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    Thanks for the clarification — and for reading the article more thoroughly than I did!



    In my world the answer is “improve the transit”, not “screw Hayes Valley”.

    Of course your reply is “once the transit is in place, then we can fix the roads”, but that is simply a strategy to make it more difficult to change the status quo and preserve your stated preference. Oldest trick in the book after “Madest thou look. Hah!’



    This was mentioned in the SF Gate article. There’s a difference between the case where two lanes are merging into one, where the zipper merge is the most efficient means, and the case where vehicles are blocking a thru lane in order to merge into the turning lane. This latter case is definitely not efficient for anyone involved.



    Exactly. We have to get past this notion of neighborhoods existing so people can drive through them at the highest speeds possible.



    Seems to me that a pretty good road diet could be achieved even without removing lanes, by just taking out that huge median. The intersections with stop signs absolutely don’t need turn lanes, and the ones with signals could function just as well without turn lanes by implementing smarter signalization.

    Ditching the median and slimming the travel lanes further would calm speeds and make this road feel a lot less like a “highway”, while also freeing up a lot of space to work with.



    And you know this for a fact because?



    Puhleeze. Crosswalks are not exactly the death of car travel. Crossing streets are a dangerous part of being a pedestrian. Why should we have to wait and cross three times when we could cross once?



    Why should Hayes Valley suffer because people from the western neighborhoods want to drive everywhere? The inner neighborhoods deserve safe, calm streets as much as does the outer sunset.



    The “no ped crossing signs” predate the removal of the freeway and were, in fact, probably installed when the freeway was built, to make freeway access more expedient. Note: The world hasn’t ended since the sign was removed at Hayes/Gough. I don’t expect Armageddon at Fell/Gough either.



    I think that it’s about time that a “neighborhood sign removal action” takes place. MTA has been dickering around since the 1990′s. It’s all too clear that moving cars is their priority.



    It’s easy to see merging as a moral issue of rudeness vs politeness. But there’s been some interesting research that queueing up in a single lane actually makes traffic go slower for everyone. See



    “Overbuilt” is not a synonym for “all right”.


    Bill McLaughlin

    SPUR’s chief task with the Master Plan is fixing the erosion mess south of Sloat. This is the issue that sparked the creation of the whole OBMP process. Closing the main stretch of road between Lincoln and Sloat may be necessary to preserve the beach in 30 years or so, but not in the near future. Neighorhood traffic concerns are legitimate as GH traffic volume spikes radically on warm sunny weekends. Let’s start with a good fix for south Sloat (that includes a new parking lot / restroom facility properly located away from the bluff edge). Plenty of focus, time and money will be needed just to make this part of the MP successful.



    If things are all right on the lower great highway now – why take a chance?



    The surfers would probably benefit most from the parking. They were vocal at Crissy, silent now?



    I’ve never actually seen this road with many cars on it. How could it be controversial removing a lane from a road that is so completely overbuilt like this?



    Nah, nothing is getting past the huge concrete wall for awhile, and the Army Corps presumably adds sand back to the beach every year.



    Back in the 1970′s Muni should have went with Siemens U2 LRV instead of the lemons called Boeing Vertrol LRV aka North American Standard LRV. In the 1990′s Muni could have went with Siemens SD 100 instead of the Bredas. In other cities Siemens have operated very well.



    Plenty of right of way. I would argue for simply filling in the underpass and bringing the four underground lanes to the surface rather than trying to build a station down there. That gives at least six surface travel lanes + two surface parking lanes on the block east of Presidio and the block west of Masonic.

    There are already six surface travel lanes + one surface parking lane on the block in between Masonic and Presidio. You could find space for another two travel lanes (left turns onto Masonic) by removing the parking and that scrubby median. The BRT station would probably be located on the west side of the intersection with Masonic, where there is more space and turn lanes are less necessary.

    I’m not sure why the driveways effect anything – there are already driveways opening out onto Geary in many places where it is a six-lane surface road.



    Not as much right-of-way, especially if a station is to be built there. Plus it’s asymmetrical, and the left turns from westbound Geary onto Masonic (currently one of the busiest maneuvers) would probably have to be banned, causing problems elsewhere.

    Oh, and there are houses and driveways along the outer Masonic roadways, which aren’t as much of a problem at Fillmore (except the KFC/Taco Bell eastbound at Steiner).



    Why? It’s exactly the same as Fillmore, except it’s four lanes wide instead of six, and it goes under two intersections instead of one.


    Upright Biker

    You know, the fact of the matter is we _are_ getting there. What used to be a clusterf***k in the area pictured above is a whole lot better. The Beach Chalet is delightful, and we even take visitors to the Cliff House for a meal and a view.

