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For The People, By The People: Designing a Safer Taylor Street

 In Actions, Public Policy, Vision Zero

If you’ve walked in the Tenderloin, you know crossing the streets there can feel dangerous. In fact, every street in the Tenderloin is a high-injury corridor, one of the 13% of city streets where 75% of severe or fatal collisions happen. Taylor Street alone saw 109 reported collisions in a five-year period, 69 of which involved people walking and biking.

Although the Tenderloin is one of San Francisco’s densest neighborhoods, with over 100 households per acre, the residents have some of the lowest rates of car ownership in the city. It is one of the most walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods in the city, which is why it’s important to make sure the people, including more than 4,000 children, who live, work and play in the Tenderloin have safe streets.Taylor Street Tabling

Walk San Francisco has been working with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) and Fehr & Peers on a 7-block streetscape project to make Taylor Street, from Market to Sutter, safer for all users. The Safer Taylor Street Project will bring a wide array of safety improvements to the corridor, including bulb-outs, wider crosswalks, parklets, and landscaping, as well as a possible protected bike lane.

Working with the community is at the heart of what we do. For Taylor Street redesign, we had an opportunity to test an innovative outreach process that aimed to meet people where they are via a series of pop-up tabling events. Not all residents have the time and interest in attending an MTA Open House, so how could we bring the open house to them?

We partnered with Tenderloin Safe Passage and the SFMTA to host a series of nine pop-ups, where we went out to the sidewalks to capture feedback from people walking by –– people who use Taylor Street every day.

Walk SF shared this input with the SFMTA, who will use it to influence their final design, to be released in late February. With so many community voices as an integral part of the process, we are confident that a Safer Taylor Street is on the way.

Thank you to Equator Coffee, Farm: Table, and George and Lennie coffee shops for their gracious donations for our morning tabling events. Thanks to SFMTA and Fehr & Peers for Safer Taylor Street Project.