North side view of Fell Street traffic
Four sub-standard spaces like this one will become tow-away 7am to 7pm
The Municipal Transportation Agency will change its proposal for a safer traffic design on Fell Street between Scott and Divisadero to accommodate the concerns of nearby residents and other neighbors. Two parking spaces will become tow-away zones 24/7 while four others will prohibit parking from 7am to 7 pm daily. The revised plan results from an analysis of mitigations that a MTA hearing officer suggested following a public meeting on April 2nd. The new design is intended as an experiment to determine whether the approach to Arco and Divisadero can be made safer for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
MTA traffic engineer James Shahamiri explained that parking would no longer be allowed in the two spaces between the entry and exit driveways of the Arco gas station. However, the four parking spots directly east of Arco will be part of a tow-away zone from 7am to 7pm, the periods of heaviest vehicle and bicycle traffic. The removal of parking will accommodate a curb-side queue for motorists awaiting entry to Arco and for better visibility when exiting the station. Other elements of the plan include posting a sign advising motorists to not block the sidewalk and a green-painted bike lane -- the city's first -- to guide cyclists and alert motorists for safer passage on the traffic-heavy block.
At the April 2nd hearing nearby residents and Alamo Square neighbors complained that removing the parking spaces would create a hardship for the immediate households and the neighborhood. John Newlin, MTA hearing officer, declared a continuance for the proposal and directed the agency to consider five possible mitigations as reported in this BIKE NOPA post. Only two of the options were reasonably feasible: a reduction in the period of time for tow-aways and removal of one or more of the parking meters on the north side of Fell near Divisadero. Shahamiri explained that removing any of the meters would simply shift the parking problem from the residents to the businesses along Divisadero. "It solves one problem by creating another."
Nearby households will be notified within the next day or two of the proposal and of the next hearing date: Friday, April 30, in Room 416 at City Hall.