Friday, April 30, 2010

No Left Turn from Masonic to Golden Gate Clears Public Hearing

No left turn for southbound Masonic traffic onto Golden Gate under plan

Traffic calming measure for Masonic Avenue

A new restriction on left turns during morning and evening commutes from Masonic Avenue to Golden Gate Avenue moved one step closer to implementation Friday morning at a public hearing. The proposal by the MTA would restrict the turns from 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm except Saturday and Sunday. An MTA hearing officer approved the proposal after hearing two individuals testify in support of the measure and finding no one in opposition. The turn restriction will now be sent for final approval to the full MTA board where it is expected to pass.

Danny DeLeon, Facilities Manager for the San Francisco Day School, urged implementation of the plan to calm the traffic on Masonic Avenue. He cited several traffic collisions at the intersection, mostly the result of speeding downhill southbound traffic and accelerating uphill traffic that approaches Golden Gate. The Day School is situated at the northeast corner of Golden Gate and Masonic.

Marc Caswell, SFBC staffer, addressed the hearing as a Masonic Avenue resident and a member of the grassroots group FixMasonic. "This is a good addition to traffic calming on Masonic," Caswell said, "but we are hoping to see comprehensive changes in traffic design with other safety measures for the corridor." FixMasonic has long advocated an overhaul of the traffic flow patterns on Masonic to better share the roadway with diverse users and to vastly improve safety for all. Although MTA presented the turn restriction, the impetus behind the action was concern by members of the Day School. Leonard Moon, a parent of one of the students at the school, organized the request for the traffic change. Earlier this month Moon organized a kids-and-parents bicycle contingent as part of the citywide Bike to School Day celebration.

FixMasonic and other concerned neighbors are urging the MTA to imitiate the community review and study of redesigning Masonic which BIKE NOPA discussed earlier here. The agency received $120,000 more than a year ago to undertake the project.

The measure will go to the MTA board in June for final review.

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