tv [untitled] October 16, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
and one that's generated a lot of excitement and interest as you can see from the folks here this afternoon. the project is the oaken fell bicycle pedestrian safety project. the genesis of this project, is as you well know, you all have set some goals for us in mta strategic plan of making san francisco's transportation network safer, and of promoting transit walking, boiging, car sharing, taxi, and other alternative modes to single passenger automobiles. so this project starts to strive towards those goals as the very ambitious goal that the board of directors has set of having 20% mode share by the year 2020 in san francisco for bicycling as well as goal set by mayor newsom and subsequently reaffirmed by mayor lee to reduce pedestrian injury collisions in
san francisco. so this project moves towards those goals and is one that we're very excited about. the project area is roughly in the geographic center of san francisco. it's kind of shares a couple of different boundaries with panhandle neighborhood, the lower haight neighborhood, alamo square. it's really a juncture in between different neighborhood and as well different modes of transportation. it's a key network connection. as many of you -- many in the audience know, oak street, fell street carry large volumes of motor vehicle traffic, roughly 60,000 vehicles a day combined on the two of them. as well, it's a neighborhood that is pretty dense residential, has a variety of shops and restaurants on vi dis vairo street as well as oak and fell. during the planning process people have told us they would like to see be made safer and more comfortable to walk on.
it's also aa-3> very key bicyce connection. these streets combined carry about 3,000 bicycle users a day. and to give you a rough idea we have an automated counter on fell street that has recorded a million bicycle trips over the past two years in one direction. we estimate it's about 1 million coming through the corridor each year. a very key significant corridor for bicycling. as the green line shows it's a key east-west connection between the path on the panhandle that is already going through a park meandering through a park, separated from traffic, a comfortable place to walk and ride your bike. then the wiggle bike route neighborhood that sort of avoids a lot of hills and gets folks from the west out to market street and to the downtown and beyond. taking a little closer look at
the neighborhood, this project focuses on three blocks of oak street and three blocks of fell street. there are so many users, a lot of folks who live here, who want it safer to walk and more livable. we felt we could do this by focusing on three key blocks between scott street and baker street, once again connecting the panhandle on the west to the wiggle bike route and duboce triangle neighborhood to the east. the existing conditions on fell street are that fell street is one way bestbound. there's three lanes of vehicle traffic carrying 30,000 vehicles a day. there's also a bike lane currently on fell street. that bike lane was put in about 10 years ago and receives heavy use. but as you can see in the photo, during the commute hours in the evening and really throughout the day on the weekends, the
bike lane becomes crowded with cyclists. it's relatively narrow and it's in close proximity to all those cars moving through at the peak hour, moving through pretty swiftly. oak street similar to fell street, three lanes one way but it doesn't have any bike lane. it's a wide street. folks have told us that they don't feel safe walking across it. they've complained about the general feeling of this urban arterial in there what is a neighborhood -- a residential neighborhood and a neighborhood that they'd like to walk to their shops to. so as we set out on this project we wanted to address those various concerns that we're hearing. just another couple of pictures about existing conditions. as i mentioned, it just has a heavy presence of automobiles
and leaves it impacted by them. walking conditions are less than ideal because you get bicyclists on the sidewalk. it's narrow, close proximity to traffic and oak street doesn't have any bike lane. so those who do ride on oak street, and i think you will remember -- presented last month she talked about the spectrum of cyclists and there's this 1% of people who are really brave and they'll ride rain, sleet or snow, they'll ride in traffic, and then there's the 7% of folks who are happy riding on bike lanes. and then there's the 60% of folks that studies have shown that want to ride a bicycle, that are interested in riding a bicycle, whose commute trips are short enough and trips to the store short enough that they could ride a bicycle but there's this sense of fear, sense of discomfort with riding. so what we're trying to do with this project is to create conditions that are more comfortable for walking, more comfortable for cycling, more
attractive to get those folks towards those modes. and as you can see from the photos right now it's just not that way. so as we set out on this project we really set the primary goal is to be safety. we came to the community at our first community meeting and shared the collision statistics which i'm sharing with you today, combined pedestrian and -- collisions, 30 collisions that were reported and more as we know that go unreported. and then we worked with the community to develop additional goals. and we asked them, what did they want to see from these streets, what could this project be to them. that's when again his rg through the community process we outlined that they wanted to increase the safety for all street users, for people who walk and bike, but even for people who drive. oak street and fell street are pretty fast. people are changing lanes,
driving in close proximity to each other. they said what could we do to increase safety for everyone. they also, again, wanted to -- they reaffirmed that we should increase the comfort and direct connection for people on bicycles, that this is a key gap in the bicycle transportation network between the panhandle and the west and the wiggle and market street in the east. if we could just fix these three blocks that people could get directly to their destinations more people would ride bicycles more often. folks just wanted us to add greenery, they wanted to soften this neighborhood, and to add greenery where we could, sort of extend that feeling from the panhandle and even in the wiggle where there's street trees and plantings, if we could provide more of those opportunities in this neighborhood. we also heard from people some concerns about impacts to autos. you know, people were wanting to make sure that whatever we did