    In the end, though, (and I warned about this way back when I sensed Ed Lee backing off from his support for livable cities initiatives such as Sunday Meters, and the whole “Restore Balance” crowd started to gain some headway) it seems the political winds have slacked off a bit even if they haven’t exactly shifted completely away from the ideals of the Transit First Policy. These are people who commission and then read polls very closely, so it’s no surprise SPUR also has their finger to the wind and is sacrificing the controversial for the essential in this election cycle.


    Miles Bader

    The fact that the lane removal is “most controversial” is so sad… Even without the erosion issue, giant roads like this which cut off the coastline from access are insane full-stop.



    Forget SPUR. I think Ocean Beach will put Great Highway on a road diet–a starvation diet at that.



    How about an unofficial road diet?

    That is, do not repave the outer lanes. Have a nice smooth left lane, a nice smooth bike lane, and a right lane that feels like driving on Mars.

    The lane is still there for all the traffic that “needs” it, but $5 most drivers merge to the left lane…where their speed is set by the slowest driver?



    Let’s say some traffic changing item could have been put in a place on Folsom for 1 million that saves Amelie Le Moullac’s life. Aside from the emotional component, Le Moullac was 24 and by all accounts a very productive young woman. She would almost certainly pay many times 1 million dollars in taxes over her lifetime, and accelerate money into the economy many times past that.

    We have a clear example here – it is not just time, it’s also safety. And making the statement that it is the pedestrians fault will fall on deaf ears – results are what matter.


    Don't Ever Change Ever

    While obviously no reasonable person would infer that the intersection in question was meant for pedestrians, technically it could be an unmarked crosswalk.

    California’s definition of a crosswalk makes no distinction between a divided highway or any other type of road:

    “(a) That portion of a roadway included within the prolongation or connection of the boundary lines of sidewalks at intersections where the intersecting roadways meet at approximately right angles, except the prolongation of such lines from an alley across a street.”

    Furthermore, California’s definition of an intersection does not require one street to cross another:

    “An ‘intersection’ is the area embraced within the prolongation of the property lines of two or more streets which join at an angle, whether or not one such street crosses the other.”



    Aaron Peskin really is a piece of work. Is there any development anywhere that he doesn’t oppose?



    Legally it’s a divided highway, and the intersection does not extend across (even for autos), so there is no unmarked crosswalk.



    The Fillmore one is easy. The Masonic one is hard.



    I’m not sure how to explain this, because you really don’t seem to be understanding that concept of there needing to be a balance between competing goals, and/or lack of infinite resources. There are lots of things I’d rather our government not spend money on. I’ve also never used Doyle Drive, but clearly someone made a decision that that project was a worthwhile cost to achieve one of our collective mobility goals. Don’t like it, figure out who it was and work to vote them out of office.

    My point was, we clearly can’t prioritize convenience for everyone all the time, and had you read my post, you’d have seen that I listed a whole bunch of arguments that I would consider compelling reasons to justify changing the design. Inconveniencing what is probably a relatively few people to walk 1000 ft (aka, one block) out of their way is acceptable to me, albeit the edge of acceptable. Now, if this was routine, I’d say no, if this was inconveniencing lots of people, I’d say no, or if it was inconveniencing a good number of people with mobility problems, I’d say no, not acceptable. If you look at the Google map, the main attraction, the shopping mall, doesn’t even have an entrance on that corner, and I would imagine, that was completely intentional.


    Ted Camesano

    We can discount suburbanites but they are a part of the city’s economy, working and playing here, and they often need to drive. GG Park users fought the deYoung Museum’s underground parking garage; can the museum survive without visitors from our metro area?
    I moved to SF in 1977, partly because I wouldn’t need a car. I now own one, but tend to walk in my own little neighborhood. I realize that I am privileged and pity those who must drive.


    Chris J.

    Yeah, what’s the reason for prioritizing this cosmetic change ahead of all the other projects that can actually increase safety? It especially doesn’t make sense if there’s a chance they’ll need to do it yet again to widen it.


    Jym Dyer

    @donsf2003 – I guess it’s because people here are interested in substantive issues rather than vapid ad hominem pattern-matching.


    Andy Chow

    To be a safe crosswalk there you need to make it signalized. If the crosswalk is synced like other signals along Geary, delays to auto is not significant, but it requires money that could’ve spent to improve crossing elsewhere where it is more needed.



    I don’t see you crying a river when we spend over a billion dollars to bring Doyle Drive up to the current specs of what would be considered safe. By your standards we should just close it down. They can just take Lincoln or any number of other roads through our National Park, the Presidio.



