Monday, November 29, 2010

Fix Masonic Group Seeks Interim Safety Measures on Busy Corridor

Small median island with traffic sign -- add 25 MPH sign too?

Northbound Masonic: traffic lanes and crosswalks faded

Hayes to Fell southbound faded as well

Fix Masonic wants the city to install interim traffic calming measures on Masonic Avenue during the long lead-up to the more comprehensive changes envisioned for the street. The grassroots group submitted a list of ten safety enhancements to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) in mid-November. The agency is researching the proposals, a few of which would require legislative approval. The proposed changes range from re-striping faded traffic lanes to establishing a double-fine zone for speeding. Fix Masonic is comprised of Masonic area residents who use the corridor for all modes of transportation and who want to stop the speeding that regularly occurs on the street.

SFMTA staff expect to complete a final report for the Masonic Avenue Street Design Study by December 31st. The planning document will recommend a transportation design that incorporates many of the features of the Boulevard proposal supported by a majority of Masonic area residents during a series of three community meetings earlier this year. Next spring the proposal will be considered at a public hearing before a SFMTA hearing officer, followed by presentations before the SFMTA Board of Directors and the Board of Supervisors. Once approved, city planners will conduct an environmental review, if needed, and seek funding for the $20 million proposal. The full process from completion of the final report to start of construction could require two to three years. Construction will likely continue for 12 to 18 months.

Fix Masonic, individual neighbors, and parents with children at the San Francisco Day School are urging the city to undertake safety measures during the long waiting period for project implementation. On November 17, Fix Masonic submitted the following requests for interim measures to Ricardo Olea, SFMTA Livable Streets Manager:
  • Re-paint crosswalks at intersections and upgrade crossings with zebra stripes as needed
  • Re-stripe travel lanes on several blocks where paint has faded. Masonic's narrow traffic lanes might discourage speeding if they were more visible.
  • Paint 25 MPH on traffic lanes at several locations in both travel directions
  • Paint School Zone at appropriate locations near the several schools along Masonic
  • Re-define traffic lanes at specific locations where lanes currently widen or end abruptly
  • Install a thumbnail median -- or use existing island medians -- and post a 25 MPH sign
  • Install the long-discussed and promised red-light camera at Fell and Masonic
  • Add an additional block -- Fell to Oak -- to the current project
  • Seek a double-fine zone for the Masonic corridor to discourage speeding
  • Post notices along Masonic on existing poles that indicate the number of speeding citations given during a specific time period (for example, "33 citations during December")
For more stories in the A Better Masonic series, check here.

Readers' note: I am a member of the group Fix Masonic.

1 comment:

  1. The California Vehicle Code supports School signs with no change in the current speed limit.

    22352. (a) The prima facie limits are as follows and shall be
    applicable unless changed as authorized in this code and, if so
    changed, only when signs have been erected giving notice thereof:
    (2) Twenty-five miles per hour:
    (A) On any highway other than a state highway, in any business or
    residence district unless a different speed is determined by local
    authority under procedures set forth in this code.
    (B) When approaching or passing a school building or the grounds
    thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a standard "SCHOOL"
    warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school
    either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The
    prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching or passing any
    school grounds which are not separated from the highway by a fence,
    gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by
    children and the highway is posted with a standard "SCHOOL" warning
    sign. For purposes of this subparagraph, standard "SCHOOL" warning
    signs may be placed at any distance up to 500 feet away from school