Yesterday, after hours of public testimony, the SF Municipal Transportation (SFMTA) Board of Directors approved monumental changes to Folsom and Howard, two of our busiest, most dangerous bicycle corridors.
The SFMTA has been working on the Folsom and Howard Streetscape project for several years, gathering community feedback and implementing near-term improvements to inform the best possible long-term design. The years of deep engagement with SF Bicycle Coalition members as well as residents, community leaders and business owners in SoMa were evident in the outpouring of support at the approval hearing.
Lian Ladia, community engagement organizer with the SoMa Community Action Network (SOMCAN), drew attention to the pedestrian safety elements of the project, including increased pedestrian lighting, sidewalk bulb-outs and midblock crossings. “This is so important based on the continued research and actions of SOMCAN’s youth program in pedestrian and night safety,” she said.
Corner captains from SoMa Safe Passage who help neighborhood children get to school safely at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School said the project would provide much needed relief from current dangerous conditions. “Every day, kids walk alone to school. It’s very sad to see aggressive drivers so near an elementary school,” said Tatiana Alabsi.
Several SF Bicycle Coalition members spoke at the SFMTA Board meeting, sharing their excitement at the prospect of bike safety improvements, including two-way protected bike lanes and dedicated bike signals. Many of them, including Hannah Yendler, spoke to dangerous experiences they’ve had on the two corridors. “My first thought when I got hit by a truck was: ‘Well, this was going to happen.’ This shouldn’t be the case… The two-way protected bike lanes and protected intersections in this project will make these streets safer for people like me.”
As we move towards breaking ground on this project, continued pressure will be key to sticking to the current timeline. Help us bring the change we need and join the SF Bicycle Coalition today.