Eyes on the Street: A New Crosswalk at Market, Golden Gate and Taylor

2.jpgThe new crosswalk surface at Market, Golden Gate and Taylor. Flickr photo: geekstinkbreath

Hot on the heels of a mystery stenciler who couldn’t wait for bike lane improvements, the Department of Public Works has done some stenciling of its own at one of the city’s most hazardous intersections for pedestrians. On Thursday, crews worked to paint in brick-like patterns on two of the intersection’s three crosswalks, increasing their visibility while also making them a bit more attractive.

Most of the three-way intersections on the north side of Market Street downtown are scary places for walkers: drivers are often confused or aggressive and lights are poorly timed. According to the MTA’s 2007 traffic report, with eight injury collisions in 2007, this intersection is one of the worst in the city. Even more concerning, the intersection has seen a sharp increase in collisions since the beginning of the decade.

DPW Spokesperson Christine Falvey said this is part of a pilot project that also includes the intersections of Taylor and Eddy and Turk and Golden Gate. The treatment uses an inlaid thermoplastic, is "quick and easy to install" compared to brick or pavement stamping, and is "typically used in high traffic areas to delinate area for pedestrians to improve safety," said Falvey.

"We will evaluate to see if it is effective in improving pedestrian safety and to note any maintenance issues," Falvey said.

A similar crosswalk treatment was done in Noe Valley last year, at the urging of the Noe Valley Association. Would pedestrians be safer if all crosswalks were this well marked?

Frank Chan of the SFBC shot these great construction photos from the SFBC’s 15th floor offices. See the completed crosswalks and a close-up after the jump.

1.jpgFlickr photo: geekstinkbreath
3.jpgFlickr photo: geekstinkbreath

4.jpgFlickr photo: geekstinkbreath

  • Brooke

    Streetprint rulz! This waffle iron technique is great for high traffic areas around Market Street. A much better application than the one on 24th & Castro, which deserves a more context-sensitive design.

  • Pat

    One part of Enrique Penalosa’s slideshow was the grade separated crosswalks at intersections in Bogota. The road is sloped up to the level of the sidewalk so that pedestrians stay on the same grade while there is a visible and tactile reminder to cars that they are traveling on pedestrian space, not that pedestrians are traveling on car space. People hate not driving too much here for that to happen any time soon though.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    Well we do have at least on speed table crosswalk on Octavia at Hayes.

  • g

    These are some really nice pictures, thanks and the difference in that intersection with plantings and the stencils is really amazing.

  • Tim Svoboda

    They at least make the neighborhood look a whole lot better. The Taylor corridor can use a bit more of Artistic beauty as that area has a depressing look. The new design brings some life to the area and for at least a while the cars speeding by tend to slow down as they come up to the designs that catch the eye. Lets see if the accident rate drops in that area….

  • Kate O

    While it seems like a good idea (and I haven’t seen anyone saying otherwise), I find these type of display patterns on flooring or street too distracting for the intended purpose. Maybe it’s just me, but when I cross places that have heavy floor patterning like this I get a bit nauseous and have viewing difficulties while trying to walk. Examples of where this occurs are Noe Valley crosswalk and a section of sidewalk in Little Italy with black and white tiles. Hopefully this portion of the street blends a bit more?

  • Awesome! Easy, fast, simple cheap effective etc etc. I expect this will do a lot to change the vibe of the intersection. I know that surface detail like this even without the implied texture does a lot to slow my driving (and biking), but not in a frustrating way like speedbumps or extra stop signs.


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