Monday, October 18, 2010

SFMTA Installs Extra-Large Signals on Masonic Ave to Calm Traffic

New 12" lights on Masonic at Golden Gate intersection

Will the larger lights discourage speeding between signal changes?

SFMTA not alone with Masonic transportation studies

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) installed larger traffic signals along Masonic Avenue last week to improve visibility for motorists. The new LED 12" signals replace the previous 8" versions and are much brighter. The extra-large lights are intended to increase safety along the corridor by more clearly alerting drivers to signal changes. Javad Mirabdal, SFMTA transportation engineer, said the agency expects to install the larger signals on Masonic from Fell to Geary streets during the next several days.

Although the new signals may improve traffic conditions along Masonic, they are not the "signal upgrades" included in the Masonic Street Design Study currently underway. In those plans, the existing lights atop poles on the sidewalks will be replaced by mast arms that extend over the roadway for even greater visibility. Those installations will require new foundations and new poles at greater expense. Mirabdal of the MTA said the current signal replacements are "not very expensive" and are handled by in-house crews.

Masonic residents and users are especially interested in signal re-timing to discourage speeding. Mirabdal told a community meeting on September 30th that the MTA would complete the signal re-timing by the end of November. In conjunction with those adjustments, the larger signals might be expected to have greater impact.

In addition to the city's traffic study of Masonic, a private contractor has installed a camera on a utility pole at the southwest corner of Golden Gate Avenue. In response to a question by BIKE NOPA, Mirabdal said the camera posting was not part of MTA's study. Although not yet confirmed with the University of San Francisco (USF), that institution recently agreed to conduct a full transportation study of the streets surrounding its campus as part of negotiations with the University Terrace Association. UTA has been concerned with USF expansion that brings more students and their vehicles to the campus in the Masonic, Golden Gate, and Turk street area.

For other stories in the A Better Masonic series, check here.

1 comment:

  1. I can hardly wait to see what the effects are of the signal re-timing!