Last week, Tenderloin residents were able preview something they have fought for for years: a safe Taylor Street. As a part of the Safer Taylor Street project, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and community partners set up a working model of a new street layout. (If you missed the fun, sign up for updates here and never miss another chance to shape improvements on Taylor.)
On a regular day, Taylor Street has three lanes of fast-moving traffic and narrow sidewalks. Last Wednesday, though, one of the traffic lanes and one side of parking were repurposed to establish protected bike lanes and more space for people walking. Planters separated the fully functional protected bike lane from car traffic, and people biking cruised along, enjoying the physical protection and slower traffic.
Taking advantage of the new pedestrian space, the SFMTA and community partners conducted outreach and set up a variety of activities. At one end of the event, around 3-D models of different proposed designs for the street, City staff gathered feedback from residents and passerbys. At the other end, people hanging out in the newly created space were able to draw, dance and play chess. Along the whole stretch of this transformative pop up, Taylor Street felt like a place where people wanted to be. Everyone who participated seemed to have a good time, enjoying the new space and each other’s company.
Even though this pop-up only lasted six hours on a Wednesday afternoon, the Safer Taylor Street project will bring similar long-term changes to a large stretch of the street from Market to Sutter. The design that was tested was only one of the variety of options and treatments; other design proposals include a two-way protected bike lane to turn this one-way street into a well-connected and accessible bike route.
This incredibly exciting project is still in its early planning phases, and there will be plenty of opportunities for community input down the line. Please sign up for our Taylor Street updates below to stay in the loop about future meetings and plans.