here that we took into consideration that oak and fell as they exist today are primarily auto orbited corridors and they're -- oriented corridors and are vital to our driving network to get folks from the west to downtown and to the freeway, via octavia. they also asked us to make sure that we weren't going to do anything that was going to inhibit driveway access that we weren't going to put up -- when we start talking about a separated bikeway people were concerned we would make it so they couldn't pull in and out of their driveway. people were clear about wanting us to mitigate impacts to parking. we acknowledged this neighborhood is difficult to park in, people have said it takes up to 20 minutes to circle and find a parking spot at night. they asked whatever we do that we try to mitigate parking impacts. just a quick note, on the level of community output that we've
had as part of this project. we've held three community evenings, evenings and weekends, open workshops where people could drop in. we interacted with folks, sought a lot of input at these meetings. these were broadcast widely via e-mail. we directly mailed, we posted fliers for each of the meetings and met individually with 18 stakeholder groups, folks who are interested and concerned about pedestrian safety, about bicycle safety, paratransit access, accessibility issues. and of course all the neighborhood groups that are in the vicinity of the project ar area. and this is again just a list of the various groups that we met with. so i want to take a moment to acknowledge that we did consider a number of alternatives. and one alternative in particular that folks kept coming back to again and again was that they said why are we
doing work on oak street and fell street, why don't we direct people on bikes to ride on page street and haight street. the map here, page street and haight street are pearl to oak and fell, they're more residential, they have stop signs instead of stoplights upon this they're definitely calmer streets. but as we talk to people who ride in this neighborhood or want to ride in the neighborhood they said that page street and hayes street have hills. we want to ride on oak and fell because they're flatter with the best connection to the panhandle. we took counts. in the inbound direction, twice as many people ride on oak street where there's no bike lane where you're sharing a lane with cars doing 30 miles an hour, twice as many people ride there as page street which is one block over. on fell street it's six times as
much as hayes street. so i mean i think there was a clear story here about -- and we heard it from many people that there was a desire to ride on page street and hayes street. and then there's other alternatives that we considered. we considered removing a lane of traffic. there was going to be significant impacts to congestion if we did that. we considered doing a two-way bike lane in which we said what if we could concentrate both directions of bike traffic on one street and minimize impacts. but unfortunately due to safety concerns we didn't think it was logistically feasible. we also considered allowing parking overnight. that way, again, trying to meet folks halfway with their concerns about changes to parking. but we felt that this design wouldn't be safe at intersections for people on bikes. it would be potentially confusing to folks because of how we would have to mark the
lanes. and it would also limit the availability of us to build any real sort of separation. so what are we proposing? we're proposing on these three blocks of oak street and fell street to enhance the pedestrian environment by installing bal bouts by the corner of sidewalk extensions that make the street narrower for people to cross and also make it easier for cars to see people who are getting ready to cross the street at 13 locations throughout the corridor. that's every location that was physically possible, based on turning restrictions and other physical limitations. so that's our proposal. we also proposed to enhance all the crosswalks in the neighborhood to again increase the vi visibility of people as y cross the street and make it clear to cars where they have to stop, making it clear to people on bicycles where they have to
stop. and also adding greenery to enhance the pedestrian experience at the corners and elsewhere, where we could. for people on bicycles what we're proposing to do is take the space that's currently used for parking adjacent to the curb on the south side of fell street and south side of oak street and converting that to a bike way that's wide and a physical separation from traffic. what we heard from folks through this project and others is people want to ride separate from vehicle traffic. bike lanes aren't enough for folks who want to -- people who want to ride and people who want to ride especially on streets like oak and fell. we've been able to provide that here, a wide bike lane seven feet wide and a buffer zone that you see that has some traffic islands that are strategically placed that they're not blocking driveways and far enough from the curb, allowing taxis as we
do on market street to access the curb, they would allow garbage pickup, things that need to happen at the curb, the bikeway would accommodate that and we were clear that we would build that into the design. intersections, whenever you're working around safety you have to focus on the intersections. more than half of the collisions occur at collisions. we looked at best practices nationally, internationally. we went to other cities and looked at what they're doing, talked to them about studies they've done and incorporated that into our intersection design. at the intersections we have to accommodate -- make sure we're accommodating vehicles turning and also making cyclists visible so they're not coming into conflict with those vehicles as they turn. you see two options at different intersections. top one is at oak and vis dareo.
