crosswalk itself does not lead to an accessible path (cobblestones, parked car, and tree) and the other end does not have truncated domes.

  • My problem with Stonestown is the pedestrians who constantly disobey the signals at 20th & Winston. Some cross by going around “no pedestrian crossing” barrier/sign, and others start to cross the street while the countdown clock is just a few seconds away, thereby blocking the cars trying to turn onto Winston.

  • Nick

    Anyone remember this much celebrated bike path at SFSU?

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/10/29/eyes-on-the-street-san-francisco-gets-first-new-bike-lanes-in-three-years/

    Stonestown hasn’t allowed the bike route that runs through it to be striped with Sharrows. It makes the SFSU bike lane “hidden” which is ironic because it was celebrated for it’s function as a connector route in the original article!

    If Stonestown wants me to spend any money there, they’re gonna have to let the MTA install sharrows along Bike Route 75.

  • john avalos

    I agree about needing to add more crosswalks, especially at Macy’s where there is no crosswalk whatsoever and where my whole family almost got hit by a car whose drivers think they have the right to run you over.

  • tyler

    yes, the pedestrian crossing are great improvements over the grey nothing that the stonestown parking lot was before, but a lot still could be done there. For instance, what about a ped path along 20th from McDonalds down to the sidewalk on Buckingham. Sooooo many people just walk along 20th right next to traffic when coming/going between stonestown and sfsu.

  • ZA

    I suppose it’s worth mentioning that a convenient and attractive connection for customers using the M-Ocean train is still lacking.

    A well-designed platform could:
    – Expand vehicular parking capacity
    – Create an even level for M-Ocean riders walking/wheelchairing it to Stonestown
    – Reduce vehicle/crossing pedestrian conflicts on Winston Dr and 20th Ave.
    – Could even accommodate expanded bicycle facilities on 20th Ave/bike parking under the new platform.

    Something for everyone.

  • Robert Kolbe

    It is nice to see so much interest in this issue.

    Great to see the advocacy for walkers.

    I will return to this site often.