Local “car-light” mom has some ideas for better bike and pedestrian access in Sunnyside

Here’s a cut-and-paste from a blog by an urban planner specializing in traffic engineering who is also a Sunnyside mom that gets around mostly on foot and by bike.

Original post from the Urban Family Blog is here:
http://urbanfamilysf.blogspot.com/2016/09/unofficial-sunnyside-bicycle-and.html

Unofficial Sunnyside Bicycle (and Pedestrian) Plan (a work in progress)

I’ve been biking, walking, driving my car and riding Muni around the Sunnyside neighborhood for about four years now. I’ve noticed some limitations — some of which could be easily fixed with some paint. Others are a little more complicated. But before I get bogged down in implementation, here’s what they are:

Monterey Boulevard needs “sharrows”. In the bike network, Hearst is supposed to be the bike route here, but Hearst is significantly hillier. No sane bicyclist would ride Hearst instead of Monterey unless they’re going short distances. The cars are pretty clueless, many just having come off the freeway and still driving in their own bubble. I have to remind myself that safety requires I take the lane. Sharrows would provide a gentle reminder to both bicyclists and automobiles that bikes are allowed full use of the lane and that safety requires they take it here.

Intersection Stop modifications
Some bicyclist may still use Hearst for shorter distance trips. The intersections at Hearst and Congo, and Hearst and Baden are two way stops so that folks using the bikeway have to stop. These connecting roads (Congo and Baden) are steep and sometimes hard to see fast-driving through traffic. Both of these intersections should be either 4-way stops or 2-way stops where the bikeway does not stop.

Contraflow Lanes
The neighborhood has a couple one-way streets that prevent bicyclists from using the least hilly route or accessing critical infrastructure. Edna between Monterey and Hearst allows folks going towards City College to avoid the hill towards Monterey and Foerster, but it’s one-way the wrong way. It needs a contraflow bike lane. Similarly, Edna between Judson and Havelock (2 blocks crossing Marston) is direct access to the pedestrian (and bicycle) overpass over 280 to Balboa Park and the BART station, but it’s also one-way and needs a contraflow lane for bicycle access.

Intersection Redesign
I noticed that the intersection of Judson and Edna was tricky before a woman was hit and killed there a few years ago. It’s a 4-way stop with ladder-painted crosswalks, but somehow the hills still make it hard for folks to see each other. People want to blame that fatality on distracted driving, but I believe you can design you way to safety. I recommend a raised, textured intersection. But the specific design treatment could depend on what is decided regarding the next paragraph.

Judson between Edna and Foerster, after City College, is ridiculously wide. This is a stupid waste of space. Let’s put a park on some of this roadway!

There’s a beautiful piece of open space on City College property south of Judson at Foerster. I love walking through it towards BART. But City College should allow access through it’s campus here rather than the fence they currently have erected which prevents pedestrians from accessing the roadway around the soccer field this way.

That’s it for now. This list is a work in progress.

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