A Safer Potrero Avenue on the Way

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San Franciscans won a major livable streets victory last week when the SFMTA Board of Directors approved key Potrero Avenue traffic modifications that include critically needed bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements. Potrero Avenue is the only direct bike route between the Mission and the southern neighborhoods east of Valencia Street, and with the recent construction of the Cesar Chávez and Bayshore bike lanes, building safe bike infrastructure is even more critical because the number of people biking is only expected to grow.

The new Potrero, with its buffered bicycle lanes from 17th Street to 25th Street, will open up safe, healthy and affordable transportation alternatives for the Mission, Portrero Hill, Bayview and Dogpatch neighborhoods, all while facilitating access to SF General Hospital and local businesses. As a truly multi-modal project, the Portrero update will also improve the transit experience of thousands of people who travel the corridor.

Today, Potrero Avenue between 20th and 25th streets is one of the most dangerous corridors for people walking, an unacceptable state of affairs in front of San Francisco’s largest hospital.  The approved sidewalk-widening will be a necessary first step in remedying this situation and making the Mission and Potrero Hill safer for everyone, but particularly for the most vulnerable San Franciscans.

The approval follows public outreach that began in 2012 and culminated with five bilingual community meetings in 2013. In collaboration with Walk SF and CC Puede, the community group that led the recent Cesar Chavez improvements, we have worked diligently to ensure maximum participation and support for this project from members, residents and businesses. Construction is slated to begin later this year, with repaving from Alameda to the 101 on-ramp included. The project will be completed by Summer 2015.

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