February 26, 2009

Update: Cesar Chavez Street Design

Fran Taylor at CC Puede sent out an update from Tuesday's community workshop to discuss plans for Cesar Chavez:
About 70-80 people were there. Planner Andres Power brought us up to date on the median plan. Dedicated left-turn pockets will be added in both directions at Folsom and east-bound at South Van Ness, and the current ones at Bryant, Mission, Valencia, and Guerrero will be retained. These will all have dedicated arrows and also allow U-turns. Left turns will be prohibited at all other intersections to eliminate the snarl that currently happens when a car waits in the left lane for a gap in oncoming traffic. These decisions have been informed by traffic counts and modeling done by the Planning Department, and surveyors are out on the street now gathering further details.

The landscaping in the median will be drought tolerant, though the suggestion that it could be riparian at areas with underground water (specifically at 101 and near St Lukes) was thrown out from the floor.

The bike lanes will be five feet wide, as wider lanes look too much like car lanes. The suggestion was made to add cross-hatch striping to give a little buffer between the bike and car lanes. The weird part-time bike lane that runs eastbound for the block between York and Hampshire would become a permanent, full-time lane with permanent, full-time parking on that block. This made neighbors living on that block who had opposed bike lanes back in 1997 happy.

Discussion was generally positive and focused on practical questions and clarifications. The issue of potential congestion came up, but the questioner was supportive of the plan in later discussion. The strongest criticism seemed to be that the sidewalks wouldn’t be widened throughout -- only at corners -- and Andres said the expense of widening them would be prohibitive (about $2 million a block!). The Planning Department is looking for funding now to extend the project to the eastern side of the freeway all the way to the Bay.

Finally! Construction should begin in summer 2010 (this is after the PUC has completed the sewer work scheduled to start later this year), and it should take about a year.

[NVSF: Community Workshop: Cesar Chavez Street Design]
[CC Puede]


Anonymous said...

Noe Valley residents who use Cesar Chavez should pay close attention to this project. During the planning process absolutely no attention has been paid to the traffic impact -- the goals for the project do not even mention the importance of smooth traffic flow. The environmental impact report for the SF Bike Plan indicated that removing a lane of traffic would be a disaster -- every intersection studied received an "F" grade. The planning department is doing a traffic study for the actual proposed design but is not able to say when that will be available. This plan has the potential to turn Cesar Chavez into just constant traffic jam (like Octavia St. has become).

murphstahoe said...

I live in Noe Valley and do not use Cesar Chavez - despite that being the shortest and most conveniet route to the Caltrain, because it is more dangerous than I would prefer - for me to ride my bike on. The alternatives, Precita and 26th, are out of the way and 26 street has other dangers...

I am not alone - myself and thousands of other cyclists deal with 26th Street daily. Our delays count too, our safety even more. This before we include the value to the people who have to live with the speeding traffic in their neighborhood.

I'll make my vote known - Cesar Chavez would be better were it not a de facto freeway.

Anonymous said...

I would prefer that there be a bike boulevard on 26th St. That would be safer and more pleasant to ride on than Cesar Chavez. I guess there would still need to be bike lanes on the eastern end of Cesar Chavez just before 101 in order to connect to the bike paths under 101. That might require removing a few parking spots but would be fairly easy to do.

Cesar Chavez definitely needs some traffic calming but turning it into a parking lot is not a solution. And thousands of people need to drive on it every day so it is never going to be a great place to ride.