Eyes on the Street: Progress at 14th/S. Van Ness

Thanks to the hard work of protesters, SFMTA took some first steps towards stopping a Mission Audi dealership from continuing to flout safety

Paint and safe hit posts have made it clearer to Audi that they can't leave cars in the red zone. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick unless indicated
Paint and safe hit posts have made it clearer to Audi that they can't leave cars in the red zone. Photos: Streetsblog/Rudick unless indicated

SFMTA installed safe hit posts and painted beige no-parking zones at two corners of 14th and South Van Ness earlier this week, in an attempt to stop an Audi dealership from continuing to illegally park its cars there. The parked cars were blocking sight-lines and creating a hazard.

“The shops finished the painted safety zone on Tuesday, Sept 24th, at the corner of 14th St/SVN,” explained Ben Barnett, a spokesman for SFMTA, in an email to Streetsblog. “It met criteria for a painted safety zone due to repeated violations of the red zone.”

SFMTA also improved the paint on the crosswalks
SFMTA also improved the paint on the crosswalks

Streetsblog readers will recall families in the Mission have long complained that the Audi dealership parks cars in red zones and on the sidewalks. They also report that car buyers use the neighborhood streets–where children play–as a speed strip for test drives.

Activist Taylor Ahlgren, who lead last month’s protest against the dealership, tweeted about the upgrades–and the behavior of Audi employees:

In addition to Ahlgren’s concerns about the quality of the upgrades, Streetsblog noted that SFMTA crews once again just striped the corners, as seen below, rather than placing some kind of solid object there to force motorists to slow and take the turn safely.

Paint alone doesn't work to reduce turning speeds
Paint alone doesn’t work to reduce turning speeds
A car turning right sweeping the corner, inviting conflict with cyclists and pedestrians
Note this motorist driving right over the paint, sweeping the corner, inviting conflict with cyclists and pedestrians

Streetsblog asked Barnett if the city has a timeline for upgrading the paint and posts to concrete, or if further improvements are planned. As seen in the photos, the opposite side of S. Van Ness hasn’t gotten daylighting treatments at all yet. “We are also looking at daylighting additional corners of the intersection, but I do not have a timeline on that yet.”

Limitations of the treatments aside, clearly the protesters and neighbors are making some headway against this scofflaw Audi dealership.

A reminder that Streetsblog San Francisco will be off Monday, Sept. 30, returning on Tuesday, October 1.


SFMTA Plans to Install Painted “Safety Zones” at 40 Intersections This Year

The SFMTA has ramped up its roll-out of painted curb extensions, which the agency calls “safety zones,” at some of the city’s most dangerous corners. Twenty-one have been installed at at least 11 intersections, and the tally should reach 40 intersections by the end of the year, said SFMTA spokesperson Ben Jose. Painted bulb-outs are a low-cost […]

Upper Market Street Gets First Phase of Safety Upgrades

The SFMTA has completed its first wave of safety upgrades on Upper Market Street. The changes include painted sidewalk extensions (a.k.a. “safety zones”), high-visibility crosswalks, and signs prohibiting drivers from turning right at red lights. SFMTA officials and Supervisor Scott Wiener held a press conference today to mark the completion of the improvements between Octavia […]

Parking-Protected Bike Lanes, Ped Safety Upgrades Coming to Division at 9th

Bike lanes on the block of Division Street between 9th and 10th Streets will get some much-needed protection this fall. Earlier this week the SFMTA Board of Directors approved a design that will put people on bikes between the curb and parked cars. The massive 9th and Division intersection will also get safety improvements like large painted curb […]

New SFMTA Safe Driving Video Is Required Viewing for City Truckers

The SFMTA has produced the city’s first training video to teach truck and bus drivers safe urban driving practices and highlight the extra care needed to operate in close proximity to people walking and biking on city streets. The video will be required viewing for all truck and bus drivers employed or contracted by the city, as well as companies […]