    No, the 4 minute delay is not to save every motorist from a 2 second delay. It’s to save the city from probably having to spent about $1M to bring that intersection up to the current specs of what would be considered a safe crosswalk and compliant with ADA standards. And, even if it was a delay imposed on one form of travel vs. another, those are trade-offs that have to be made sometimes. I don’t see anyone on here crying a river when a 10-minute delay gets added to someone’s auto commute, but no delay is acceptable for pedestrians? Let’s at least keep this at a reasonable level of discussion. :-/


    Jym Dyer

    It turns out that the truck in question is a Kenworth T370, which is quite a bit smaller than a semi. Here’s a press release from Daylight Foods, the employers of truck driver Gilberto Alcantar, whose actions killed Amelie:


    Jym Dyer

    For those who’ve come across this year-old story somehow, the update is that, thanks to lots of work from activists, the SFPD did forward the case. And the D.A. dropped it:



    Wait a minute. On the other thread you went into a fit that all we care about is bikes and there are disabled and elderly people who cannot bike. Now all of a sudden everyone can walk 1000 feet, no problem.



    This 4 minute delay is in place to save every motorist from a 2 second delay.



    wrong. In the case of the pedestrian, the value is 1000 feet. No more , no less. In the case of bus rider with stops 1000 feet apart, the *maximum* walk distance per trip is 1000 feet, but it could be as small as zero. The average would be 500.



    Additionally, as a cyclist, gneiss is particularly acutely aware of the issue of having one’s mode of transit be substandard, and develops empathy. The people who cannot empathize with the transit rider are people who solely drive.



    This is such horse hockey. Even if gneiss *never* uses MUNI (I used it – not as much as I biked, but I used it), gneiss benefits a *lot* from excellent MUNI service, and he knows it. 10 people on a bus means 9 fewer vehicles that might hit him, and the one vehicle remaining, while large, is driven by a driver who is at least given a modicum of training, and whose livelihood depends on him or her driving properly. That’s a win.



    Greg – why spend billions of dollars on public transit along already well traveled routes relatively short haul routes when we could much more cheaply install good, safe bicycle infrastructure for 10th of pennies on the dollar compared to the subways you envision? I encourage you to look at the examples in cities in northern Europe that have spent money of bicycle lanes and created high quality networks that get people where they are going. It’s far more cost effective then the giant public works projects we are spending money on in San Francisco. After all, the central subway is going to cost $1.58 billion for a 1.7 mile line that is expect to only carry some 20,000 people a day. If they had simply diverted private automobile traffic, made the bus lines better, and installed good bicycles along that route, they could have easily achieved that level of ridership with the need for a costly subway.

    As for Polk street being scary, that’s exactly what the Polk street redesign was expected to address.



    Sounds like you have created a problem for yourself.



    SFMTA doesn’t focus on bicycle based infrastructure by any stretch. The last few years they have spent less than 1% of their budget annually on bicycle improvements, and yet the number of people bicycling has increased by more than 60% over the last decade.

    Not spending on bicycle improvements means (1) more people riding on sidewalks (2) more crowding on multi use paths. Making everyone who rides a bike a law breaker because the streets aren’t safe is a totally counterproductive use of city resources. Instead making the streets safer with clearer definitions for what people who ride bike should do, and you’ll make everyone safer.

    As for saying that ‘I don’t care’ about the MUNI sickout isn’t true. I was asked if it affected me and I said no. But as I pointed out, this isn’t an isolated incident. Every city has labor issues with their public unions. But that’s not a reason to throw up your hands and say that you shouldn’t invest in transit, or that we should discount the needs of transit users by making driving easier.



    This is exactly what I’m talking about – you don’t care about the MUNI sickout since it doesn’t affect you – you bike. But not everyone can bike – someday you won’t be able to. Is it helping SF create a sustainable transportation infrastructure by focusing on biking like this while MUNI remains awful?



    I’m for everything except installing more bike lanes. Make driving and parking more expensive. Congestion pricing, Sunday meters, increase parking permit costs. And invest massively in public transportation – dedicated bus lanes, subway under Van Ness to Marina/Wharf, under Geary to Ocean Beach, etc. Expand BART to San Jose and up to Novato, etc. The focus on biking is distracting from/counterproductive to these goals. Biking isn’t reducing cars on the road and it not a practical solution for many folks. It is also making it more dangerous for walkers (Polk street is scary for me now to cross in foot). The solution is to focus on walking and usable public transit.



    Our transportation system must balance Safety, Efficiency, Convenience, and Cost Effectiveness, across multiple modes of travel. I don’t really subscribe to the notion that convenience, especially convenience for only one mode of travel, must always take precedent. I thought that the TEP analogy was good, and being asked to walk 1000 ft in a few isolated locations to cross a major thoroughfare, is not unreasonable. We are talking about a 4 minute detour, and if this truly only in some isolated locations, where there’s some other factor that takes precedent, e.g., safety, then I”m OK with that. In this case, pedestrian crossing at that intersection is prohibited because of the road geometry (exit, merging lanes, no room for a mid-street protection median) and grade issues (on the west side).

    Now, if the case could be made that this is a location with very high pedestrian traffic that wants to cross right there (a bus stop, a park, some sort of community center or service), or if the case could be made that many (not even most, just many) of the inconvenienced pedestrians were mobility challenged (a nearby senior center, etc.), then I think that there would be a clear case as to why this particular location should be modified.