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Vision Zero

Call to Action: Bring the Road Diet Back to Franklin

Tell SFMTA and Supervisor Stefani to make Franklin safer

Franklin remains wide and dangerous. Photo: Shanan Delp

Streetsblog readers will recall how the city slammed the brakes on a road diet on Franklin, despite speeding and ongoing carnage. Advocate Michael Sacks asked us to publish his thoughts along with links to an action page to help people push Supervisor Stefani to put safety first and push SFMTA to get a road diet back on the table.

The Ongoing Danger on Franklin Street

From 2017 to 2021, 38 collisions were recorded on Franklin between Broadway and Lombard Streets, including the tragic pedestrian fatality in November 2021 at the intersection of Franklin and Union Streets outside of Sherman Elementary. Recent incidents, like the pedestrian hit at Franklin & Green, underscore the urgent need for effective safety measures.

Evaluating the Quick-Build Approach

SFMTA’s Quick-Build project on Franklin Street initially promised swift, impactful changes. However, these improvements, primarily focused on temporary measures like painted safety zones, have shown limited effectiveness in curbing the primary issues of speeding and pedestrian-vehicle conflicts. While these steps were a step in the right direction, they have fallen short in addressing the root causes of the safety concerns on Franklin Street.

Reversal of Commitments by SFMTA and Supervisor Stefani

In a disheartening development, SFMTA and Supervisor Stefani's office have reneged on their commitment to implementing a road diet on the northern part of Franklin Street. This plan, which involved reducing travel lanes from three to two, aimed at slowing down traffic to enhance pedestrian safety. This reversal marks the second time such a commitment has been rescinded, raising concerns about the steadfastness of efforts to make Franklin Street safer.

Addressing Concerns about Side Street Traffic

The argument against the road diet revolves around fears of increased traffic on side streets. However, this concern can be addressed by making our side streets safer too: through strategic road design changes on these streets. Implementations like roundabouts, modal filters, and street narrowing have proven effective in calming traffic and preventing speeding. These measures can work in tandem with the main road improvements to ensure overall neighborhood safety without shifting the problem to adjacent streets.

Tell SFMTA and Sup Stefani to make Franklin safer!


Michael Sacks is a lead at Northern Neighborswhich advocates for more housing, better transit, vibrant business, and pedestrian & bike safety.

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