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Taylor Street will be safer for pedestrians by July

 In Uncategorized

SFMTA is installing life-saving, short-term solutions using paint and posts

We know all too well that streets in the Tenderloin are incredibly dangerous for people walking.

Janice Higashi was hit and killed at Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth Street in March while she was walking to lunch while serving on jury duty. Just one block away, Mark Swink was hit and killed at Golden Gate Avenue and Hyde Street in May.

‘Pedestrian scrambles’ have since been installed at both intersections so vehicles now cannot make turns when people are crossing. These simple, life-saving fixes reduce the chance of a crash happening in the first place.

These are exactly the kind of safety solutions we need throughout the Tenderloin ASAP. And we’re happy to report they’re coming to Taylor Street, where a person walking or biking is injured in a traffic collision an average of once per month.

Starting this week, SFMTA crews are bringing short-term, ‘quick build’ safety solutions to Taylor (to be completed by July!), beginning at Market Street and working up to Sutter Street. These safety fixes include:

  • Redesigning the street to encourage safer speeds by reducing to one vehicle travel lane
  • Adding more time for people to cross at intersections
  • Painting safety zones at intersections to reduce vehicle turning speeds and increase the visibility of pedestrians
  • Adding a left turn signal on Taylor at Ellis so that turning vehicles and people walking each have their own designated time
  • Adding a left turn restriction on Taylor at Eddy, which keeps people much safer while crossing by preventing conflict in the first place

These changes will all be completed using simple paint and posts, and will ultimately save lives. And they are an incredibly important interim safety measure before the comprehensive ‘Safer Taylor Street’ project, passed last fall, begins construction in 2020. Note: it’s exciting that these changes include lane reductions; that SFMTA is not waiting until construction to start this traffic calming is really fantastic.

This is what Walk SF has been strongly advocating for together with our partners in the Safer Taylor Street Community Working Group. Thanks to Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney for pushing for fast, bold action on Taylor Street, plus SFMTA for making Taylor a priority.

Walk SF will continue to watchdog what’s happening on Taylor to be sure these short-term, ‘quick build’ fixes meet the highest standards for pedestrian safety, and that the comprehensive, long-term changes happen as promised in the Safer Taylor Street plan.