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Fix SoMa Streets: Public Speaks at Folsom-Howard Open House

Thor Denmark and the SFBC's Charles Deffarges at SFMTA's Folsom-Howard Open House. Photo: Streetsblog

Thor Denmark and the SFBC’s Charles Deffarges at SFMTA’s Folsom-Howard Open House. Photo: Streetsblog

Last night, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency held its first of two open houses to solicit feedback on possible safety improvements to Folsom and Howard Streets in the South of Market neighborhood. Some 50 people braved the cold and rainy night to voice opinions and hear from MTA staff at the SoMa Recreation Center. From the SFMTA’s website:

Demand on SoMa’s streets is increasing and will only continue to rise. The City estimates a 212 percent increase in SoMa residents and a 140 percent increase in SoMa workers by the year 2040. We need to prepare thoughtfully for the coming growth that will place more demand on the neighborhood’s transportation network. This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications.

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Crash on Potrero: Injuries are Not Enough to Get Safer Streets?

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Dana Cray Fernie having a gash sewn up after she was knocked from her bike Nov. 29. Photo: AnnaGrace Arnold

Dana Cray Fernie having a gash sewn up after she was knocked from her bike November 29. Photo: AnnaGrace Arnold

Last week, cyclist Dana Cray Fernie was out riding on Potrero when she was hit and knocked down by a motorist. AnnaGrace Arnold, a close friend, wrote this description on the SF Bike Ride Crew Facebook page:

My friend Dana was hit while riding her bike Tuesday 11/29 going southbound on Potrero between 22nd & 23rd (in front of SFGH), sometime between 10:15-10:27 pm. Specifically, she was hit at 1072 Potrero, which you can see in this photo [below], taken from across the street. PLEASE HELP US LOCATE THE DRIVER. If you were in the area at the time & witnessed the accident, or if you have seen a DARK BLUE, late model MINI COOPER which is now missing a SIDE MIRROR, contact me!! Any information could be helpful. SF is a small city and I know we can find the person who hit my friend & fled the scene if this post gets around. Please, please share!!!!

According to Arnold, Fernie is still not feeling in shape to talk with a reporter. “Dana is still foggy and sleeping,” said Arnold of her friend, who sustained a lot of road rash, a concussion, and a gash near her hairline–and, fortunately, no broken bones. She also doesn’t remember the crash.

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Safety Advocates Dominate Golden Gate Open House

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SFMTA's Miriam Sorell gets feedback from Adam Long and Johnny Huynh. Photo: Streetsblog

SFMTA’s Miriam Sorell gets feedback from Adam Long and Johnny Huynh. Photo: Streetsblog

Saturday morning, the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks (RPD) held an open house to get feedback about potential pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements for Golden Gate Park. It was held in the County Fair Building Auditorium in the park and was attended by some 40-50 people.

From the department website:

Tell us about how you get around Golden Gate Park and about specific locations where you have felt unsafe or see opportunities for improvement. We will share background about previous Park safety efforts and ongoing challenges, and we will ask you to provide feedback on the City’s priorities for this project. Your input will help RPD and SFMTA develop recommendations to make Golden Gate Park safe for all travelers through the Park; these recommendations will be presented at subsequent public events.

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Guest Editorial: TDM is a Roadmap for Sustainable Transportation

Transportation Demand Management can help balance modes in a more equitable and sustainable way Photo: Streetsblog

Transportation Demand Management can help balance modes in a more sustainable way. Photo: Streetsblog

Monday at 1:30, the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) ordinance that will require projects larger than 10 dwelling units or 10,000 square feet to adopt stronger measures to reduce auto trips.

The new TDM proposal represents a step forward. However, it will have greater impact on the livability of San Francisco if it includes four key changes: Read more…

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Bike Coalition Strategizes a Safer SoMa

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SFBC's South of Market committee strategizing how to make the neighborhood safer. Photo: Streetsblog

SFBC’s South of Market committee strategizing how to make the neighborhood safer. That’s Remi Ray, Charles Deffarges, Katie Brenzo, and Moses Nakamura. Photo: Streetsblog

Yesterday evening, the South of Market Committee of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) met at their Market Street office to discuss advocacy tactics for making sure SFMTA follows through on Mayor Edwin Lee’s Executive Directive on safety in their neighborhood. “They’re hoping to get this in the ground by May of 2017,” said Charles Deffarges, community organizer with the Bicycle Coalition. He pointed to SFMTA designs, projected on a screen for the group, of 7th and 8th streets, with physically protected bike lanes. “This design is not all the way there, but it is a first phase,” he said.

Streetsblog readers will recall that on the evening of June 22, Kate Slattery and Heather Miller were killed in separate incidents in San Francisco. Slattery died at the intersection of 7th and Howard streets. A month later, under intense pressure from the Bicycle Coalition, the mayor issued an “executive directive on safety.” Part of the directive was specific to the area where Slattery was killed, instructing “SFMTA to deliver near­-term safety improvements on 7th and 8th Streets in the next nine months.”

That process is now under way. Streetsblog covered an open house back in September, where SFMTA got feedback on designs for 7th and 8th. Now the Bicycle Coalition is focusing on longer-term planning for Folsom and Howard Streets. They want to keep up the pressure and make sure safety measures are put through before any more cyclists are hurt or killed. SFMTA is holding open houses on the designs on Thursday, December 8, and Saturday, December 10.

