Safe Routes to Transit in the Excelsior

Posted Wednesday September 19, 2018 by Natasha Opfell

Safe Routes to Transit in the Excelsior

Walk-Bus Ride Audit Takes a Close Look at Mission and Geneva

Everyone who takes transit is also a pedestrian, so ensuring safe routes to transit is a vital part of the work of Walk San Francisco. Earlier this month, we hit the streets with the San Francisco Transit Riders and more than 20 volunteers, all Excelsior residents. We had an important question: How are the streets serving—or failing to serve—people who walk and take public transportation in the neighborhood?

Our combined multilingual walk-and-bus-ride audit took place along two high-injury corridors in the Excelsior neighborhood that are also major transit corridors: Mission Street and Geneva Avenue. These dangerous areas are slated to get safety improvements as part of the city’s Mission Street Excelsior Safety Project.

We took participants to three of the most dangerous intersections—also major public transportation hubs—and rode the bus together as well to discuss transit accessibility and reliability.

Participants had lots of observations and ideas for improvement, which they shared with us, a staffer from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and a reporter from The Ingleside Excelsior Light.

These points rose to the top:

  • The corridor’s bus stops don’t provide enough room for people to wait for the bus without blocking the sidewalk. Participants thought that transit bulbs (widening the sidewalk at bus stops) would be a great improvement for those areas.
  • There is a strong need for a crosswalk to be added to the east side of the Geneva Avenue and Moscow Street intersection. When we got off the bus and wanted to cross the street from the transit island, we had to do three crossings and wait for multiple traffic cycles just to reach the park directly across the way.
  • A majority of the intersections did not provide enough time for our group to cross, and vehicles consistently failed to yield when turning. It was, at times, a scary experience.

The safety of pedestrians and transit riders has tremendous overlap—after all, you’re a pedestrian right up until you get on the bus. We’re excited to be making this connection more explicit through our new Safe Routes to Transit work, and to help community members shape and win strong safety improvements through the Mission Street Excelsior Safety Project.

Walk SF will be advocating for these and more changes as the project continues.

And we’re confident the participants in this walk audit will remain part of the planning process. At the end of our audit, many asked when another would be; they were eager to get out to the next corridor and do it all again!