Noe Valley Gets Sidewalk Extensions and Decorative Crosswalks on 24th

Photo: Aaron Bialick
Photo: Aaron Bialick

City officials celebrated new brick-trimmed crosswalks and sidewalk bulb-outs on 24th Street in Noe Valley at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

The changes will make for a more pedestrian- and transit-friendly environment on Noe Valley’s commercial corridor. At Castro and Noe Streets, the transit bulb-outs — curb extensions at bus stops — will help speed up Muni’s 24 and 48 lines.

Supervisor Scott Wiener speaking at the ribbon-cutting today. Photo: Scott Wiener/Twitter
Supervisor Scott Wiener speaking at the ribbon-cutting today. Photo: Scott Wiener/Twitter

“Property owners and merchants have invested heavily in streetscape improvements” on 24th in recent years, and the latest upgrades “keep the momentum going,” said Noe Valley Association Executive Director Debra Niemann in a statement. “That’s one of the reasons Noe Valley appeals to many as a place to live and as a shopping destination.”

“The commercial heart of Noe Valley is 24th Street, one of the great neighborhood corridors in San Francisco,” said D8 Supervisor Scott Wiener in a statement. “It’s a community destination to shop and eat and to catch up with neighbors. These streetscape improvements make 24th Street safer, more attractive and more welcoming for residents and visitors.”

Completion of the “24th Street Urban Village” project, led by the Department of Public Works, was delayed from last fall. The project also includes new benches and planters on the bulb-outs, and was paid for with $560,000 from the $248 million street re-paving bond passed by voters in 2011.

“One of the most important investments we can make in our communities is making our neighborhood streets safer,” said a statement from SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, who called the improvements “significant upgrades for pedestrian safety that will help us reach our citywide Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths.”

Photo: Aaron Bialick
Photo: Aaron Bialick

While 24th isn’t especially dangerous, the sidewalk extensions and crosswalks should help protect pedestrians from impatient drivers. At a recent community forum on traffic issues in Noe Valley, a woman complained about “young people who come to the curb and just keep going” at stops signs, where they have the right-of-way.

“I come too close to” hitting them, she said. “I feel like threatening them.”

By next October, a parking lot on 25th east of Sanchez Street is set to be transformed into a public plaza. The final $600,000 needed to construct the Noe Valley Town Square was approved as part of the city budget last month, thanks to a push from Wiener to allocate funding from a state parks grant.

Wiener also plans to keep 24th’s sidewalks clear of cars and driveway ramps by opposing any curb cuts for new developments, he told the SF Chronicle in April.

The parking lot conversion and bulb-outs were conceived as a fallback plan to create more public space on 24th after some neighbors shouted down a proposal to convert a block of Noe at 24th into a pedestrian plaza.

  • how on earth does that cost $560,000

  • ✧ Here’s a quote from a Hearst-owned publication:

    I’m talking about crosswalks in upscale residential areas like Noe Valley, where runaway entitlement is off the charts.

    Adult men and women – mothers pushing their precious cargo in baby strollers or holding the little tykes by the hand – arrogantly step off curbs without bothering to check traffic. Once in the crosswalk, they saunter as if checking out the goods at a village bazaar.

    The author, columnist Stephanie Salter, goes on to gripe about how those tykes are going to grow up feeling entitled to their right-of-way in crosswalks or somesuch. Perhaps I should mention that this was written in 1999? Here’s the entire column:

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/The-nerve-of-a-new-age-Runaway-entitlement-3083308.php

  • SFnative74

    One bulbout is usually about $100,000-$150,000.

  • Brick is a Windows Paint pattern, it hardly qualifies as “decorative”. Fruitvale and Chinatown in Oakland have decorative crosswalks.

  • twinpeaks_sf

    So nice to see bulb-outs activated with benches and planter boxes. Makes a huge difference compared with the transit bulbs at Carl & Cole, for instance.

    And really digging the brick curb edge that started around Upper Market and is now travelling outside the neighborhood . . .

  • p_chazz

    Union labor.

  • p_chazz

    Anything beside gray concrete is an improvement.

  • sebra leaves

    I’m going to celebrate by going to my bank on 24th Street and closing my account. When they ask why I’m closing my account I’m going to tell them that it is too hard to do business in Noe Valley.

  • murphstahoe

    I’m sure they’ll miss you writing those 69 cent checks

  • alberto rossi

    also adding to the cost is the 50% mark-up the city tacks on for “project oversight”

  • Alicia

    Well, when you insist on paying costs with nickels and dimes, why do you expect people to like you as a customer?

  • The Overhead Wire

    I don’t understand why they are red. Really hard to see at night. Liked the white brick on Castro and 24th much better before. It’s better than nothing. But could have been brighter.

  • Bruce

    So… crosswalks make it hard to do business? What excellent reasoning skills you possess.

  • Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a gun on the streets in Dogpatch! Thanks for the reminder!

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