The SF Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) is preparing to break ground on its exciting project to upgrade 13th Street between Valencia Street and Folsom Street. Currently, people on bikes have to dodge fast-moving car traffic, and pedestrians have to navigate long and confusing intersections. To ensure that the City makes the best possible changes to prioritize bike and pedestrian safety, we need you to give SFMTA feedback today.
All three blocks of the 13th Street Safety Project are a part of the SF High Injury Network, the 13% of streets that account for 75% of severe or fatal traffic crashes in San Francisco. Due to its location beneath the Central Freeway and its numerous freeway ramps, 13th Street has one greatest number of collisions per block, even within the High Injury Network.
This is why we are so excited that SFMTA has prioritized adding a protected bike lane on each side of this corridor. These new lanes will connect to existing bike lanes on Valencia, Folsom, and the segment of 13th Street to the east of the designs. The proposed plans also include pedestrian bulb-outs to shorten crosswalk distances and traffic signal timing changes to give bikes and pedestrians more protected time to cross intersections.
These designs are a huge upgrade from the current layout on 13th Street, but we still have concerns about a couple of areas. The bike path to cross Mission Street in the westward direction is quite unconventional and may not be the best design to increase safety. At South Van Ness, bikes will also have to cross slip lanes, or lanes that allow cars to turn without entering the intersection. Slip lanes allow for high-speed turns and increase the time pedestrians spend crossing streets, so they can be dangerous to navigate on bike or foot.
The 13th Street Safety Project is currently in its Open House phase, and the SFMTA wants your feedback before final plans are approved. In addition to online comments, the project will be holding virtual Office Hours this Thursday from 12pm to 1pm. The Open House is only until this Saturday, April 30, so share your thoughts today!