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.