we're going to highlight it with green. and that's what we chose to do at those locations. there will be signal timing changes that allow the cyclist to get out ahead of the motorist so that they're not merging at full speed and that it's happening as safely and sanely as possible. the lower intersection design is like broderick and baker and scott where we have less turning volumes and where we think that this other design that we've heard and we've seen in other cities makes the most sense. in order to mitigate the parking change, as i mentioned we are proposing to restrict parking on three blocks of oak street and three blocks of fell street. that, combined with the 13 bal bout locations that we proposed comes out to 100 parking spaces about, and that's roughly because of the size of cars varies, in this neighborhood. because we heard so strongly
from folks that they wanted us to mitigate parking losses we did everything that we could on nearby streets to offset this parking loss and we were able to sort of buy back or find 45 parking spots on nearby streets. we did this by taking streets that are wide like baker and saying, baker has perpendicular parking on one street but it's wide enough to have perpendicular parking on the other side. we added that back. we were able to add angle parking on baker and scott. then another thing we did is we worked with our partners in muni operations and muni service planning to identify locations on the 21 hayes. 21 hayes currently stops on every block through this neighborhood and we said well are there locations that we could target to create some - s- absolute the bus stop, add back parking and make muni run more
efficiently. and working with them we identified broderick, the two stops, one at broderick and one at scott, where those have the lowest passenger boardings and alightings each day, and they're relatively flat and not near the senior center nearby, or other locations that people with disabilities might be trying to access. and there's still going to be remaining a stop on a block away. so those are -- that's the way we were able to buy back 45 of the 100 parking spaces. this net reduction of 55 parking spaces comes out to be 6% of the existing on street parking supply within a one block radius of the project area. this was -- we felt was a way to balance the trade-off between improving conditions for people who walked and people who biked and people who live in the neighborhood and rely on their car. additionally we did explore the
idea of residential permit parking in the neighborhood. as you can see in the map, the red and the green there show that residential permit parking currently exists to the north and to the south of this project area but it doesn't exist right in the project area. and so we talked to the residents and some people said it would be a great idea if we created a new residential permit parking area for this neighborhood. and we circulated the petition at our meetings. we had several community members volunteer to collect petition signatures for us. but we didn't get to the required 200 signatures that is our policy for creating a new residential permit parking zone. so that's a piece that we weren't ready to move forward with at this time. if it's something the community continues to advocate for that's something mta can continue to try to look at. if approved today, we're actually excited to announce
that the project could be implemented -- some of the aspects of the project can be implemented relatively quickly. because the bike lines are primarily striping changes and signs we can get started on those within the next few weeks. we have funding identified through the general obligation streets bond that was passed last year, that we're very excited was designated for this project. so we would start doing it on fell street. and then the changes on oak street are a little more complicated because they involve traffic signal changes as well as the striping changes are a little bit more involved. so they would happen through the fall and into the winter. then in the spring we would be able to do the concrete changes that i pointed out, pedestrian bal bouts, the traffic islands in strategic places along the bikeway to provide that separation. so we're really thankful that we're able to get that funding and that we've been able to work with our partners in department of public works to move forward with the design of that.
lastly, i just wanted to thank the hundreds of people who have come out to talk about this project, people who are very supportive of the project who want to see conditions improve, even those people who are concerned about potential impacts of the project. i know that it's asking a lot of folks to come out on their evenings and on their saturdays and the middle of the day today. i know i'm thankful and the staff is thankful for their input throughout the process. also i wanted to thank the several groups that have offered their official endorsements of this projects, neighborhood groups like north of panhandle association, the hayes valley neighborhood association, the lower haight merchants and neighborhood association, and i'm sorry if i'm going to forget some, supervisor olague's office has offered their support, supervisor -- offered her support, assemblyman tom
ammiano. by reaching out to a broad spectrum of folks both in the neighborhood and citywide, people who use the corridor or want to use the corridor that we're able to get a pretty broad consensus. not everyone is in agreement. i'm sure you will hear people have concerns about the loss of parking is what we heard a lot of, people have concerns about loading. but i think that this is definitely a tough nut to crack. oak and fell are heavy corridors in a dense neighborhood, but they are a vital connection for people who walk and people who ride a bike. thank you. >> thank you. excellent presentation. did you want to add anything before we go further? director brinkman has a couple of points to make then we will open it up to the public. >> vice chair brinkman: thank you. i did get a briefing from staff, much appreciated. it was very good. after spending an hour with you guys i still have a few more questions. could you, mr. montoya, detail
more about the pedestrian safety aspects. >> yes. so if we could go back to the last slide here. so what we're proposing is that every intersection in the project area on oak street and fell street between scott and baker that we would install continental crosswalks with the big wide stripes across them that we've adopted in it san francisco as our high visibility crosswalk. we're also installing advanced stop bars which sort of remind people who drive and who ride a bike they need to stop before the crosswalk and not in the crosswalk. we're also making sure that -- all the locations already have pedestrian signal heads but making sure the timing is setd set up to be within the standards -- the more generous than required standards that we have in san francisco. and also the bal bouts.
