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
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 (www.sfmta.com/8th) since we will also be sending out public hearing
notices via e-mail.”