Bessie Carmichael is an elementary school located in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood. A survey administered by San Francisco’s Safe Routes to School Program in 2015 found that walking accounted for 30% of trips to and from school—a statistically significant decrease from fall of 2012, where walking accounted for 36% of trips.
The same survey found danger of intersections and crossings to be the second highest (65% of respondents) perceived barrier to walking or biking to Bessie Carmichael. Results of this survey can be found here.
The Bessie Carmichael Crosswalk project emerged from a site visit with school administrators and community members held in January of 2013. The site visit identified both short and long-term engineering measures to improve safety and encourage students to walk and bike to school. The SFMTA implemented several short-term improvements such as improved signage, daylighting, and traffic signal timing changes. One of the long-term projects identified was to open a midblock crosswalk to the school yard from the park.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND BENEFITS
The project proposes to open a crosswalk across Sherman Street between the entrance to the school yard and the pathway through the Victoria Manalo Draves Park. This project will require two new curb ramps, a painted crosswalk, and school crossing signage.
The proposed project furthers the goals of Vision Zero and the Safe Routes to School Program. Sherman Street is located between two Vision Zero High Injury Corridors – Folsom Street and Howard Street. According to traffic collision data (SWITRS) collected between 2008 and 2012, 516 injury collisions have occurred within a quarter-mile of the school. 15% involved pedestrians, 5% were severe or fatal, and 8% occurred during school hours. The proposed project would help to contribute to a reduction in injury collisions, potentially increasing walking as a travel mode to and from the school.
The project includes the following phases, with an anticipated completion date of winter 2017:
- Preliminary design: SFMTA will determine and establish a footprint of the crosswalk; this work includes field surveys, legislative clearances for parking or traffic modifications, environmental clearances, and drawings of potential alignment.
- Detailed design: SFDPW will design the physical changes needed for the crosswalk; this work includes hydraulic assessments, curb ramp design, and potential utility relocation (if needed).
- Construction: SFMTA and SFDPW will build the crosswalks; this work includes physical construction, potential traffic routing, interim parking modifications, and field assessments.