“My hope is we can figure out exactly what we want to achieve through this open house,” said Deffarges. “Our overarching goal for Folsom and Howard is to have the best streets possible–how do we use these upcoming open houses to leverage that goal?” Read more…

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Remembering Victims of Road Violence

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The walk ended in front of City Hall in San Francisco. Photo: Streetsblog

The walk ended in front of City Hall in San Francisco. Photo: Streetsblog

Yesterday afternoon, advocates from Walk San Francisco joined the newly formed “Families for Safe Streets” and others, for a walk of remembrance for traffic victims. The walk, with a crowd of nearly 100 participants, started at 16th and Mission and followed a circuitous route through some of San Francisco’s most notorious intersections, concluding with a vigil in front of City Hall.

From Walk San Francisco’s release:

At a time of year when most people are making plans to spend time with family to celebrate, other families will face empty seats at their Thanksgiving tables. On November 20, these families announced their newly formed group: the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) Families for Safe Streets. Members of SFBA Families for Safe Streets have lost loved ones, care for loved ones severely injured, or suffer from nearly life-ending traffic violence themselves.

Family members from across the Bay Area affected by traffic violence led a walk through a number of San Francisco neighborhoods alongside City and State leaders, doctors and nurses, and community members all wearing yellow to honor victims and call for safe streets. They carried signs with “Crash Not Accident,” to shift both public and policy-maker thinking that erroneously assumes traffic crashes are inevitable. Family members and friends held pictures of their loved ones to bring awareness to the real lives ended or affected by traffic crashes.

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SFMTA Gets Input on Plans for a Better Embarcadero

The current green striped, door-death lane on Embarcadero. Photo: Streetsblog

The current green-striped, unprotected lane on Embarcadero. Photo: Streetsblog

Yesterday evening, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency held an open house, at Pier 1 on the Embarcadero, to get public feedback for the Embarcadero Enhancement Project. From the SFMTA website:

The SFMTA, Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Planning Department and San Francisco Public Works Department are collaborating on a planning project that will increase safety and comfort of travel along The Embarcadero. Working with the community, the Embarcadero Enhancement Project seeks to develop a Complete Streets conceptual design and cost estimate that includes a bikeway along The Embarcadero from AT&T Park at King Street to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. A bikeway is a bicycle facility that is physically separated from moving or parked vehicles and pedestrians.

The meeting was split into two spaces to showcase and discuss two alternatives for the street. In one room, seen in the first photo after the break, was a “complete streets” plan that would put a curbside, protected bike lane on both sides of the Embarcadero. The other plan is exploring a bi-directional lane on the seaside promenade.
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San Mateo’s Highway 101/92 Interchange Eyed for Expansion

Another set of ramps even higher than the Highway 101/92 interchange's existing flyover ramps is among the potential traffic expansions under consideration by San Mateo County planners. Photo: Google Maps

Another set of ramps even higher than the Highway 101/92 interchange’s existing flyover is among the potential traffic expansions under consideration. Photo: Google Maps

San Mateo County’s transportation agencies are forging ahead with environmental studies of new lanes, ramps, and overpasses to add to the already massive interchange at Highways 101 and 92 in the city of San Mateo. Building on four previous studies stretching back to 2001, a new $500,000 study completed in June analyzed 25 different traffic expansion projects to remedy the interchanges “deficiencies” in carrying huge traffic volumes.

“Here’s a list of four short-term projects for $14 million, or we could start making investments in longer-term solutions,” explained county Transportation Authority (SMCTA) Director Joe Hurley to the agency’s Board of Directors last Thursday. “Based on how you want to package them, you could go with a $146 million project or you could go as high as a $353 million project.”

The “solutions” identified as winners by SMCTA include widening the existing partial cloverleaf on-ramps to two lanes, building new “direct connector” overpass ramps or adding new Highway 101 frontage roads and on-ramps [PDF]. The potential of the proposed traffic expansions to fix safety hazards that motorists currently face in navigating the interchange was also evaluated.

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More Carnage, More Data…and More Excuses from the City

Another crash on Market Street. Photo: John Rogers

Today’s crash on Market Street. Photo: John Rogers

Another cyclist was hit this morning on Market Street, between 7th and 8th, reported Streetsblog reader John Rogers. Details are still coming in. “Market is still a full-on traffic free-for-all, and the danger faced by the thousands of cyclists that ride the central street of our city everyday remains a travesty,” he wrote to Streetsblog in an email this afternoon.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Director Barbara Garcia of the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported on a recent analysis of trauma patients in the city.

From the Department Director’s statement:

People injured in traffic collisions comprise 50 percent of the patients seen at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Trauma Center–exceeding all other categories for cause of injury including falls, cuts/pierces, firearms, and assault

In other words, SF streets are literally a public health menace, like diabetes or guns. “This analysis puts into perspective the pervasiveness of traffic crashes in our society and the urgent need to invest in proven strategies to prevent crashes,” was the response of Nicole Ferrara, Executive Director of Walk San Francisco.

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Alameda Advocates Continue Push for Alternative to Posey Hell Tunnel

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Brian McGuire and Marisa Wood took the afternoon shift counting peds and cyclists on the Alameda end of the Posey tube. Photo: Streetsblog.

Brian McGuire and Marisa Wood took the afternoon shift counting pedestrians and cyclists at the Alameda end of the Posey tube. Photo: Streetsblog.

Advocate-volunteers with BikeWalk Alameda took shifts today counting cyclists and pedestrians passing through the Posey Tube on their way between western Alameda and Oakland. The count will be used to help push for a pedestrian and bicycle drawbridge between Alameda and Jack London Square, across the Alameda estuary.

“That’s the big, long term goal,” said Brian McGuire, vice-president of BikeWalk Alameda, who was out counting  during an afternoon shift. “That’s the number-one priority.”

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