April 17, 2011

Mission Streetscape Preview: Cesar Chavez Road Diet


Wondering how the traffic flow on Cesar Chavez is going to work when it drops from 6 lanes to 4 as part of the Mission Streetscape Project? StreetsBlog posted this video that explains the mechanics and highlights the benefits to the neighborhood and drivers. San Francisco has over 40 streets that are on or slated for a "road diet" - thanks to a reader for pointing out that Valencia and Cesar Chavez are featured prominently in this film. Among the benefits the SFMTA cites are better traffic flow, revitalized retail, more parking, safer pedestrian walking areas, dedicated bike lanes, and more trees/green. And it looks better.

For Noe Valley car commuters that don't like the Cesar Chavez plan and/or just want to get to the freeway the old way, there's still some good news: road diets typically improve neighboring property prices too.


Anonymous said...

now if only they would pair road diets with improved transit. While I love the greening of the roads, it is not realistic to expect everybody to ride bicycles because SF is still damn hilly.

murphstahoe said...

Sadly the only way to get better transit is for the masses to really INSIST on it. And the only way that happens is if gas prices go to $5 or up. Which would get us better transit so we could get around more easily and safely, but would result in inflation across the board as gasoline is a root component of much production and is the primary form of goods transport.

We'll see what happens this time around, gas is $4.25 at Twin Peaks Gas, but unlike in 2008, MUNI has been cut substantially, as has Caltrain and BART. The only form of "mass transit" that is expanding are the Google buses.

Anonymous said...

Once again you have been smoking funny stuff.

So if gas prices go up we get better transit? Really? wow, what a simple and simplistic solution.

Once again, you drag out the tired but constant "cars are evil" mantra.

btw, I agree with anon @ 5:43. Cycling is quite limited in SF for many due to THE HILLS. fact. fact. fact.

Anonymous said...

"Cycling is quite limited in SF for many due to THE HILLS. fact. fact. fact."

The people who make this argument wouldn't use a bike for daily errands or commuting even if they lived in Nebraska. Red Herring.

Anonymous said...

Not true and not a red herring.

Try riding a bike from Noe Valley UP to the Diamond Hts. Safeway. Hills, Hills and Hills.

Try riding a bike from Parkside or Lakeside districts to downtown and back. You have a little hill called Twin Peaks in the way, both directions.

cr said...

If you live in Noe and want to shop at Safeway, you ride to the one at 29th & Mission.

If you're riding from Parkside to downtown, you head north to GG park and then come down through the Panhandle. If you're in Lakeside, you might take the other way around Twin Peaks, through the Cut between Glen Park and Bernal on San Jose -- another street that needs a road diet.

San Francisco needs better cycling infrastructure, yes. But if you have a good map, it's very easy to find your way around the hills for most trips. And it's faster than riding the godforsaken Muni (for many able-bodied people; I recognize not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to ride a bike in the city).

The point is: the major obstacle to bike riding in this city is not the hills. It's the way we built our streets from the 1950s-2000s to prioritize auto traffic at all costs. If we fix the road design, we can make our streets safer, more pleasant, and more efficient for everyone: for cyclists, pedestrians, bus riders, AND drivers. The Cesar Chavez redesign is far from perfect, but it is a step forward.

Meanwhile, Muni needs new revenue. We're counting on you in D8, Scott Wiener.

Anonymous said...

oh, dear cr: tell me you're not serious are you?

Tell me, pleasssssssssssseeeee, that you're not telling us how to live, now are you?

What if I WANT to shop at the Diamond Hts. Safeway? The key word is WANT! Personal choice. Freedom of choice.

Please choose your words more carefully next time.

cr said...

Dear Anonymous, you have my permission to live however you want. Thanks for checking!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Tea Party is alive and well in Noe Valley!

Anonymous said...

yes and CR is the chair person, working directly under S. Palin.

Anonymous said...

The idea that "road diets" result in better traffic fl0w is just flat out wrong.

The EIR for the Cesar Chavez Plan indicates that several intersections will have a level of service of "F" (on an "A" to "F" scale) as a result of the changes. This means that drivers will have to wait through several cycles of lights to pass through the intersection.

Of course, never in any public meeting did the Planning Department or the SFMTA ever reveal these facts. Instead, Andres Powers repeatedly stated that there would not be a significant impact on traffic.

I think it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the Planning Department had held a public meeting in Noe Valley and had been honest about the impact the CC project would have.

There might have been another Noe Parklet like insurrection.

Godot said...

The video is very qualitative; I want quantitative numbers and facts. How much better does traffic flow? How many fewer accidents/deaths over time? Otherwise I take this as just touchy/feely crap that some hippie is telling me. And I know hippies, folks. I followed the Grateful Dead around long ago.

I refuse to cycle in SF, not because of the hills (and not solely because I don't like it very much; I like to walk) but because it's dangerous as hell. I know too many people that have gotten hit (and I see too many cyclists that DESERVE to get hit) by vehicles cycling around SF.

Anonymous said...

Do you hear that murph?

Road diets don't work. CC will be a disaster. Congestion will increase.

Cycling is dangerous. period. How soon will you allow your young children to ride down Valencia ALONE?

Cyclists are scofflaws who refuse to obey any laws.

murphstahoe said...

You guys crack me up.

Anonymous said...

@Anon at 5:14 is right. We should not be doing road diets in the Mission that negatively impact Noe Valley. We should be doing road "undiets" in order to reduce congestion. Right now it is very difficult to get from Miraloma/Forest Hill to the 101. They put a bike lane on the upper part of Clipper. What they were SUPPOSED to do was remove the parking on the lower part of Clipper from Douglass to Dolores and make it 4 lanes, and increase the speed limit to 35. This would reduce congestion and improve the air quality in Noe Valley.

Anonymous said...

At least murph is learning to behave himself here, finally.

murphstahoe said...

I'm too busy cutting secret backroom deals to ruin your life to argue here.

Anonymous said...

But of course never too busy to peek in to take the bait.

Anonymous said...

Raise the speed limit on Clipper? I can't agree with Anonymous at 6:59. I live on Clipper, and people are already speeding all the time -- it's pretty dangerous, and there are lots of kids walking to and from the middle school nearby.

I'm no traffic engineer, but having a dedicated turning lane on Cesar Chavez seems like a good idea -- it might actually speed things up. I'll reserve my judgement until I see it in action.