Focus Cities: Putting Vision Zero in action in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood
This post, by our partners at Walk San Francisco, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Folsom and Howard are currently two of the streets on the city’s high-injury network (the 12% of San Francisco’s streets that account for over 70% of all crashes). If you don’t already know what a high-injury corridor is, learn more here.
Earlier this year, a 58 year-old man was hit and seriously injured on Folsom, adding another victim to at least 308 other people who have been hit and hurt on these streets since 2011. Moreover, three people have lost their lives on these dangerous, fast, one-way streets, including 44 year-old Melissa Kitson who was walking on Howard, 26 year-old Katherine Slattery who was bicycling, and 24 year-old Amelie Le Moullac, who was killed on Folsom while riding her bicycle.
On Folsom and Howard, 89% of pedestrian and bike collisions with motorists were at intersections and 59% of collisions were caused by unsafe motorist behavior such as running red lights, speeding, and encroaching on pedestrian right-of-way.
Data tell us both where AND why crashes happen on Folsom and Howard.
Armed with this analysis, crashes are no longer ‘accidents’ — they are predictable and preventable!
As part of the broader Vision Zero effort to end all traffic deaths by 2024, Walk SF is leading a campaign to transform Folsom and Howard (from 2nd to 11th) into safe, walkable, bike and transit-friendly streets — and YOU can be part of it!
If it gets community support from members like you before it goes to final design in 2018, the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project could be a great win for SoMa. Your voice can make these streets safe and greener for everyone, who lives, works, or travels on these streets, including the students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary and Middle schools.
If you don’t already know about the project, download the Folsom Howard Streetscape Project fact sheet, or refer to the project boards from April’s Open Houses.
How to Build Neighborhood-Friendly Streets
To redesign this pair of fast, one-way freeway feeders tell the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to include ALL of the following improvements:
Reduce four lanes of traffic to two (instead of three) and narrow traffic lanes from 11 ft to 10 ft to reduce speeding
Make intersections safe for people walking with head start signals, pedestrian scrambles (where people can cross in all directions at once), corner bulb-outs or “daylighting” at corners with painted safety zones, and highly-visible painted crosswalks
Widen sidewalks and add street amenities like benches, people-scaled lighting, and trees and gardens to make walking more pleasant, and add decorative paving, public art and plazas to create a sense of neighborhood and promote community
Build raised crosswalks/intersections to promote yielding by slowing traffic and signalized mid-block crossings to make it easy to travel by foot
Add strong safety treatments around Bessie Carmichael School at 7th and Howard, near family housing at 6th and Howard and 7th and Howard, by The Arc Community Center at 11th and Howard, close to the SoMa Family Resource Center at Mabini and Folsom, as well as between the Moscone Center and the Yerba Bunea Center for the Arts, which should have a pedestrian scramble
Prioritize transit and bicycling access to reduce traffic congestion with Transit-only lanes and boarding islands, and incorporate parking-protected bicycle lanes to significantly improve safety
For the latest Folsom-Howard Streetscape project news and events, sign up today.
Questions or comments? Contact Neighborhood Organizer Josie Ahrens.
Cross-posted at Walk San Francisco’s site.