Two blocks of 15th Street, from South Van Ness Avenue to Mission Street, went on a road diet this week. It’s part of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency’s “Home Zone” pilot project to study the effects of concentrated traffic calming measures on a few blocks around Marshall Elementary School, with the aim of creating a haven of slow-speed streets.
The reduction from two traffic lanes to one is part of the first phase of safety measures planned for that stretch of one-way 15th Street, as well as the connecting single blocks of four alleyways: Minna, Natoma, Capp, and Adair Streets. By narrowing the roadway for drivers, it also creates some unofficial “edge line” room for bicycle riders between the traffic lane and the parking lane. This improvement is one of the few pieces the SFMTA has implemented since the project’s final report [PDF] was approved in June of last year. Two more phases should follow.
The plan also calls for raised crosswalks, speed humps, narrower lanes, bulb-outs and permeable pavement. A timeline isn’t immediately available, but the SFMTA will evaluate the effects of each phase in sequence, according to the report. The project could serve as a model for the “school track” of the agency’s traffic calming program, which aims to bring driver speeds down to the new 15 MPH school zone speed limits. The SFMTA is also planning to overhaul how it implements its overall traffic calming program next spring.