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]