Last month at the general membership meeting The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association endorsed a proposal for a twenty five mile per hour speed limit on Monterey Boulevard. We are joined by The Sunnyside Conservatory, St Finn Barr School, and the Sunnyside and Glen Park Elementary Schools.
The Boulevard—which currently serves as a de facto extended “freeway onramp” for the Westwood Highlands and Saint Francis Woods neighborhoods—is a dangerous roadway threatening the safety of our children and community members. It also serves as a major
crossing thoroughfare for people in the neighborhood who walk, bike and drive. Simply put, the cars traveling on Monterey Boulevard at high rates of speed and the children walking to school or the aged and disabled attempting to cross the street do not mix.
A twenty five mile per hour speed limit will:
Save Lives. The likelihood of an automobile-pedestrian fatality increases exponentially with speed. According to the National Highway Transportation Association, only 5% of pedestrians involved in a collision with an automobile traveling at 20 miles per hour will die, but that number increases to 45% at 30 miles per hour, and 85% at 40 miles per hour. The time to act is now, before a fatal crash occurs. We need to acknowledge and understand that high speeds near homes and schools do not mix. We also need to acknowledge the increased bicycle traffic present on Monterey Boulevard due to the prescribed bike route through the Bernal Cut. Slower speeds will help protect other users of the roadway.
Reducing the Speed Limit Will Not Inconvenience Drivers. We propose reducing the speed limit for a two-mile stretch on Monterey Boulevard from 30 to 25 miles per hour. According to the “speeding calculator” at http://www.easywebcalculators.com/ speeding.htm, this will increase the time it takes drivers to cover the two-mile distance by only 48 seconds, which is negligible considering the many children and community residents that also use Monterey Boulevard on a daily basis.
A Reduced Speed Limit is More Appropriate for this Neighborhood. The area surrounding Monterey Boulevard is above all a residential neighborhood. It needs to be treated as such, rather than simply as a connector to the freeway. Reducing the speed to 25 miles per hour tells drivers unambiguously that they are passing through a residential neighborhood and that they should be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists and children.
In the last month the proposal was passed unanimously by the San Francisco Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee which the sent a letter to Supervisors Norman Yee and Scott Weiner, as well as the SFMTA, the Agency who’s board will finally vote to make the change.
Please call or write to Sup. Yee and let him know you care about the safety and well being of our Community!
On February 3 The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency presented its pilot traffic calming plan for San Jose Avenue at a meeting at the Glen Park School. There was a large turnout from Glen Park and College Hill. Unfortunately, the presentation conflicted with the SNA general membership meeting so Sunnyside was under-represented.
Currently, the northbound I-280 off-ramp at San Jose Avenue is two lanes with a posted advisory speed of 35 MPH. The top 85% of cars driving there hit speeds of 57 mph. The northbound San Jose Ave. “cut” between Glen Park and Randall is generally three lanes plus a bike lane with a posted speed limit of 45 mph and an 85th percentile speed of 48 mph.
MTA’s objective is to reduce the 85% speeds on San Jose Ave and the I-280 off-ramp to 35 mph with no significant increase in congestion on the freeway or in the rate or severity of collisions.
The plan is to put the northbound side of San Jose Avenue on a “road diet” by duplicating what was done several years ago on the southbound side. The three northbound lanes will be reduced to two at Glen Park. The third lane will reappear a few hundred feet from Randall Street so as to avoid a backup. The bike lane will be upgraded to a “buffered” lane with a striped painted area that will add more space between cars and bikes.
Phase one of the new street layout will be started in March and will be evaluated by MTA until November. If, at that time there is congestion in the cut Phase two will be implemented removing one of the two exit lanes that funnel traffic onto San Jose Ave. (Old timers will remember that the second exit lane was “temporarily” added after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 while the double deck section of the freeway was rebuilt. Since then, drivers from the Peninsula have habitually entered the city at San Jose, even if they were headed to points further north.)
The plan was well received by residents who attended the meeting and there was little or no opposition.
Questions or comments may be directed to Project Manager Mike Riebe at 701-2467 or Mike.Reibe@sfmta.com.
The Project web site is http://www.sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/northbound-san-jose-avenue-i-280-off-ramp-road-diet-pilot-project
Sunnyside traffic calming is on the agenda at this Tuesday’s Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee meeting. Join with the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Traffic Calming group to make your views known about lowering the speed limit on Monterey to 25 mph, getting a speed hump on your street or whatever bugs you about high speed traffic in the neighborhood.
PSAC os the advisory committee that reports on the needs of the city’s pedestrians to the Board of Supervisors, SFMTA and the Mayor.
The meeting takes place at
6:00PM, Tuesday Sept. 10
School starts early around here. Watch out for the little ones!
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For the last few years The Friends of Monterey Boulevard has been working with Safeway and the Planning Department to find a a way to mitigate the impact of the planned doubling in size of the store.
That’s why at long last we are happy to report that Safeway has addressed virtually all of our concerns. Here’s what they are proposing:
The median will not be removed in front of the store. Instead it will be replaced with a new, four inch high median with sloped sides. That way the three delivery trucks that will come each day will be able to back up over the median and into the new, enclosed loading dock. An additional shorter length of landscaped median will also be added to the west.
This is a vast improvement over removing the median and leaving the street wide open to higher speeds and will make traffic more orderly before it gets to the school crossing at Foerster.
Safeway is also proposing big improvements at the Foerster intersection with bulbouts that will extend the sidewalk out into the street. This will shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians. It
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will also free up space for the the bus stops on Monterey allowing more elbow room for people who are waiting for MUNI as well as walkers. Taken as a whole the improvements will also act to calm traffic at this heavily used and dangerous school crossing. We hope this will also mitigate the effect of the many new Safeway customers envisioned in the Environmental Impact Study.
We know That most everyone in the neighborhood has waited a long time for this project to get under way but we think that with these improvements the wait has been worth it.