Eyes on the Street: Market Gets New Paint for Calm The Safety Zone

ctsz9_small.jpgPhotos: Dennis Lee

Though we’re taking the rest of the week off for the holiday, we thought you’d be excited to see these photos, which represent the first pavement treatments for the new Calm the Safety Zone projects on Market Street, meant to improve pedestrian safety by re-enforcing the separations between motorists and pedestrians. As we reported two weeks ago, this treatment is the next phase after the stop bars were moved back from the crosswalks and fits into the larger rubric of the Better Market Street Initiative.  Thanks to Dennis Lee at the Great Streets Project, who snapped these photos at 4th Street and Market.



  • man, is the paint dry yet?! i wanna ride it!

  • Nick

    Looks nice. Too bad there’s not a green bike box there. The white layout kind of looks like it means “10 MPH Zone for Bikes.”

    What’s the color of the pavement called again? In a few weeks I imagine it will be marked up quite good with tire marks from those riding fixed.

  • It’s actually “fawn” — I brake for Bambi — though others have characterized it as “cafe au lait” or “mochacino” — if it gets people to wake up and pay attention that’s all that matters. Green (the hot Portland variety) comes later, once the Bike Plan injunction is lifted, to ink in some bike boxes at the intersection end and make sense of those advance stop bars that just showed up recently. SFMTA is testing this at the 4th and 5th Street intersections, they’ll be watching and evaluating to see which Safety Zone trial elements are effective at slowing traffic and getting folks to watch out for each other, and then they’ll take the winning combination and implement it at all Market St boarding islands from Castro to the Embarcadero. Get yourself a fresh soy latte and roll on down for a test ride . . .

  • fisherman

    Love this idea… but the color is not cafe au lait or mochacino. It is the color of over cooked salmon. Bring on the green! 😉

  • Can we get a similar paint job on FOlsom from 2nd Street eastward? Thanks! 😉 I kid, yet my sentiment is ernest.

  • thegreasybear

    Rolled across the new paint job this morning, before seeing it on Streetsblog–it really stands out. Motorists may even notice it, although–as always–there is no guarantee they will refrain from crossing into the painted zone as they do when they shut down the bike lanes.

  • EL

    To clear a couple of things up:

    “It looks like it means 10 MPH Zone For Bikes” – It’s 10 MPH for everyone (bikes included) when a buses/streetcars are at the island.

    “There is no guarantee motorists will refrain from crossing into the painted zone” – They’re not supposed to refrain from crossing at all. Motorists and bikes have the right-of-way here, but they’re supposed to slow down when buses/streetcars are at the island.

  • So this is only 10mph when transit is at the island? That’s doesn’t make too much sense. It should be 10mph all the time. It is approaching an intersection, caution should always be used.

  • CBrinkman

    Actually, they are only supposed to go 10 MPH even if no bus or streetcar is loading/unloading. This is a change from the old ignored signs that said 10 MPH when transit is loading/unloading.
    Now it’s 10MPH all the time for everyone.

  • mcas

    @CBrinkman: I wish… but the signs actually still stipulate when there is a bus in the boarding island. Otherwise, looks great!

  • Speaking of the end of the injunction…does anyone have a clue as to when Busch’s “imminent” ruling is going to come down? Do we really have to wait this long even for a ruling on reversible projects? I would like to take Judge Busch for a ride down Cesar Chavez, a street we’re not even going to be able to ride with any safety for more than a year from now, and that’s IF his ruling happens soon and the litigants fail outright sooner than later.

    Is it it just me or does it really seem like the 1997 Bicycle Plan fat lady is still no where near ready to sing?

  • @CBrinkman: Section 21756 of the California Vehicle Code requires drivers of vehicles passing a street car stopped at a safety zone “may proceed past such car at a speed not greater than 10 miles per hour and with due caution for the safety of pedestrians.” Otherwise, the prima facie speed limit is 25 mph (CVC 22352), unless an engineering and traffic survey justifies a speed limit of 15 or 20 mph (22358.4). Of course, the basic speed law (CVC 22350) always applies, but does not specify a numerical limit. Where did the idea come from that the speed limit passing a safety zone can always be 10 mph?


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