Friday, May 7, 2010

SFBC Gets Construction Plates Removed from Haight and Scott: DPW Contractor Makes Corner Smooth and Safer

SFWD finally completes the job at Haight and Scott Streets

IMG_0278 by jsruby22. Construction plate hazards like this appear frequently in the city. Photo: Janel Sterbentz

The large construction plates that threatened bicyclists and challenged pedestrians at the northeast corner of Haight and Scott Streets have finally been removed and replaced with smooth pavement. On Tuesday morning, May 4th, contractors prepared the site for a new layer of asphalt. Persistent complaints about the plates by bicyclists and the advocacy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition led to the corrective measures.

Neal Patel, Community Planner for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, emphasized that coalition members are the "eyes on the street" and help report construction hazards like the one on Haight Street. "When we heard about this lingering hazard, we immediately notified our partners at the DPW and they fixed the problem within a few days."

The block of Haight with the plates is an essential part of the Wiggle bike route that sees several hundred cyclists every day. While construction work inevitably entails more complicated and time-consuming surface repairs, the city has very specific regulations -- the "blue book" -- that govern construction work on city streets and additional measures that must be taken for construction that occurs on bike routes. Some cyclists began to think the plates at Haight and Scott were remnants of an abandoned construction project they were in place for so many months. The particular work at this location was initiated by the San Francisco Water Department.

Vigilant reporting by cyclists and pedestrians of construction hazards is essential for safer streets, but preventive action is needed just as much. SFBC's Patel notes, "We're working closely with the DPW to help them be more proactive in ensuring construction zones never compromise the safety of any person using the street."


  1. Isn't there a standard that requires all street contractors to use temporary asphalt applied to the edges of plates so that there is not an abrupt grade change?

  2. yes, Doug, there is and the asphalt should be applied well and accompanied by non-skid surfaces along bike routes.