Muni refining Eighth Avenue traffic plan

by Thomas K. Pendergast


Officials at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) are taking

another look at a plan to put speed humps and traffic diversions along Eighth Avenue,

between Fulton and Lake streets.


There are approximately 4,700 vehicles per day using Eighth Avenue, mostly to enter

or exit Golden Gate Park, compared to 2,450 using Seventh Avenue and 1,525 using Ninth

Avenue, according to Muni statistics.


The plan was originally unveiled at a community meeting last Oct. 18, but concerns

raised at that meeting by some local neighbors have prompted Muni officials to review

the plan again and make some adjustments.


In the original plan, 10 speed humps were to be installed on Eighth Avenue between

Cabrillo Street and Lake Street, a fairway stop was to be installed at the intersection with

Lake Street and a four-way stop was planned for the intersection of Cabrillo

Street and Ninth Avenue. New painting and signage and “daylighting” were also

on the agenda.


Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the plan would have diverted northbound

traffic on Eighth Avenue at Anza Street, forcing motorists to turn left or right, while

southbound traffic would have been diverted at Balboa Street.


Since it is expected that northbound and southbound traffic will be funneled

onto Seventh and Ninth avenues, which has the presence of two schools, one on

each street, both safety and traffic congestion concerns were raised.


At Ninth Avenue and Anza Street, there is an elementary school adjacent to

the Zion Lutheran Church. Meanwhile, on Seventh Avenue between Cabrillo and Balboa

streets, there is the Frank McCoppin Elementary School.


In the morning, at about 8:30 a.m., Seventh Avenue gets congested from parents’

cars while they are dropping their children off, and again there is more traffic

in the mid-afternoon when the school lets out for the day. Plus, there is a

Safeway market on Seventh Avenue, between Fulton and Cabrillo streets, which

attracts a lot of traffic throughout the day and evening.


The latest version of the plan made public recently shows that four raised

crosswalks have been added: two crossing Seventh Avenue, with one at Cabrillo

and the other at Balboa streets; and two adjacent to the church at Ninth Avenue.


“We have made changes to the project based on concerns we heard about safety

near the Zion Lutheran and McCoppin schools,” said Muni spokesperson Paul

Rose. “We have been working with the communities of both schools to make sure

that the safety benefits of this project extend to schools near the Eighth Avenue

corridor, with particular attention given to the areas where school pick-ups and

drop-offs occur.”


Rose said that Eighth Avenue was specifically called out for safety improvements

in Muni’s Bike Strategy and Capital Improvement Program. Muni expects to update the

public on further changes to the plan during the next Parents Teachers’ Association

meeting at Frank McCoppin School on July 11, at 5 p.m.


Aside from that meeting, there will likely be another public hearing on the project before

it moves forward but it has not yet been scheduled.


“Right now we are refining our proposal and don’t currently have a firm date for the

public hearing,” said Rose. “We are targeting early 2018 (January or February), and while

we don’t have the exact date right now, we will be notifying all residents within the

project area via mail once the date has been decided. You can sign up for project updates

on our website ( since we will also be sending out public hearing

notices via e-mail.”

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