Speed Table Intersection Approved for Page
It treats intersections as pedestrian space, forces motorists to slow, and promises fewer collisions
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The San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board approved the Page Street Neighborway project Tuesday morning, which includes six sidewalk extensions (three at Buchanan, one at Laguna, and two at Gough), four rain gardens, and the city’s first raised intersection (shown in the lead image) at Page and Buchanan Streets.
“This project represents the kind of solution our city needs more of to calm traffic and protect people in the crosswalk,” said Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director of Walk San Francisco, in a statement. “Walk SF pushed strongly for this and are eager for this to set a higher bar for safe intersections.”
The $2.5 million project promises to slow traffic and create a safer and more comfortable walking environment on Page and on the crossings at Webster, Buchanan, and Laguna Streets.
The raised treatment at Page and Buchanan will define the intersection as part of the sidewalk–and therefore pedestrian space–that requires slower speeds and extra caution. It also raises pedestrians up a bit, making them more visible to motorists approaching the intersection. And the lift forces motorists and cyclists to slow. It’s hoped this will improve safety for people moving between John Muir Elementary School and Koshland Park, as well as other nearby destinations.
“The Page Street Neighborway is crucial to our green infrastructure across the city, and the project is also complementary to the on-going Page Bikeway Improvement Pilot, as well as SFMTA’s Page Slow Streets pandemic response,” said Jason Henderson, who is Chair of the Land Use and Transportation Committee of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, as well as the author of books about safe streets and an occasional contributor to Streetsblog.
Advocates have been fighting for this project for some time. Back in the spring of 2018, Walk San Francisco launched a petition to get the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to install the raised intersection at Page and Buchanan. As Streetsblog reported at the time, the city had some experience with raised crosswalks, at Waller and Steiner, and in the Stonestown Galleria. The raised intersection, which is more common in other cities, takes the concept a step further, forcing traffic to slow from all directions.
The challenge now will be for advocates to make sure the city doesn’t water down the designs.
“We need a network of safe streets across the city for cyclists and pedestrians, and Page street is a crucial part of that,” said Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district encompasses the project, in a statement. “My office is fully committed to projects like this that make it safer for San Franciscans to travel without leaving a carbon footprint.”
Construction should begin this coming Spring and be completed sometime in the summer.