we're proposing 13 ball bouts at various intersections and we focused on shortening the crossing distance across oak and fell streets which are the widest streets. >> vice chair brinkman: intersections where the bikes are going to get a leading bike signal you told me what those are that leading bike signal will allow pedestrians to start crossing before cars are released? >> yes. i alluded to it. as director brinkman was explaining as broderick street as on oak street and broderick as cyclists approach divid dare row we will give them a head start, with a traffic signal shaped like a bike so they can get to divisadero ahead of cars so that merging movement that i explained happens with greater time separation in between the cyclist and cars. yes, the pedestrians will get to cross early too.
>> vice chair brinkman: i know that will be a big help. i think that i know we're going to get questions, since we saw from neighborhood input that people would have loved to have a traffic lane removed instead of the parking lane. you touched briefly on what was the thought behind going for removing the parking instead of removing a traffic lane. if you could maybe talk about that more i think that would be helpful. >> you know, folks have been talking about this corridor for years and about the impacts that it has on them as residents, and people who visit the neighborhood. one of the things they said is wouldn't it be great if we could remove a lane of traffic to accommodate the bike lanes. we looked closely at that and because of high volumes of traffic not just at peak hours, the highest of the peak hours in the am and pm commute but high throughout the day and even on weekends. removing that lane of traffic would cause significant congestion throughout most of the day. what we have seen happen on most of the other streets, is that people spill over on the nearby streets, nearby parallel routs,
they're still going to try to get where they're going in the quickest way possible but it spreads out those impacts onto oak and felon to some of those streets and they have muni on them and we worry about impacting muni on hayes and haight. >> vice chair brinkman: those are the questions i have. i'll be interested to hear public comment. >> dr. bridges. >> director bridges: on fell street, the corner of the gas station, that bike lane will be there to me is a huge safety concern near that corridor when you come right out of the -- bikes are in danger a lot as well as pedestrians. because there's -- the right of way there, there's no right of way for pedestrians or bikes. the bike lane will come right across that intersection? >> yes. so the bike lane will continue mostly -- at that index where in
where arco is, it will continue pretty much as it is now where we've created a lane for cars to line up as they wait to get into that popular gas station, cheapest gas in the city. we're keeping that configuration the way it is. we're going to improve it by adding an area for bicyclists to wait when they get to the intersection. right now as they wiggle their way up in between cars that are waiting they have no place to wait. we have a box saying this is where bikes are supposed to wait. we're hoping this improves the situation but we've been looking at that location over the years. you're right, it's a tough one and short of doing something different with the access to the gas station, this is the best we felt we could do at this time. >> chairman nolan: thank you. >> and i haven't been there through there for a while.
i don't know if there's auditory cross-signals for people who can't see but is any part of this project going to add auditory cross-signals -- maybe that's the wrong term. >> that's a good question actually and one that unfortunately wasn't raised up until this point so we haven't looked at it andists not part of the current proposal but it's something we could look into to look at the city's policy having more of those type of signals. >> i would appreciate that. that would be great. >> chairman nolan: thank you. good presentation. members of the public. >> just to the public is aware i will read three names out so that if any of those people are in the overflow room they'll have enough time to come. members of the public will be given two minutes apiece. the first three speakers are rez peter bejger and richard borgm
borgman. >> good afternoon. i came here actually hearing protected bike lanes with a bit of alarm, and came here to say support for the bike path on fell, and no on oak. but after hearing the presentation, i realized that there is some -- that some of the safety concerns were addressed. so i think there is a way to move forward with this project in a way that's safe for everyone. i am a professional bicyclist and i pull a trailer. so a lot of times i have to think fairly critically about the amount of visibility and ability to apply brakes not in a sudden way but in a way that it doesn't disrupt automobile as well as bike traffic. the reason that i've fairly
happy about fell street is it's a farewell low speed climb coming west. and it's a good place to actually have bike traffic segregated from auto traffic that is faster, and encourage more people it use it. i would worry about the separation though. there have been a lot of bike lanes put in recently on jfk, on clipper street, which really make bike travel unsafe. there are areas where people really need to take a lane in order to have enough visibility and enough braking time. so i -- let's see, was that one minute? okay. i would look carefully at line e,which talks about separating left turn travel from straight ahead travel. and i think that would be the way to make oak street