Monday, June 14, 2010

A Better Masonic: With Traffic Corridor Under Duress, MTA Hosts Community Meeting Tuesday Night

This is often the safest way to cross Masonic: at a very good clip

Multiple traffic lanes, parking lane and no median makes for long crossing

Masonic is the area's only direct north-south route for bikes too

And for Muni #43 as well

BIKE NOPA launches A Better Masonic today with a photographic view of the wide and busy corridor that fails to serve well all road users.

In the middle of the Memorial Day Weekend on a relatively quiet Saturday in the city, five members of the grassroots group FIX MASONIC walked each side of the Masonic corridor from Haight to Geary Streets to leaflet households about an upcoming community meeting. Although all lived on or near Masonic, none had ever walked the several blocks before. After two hours, they all knew why:
  • even on a slow traffic day, the noise from vehicles prevented easy conversation
  • the street is so wide with so many traffic lanes that using the crosswalk and reaching the opposite side in time is often difficult
  • the few pedestrian islands are too small to be useful or too unattractive with worn landscaping and uneven surfaces to encourage a respite
  • few other people walk along the street in any leisurely, friendly sort of way, leaving empty sidewalks
  • many attractive buildings and homes line the street but street and sidewalk conditions make it difficult to fully appreciate them
Try it yourself: Walk Masonic for three or four blocks without a destination but just to see how the street works for people walking the sidewalks and crossing the street, bicycling in the traffic lane, waiting for Muni, or driving along while dodging the left-turners and negotiating the changing number of lanes.

Does this essential north-south corridor work well for anyone? Maybe something better can result if we work together on a street design that serves us all and gives Masonic residents a street where they can talk with their neighbors, sit on the stoops, and enjoy the views.

The opportunity to do so begins this Tuesday, June 15th when the Municipal Transportation Agency kicks off a new street design study for Masonic Avenue. The city hopes to hear from as many neighbors as possible to learn what we want for Masonic and how we think it can work better for all of us. At this first of a series of meetings, city staff will introduce the planning process, review the current uses of the street, and request our input.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
6:30 to 8:30 pm
San Francisco Day School
(enter on Golden Gate Avenue)

More information:
(415) 701-4421

If you can, take the time to walk a few blocks of the corridor before arriving at the meeting. It's the best orientation to why the neighborhood might want a better Masonic.


  1. It seems that when the speed limit was reduced to 25 MPH in 2008, the traffic light timing remained at about 32 MPH. No REAL improvement.

  2. Thanks so much for bringing attention to Masonic -- I live just up the hill from Fulton/Masonic, and it is in desperate need of help.

    One of the worst parts is that nearly-empty mall at the corner of Masonic and Geary. All it does it repel people and it just needs to go. It's such a huge piece of land and it's virtually abandoned.

  3. If this is anything like other MTA Traffic Calming meetings, then a solution is 3-5 years away with questionable funding.

    Expect lots of studies, lots of delays, and a solution that is less than acceptable.

    Ask about the timeline at the meeting. Whatever it is, it needs to be acclerated somehow.