IMPROVING STREET SAFETY IN THE GREATER SOMA NEIGHBORHOOD
There are many intersections in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood where freeway on- or off-ramps meet city streets. Many of these intersections are located close to public schools, single room occupancy hotels, and senior centers, which are frequented by populations at high risk of injury from traffic collisions.
The Transportation Authority led a previous ramp intersection study where we proposed safety improvements for five SoMa freeway ramp intersections. We are now working on a second study with the SFMTA to identify ways to improve safety for all travelers, especially the most vulnerable populations, and to support progress towards the City's Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024.
This study covers the following 10 intersections:
- Mission, Otis, Duboce, & 13th streets (U.S. 101 northbound off-ramp)
- South Van Ness Avenue & 13th Street (U.S. 101 southbound on-ramp)
- 8th Street between Bryant & Harrison streets (I-80 westbound off-ramp)
- 8th Street & Bryant Street I-80 eastbound on-ramp)
- 7th Street & Harrison Street (I-80 westbound on-ramp)
- 7th Street between Bryant & Harrison streets (I-80 eastbound off-ramp)
- 7th Street & Bryant Street (I-80 eastbound off-ramp)
- 6th Street & Brannan Street (I-280 northbound off-ramp, I-280 southbound on-ramp)
- Fremont Street between Howard & Folsom streets (I-80 westbound off-ramp)
- Harrison Street & Essex Street (I-80 eastbound on-ramp)
We selected these freeway ramp intersections based on three key factors:
- Emphasis on safety: We prioritized intersections with high collision rates.
- Coordination with other agencies: We focused on intersections that aren’t already being addressed by other City plans and projects.
- Proactive approach: Some intersections did not have reported collisions, but were selected because they have opportunities for proactive safety improvements (eg. new or upgraded crosswalks).
Over a recent five-year period, these intersections have had more than 135 collisions, of which 9 had severe injuries. In addition, all 10 intersections are in San Francisco's Vision Zero high-injury network, locations in the city that have disproportionate numbers of traffic injuries and fatalities.
Examples of improvements for the 10 intersections in this study may include bulb-outs, signal improvements, crosswalk upgrades, striping improvements, ramp reconfigurations, changes to the number of lanes on a street to calm traffic, or other ideas that emerge through the study process.
We intend to develop a mix of near-term improvements that could be on the ground in the next few years and few bigger ideas that might take longer to plan and implement.
Study process and community outreach
- Introduce study (spring 2018): The project team will introduce the study to the community and ask for input on potential improvement ideas.
- Draft improvements (spring 2018): Planners will conduct a detailed collision analysis at each intersection and propose intersection improvements.
- Present improvements to community (summer 2018): The project team will get feedback on the proposed improvements.
- Incorporate feedback (fall 2018): The team will refine and analyze the improvements based on the study goals and community feedback.
- Present final concepts (winter 2018): The team will release its final report and seek funding to implement the improvements.
This study was funded by Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant and San Francisco’s half-cent sales tax for transportation.
Contact Colin Dentel-Post, Senior Planner, and the project team at SoMafirstname.lastname@example.org
Signal improvement photo via Thomas Hawk