Masonic Avenue is being considered for a Boulevard Makeover. The San Francisco street has been in the news recently as the site of two high-profile fatality accidents in the past two years. And the rest of the numbers clearly support the argument that a change is needed. “Between 2004 and 2009, before traffic-calming measures were implemented, there were 116 collisions resulting in 131 injuries on Masonic.” Indeed, 32,000 vehicles use the street everyday.
The new design would remove two traffic lanes, and implement 1.2 miles of separated bike paths, add a center median and install sidewalk extensions to better accommodate transit vehicles and pedestrians. The new design is consistent with the Complete Streets movement discussed in an earlier post. The goal of ‘Complete Streets’ is to “ensure that all public roads in California are designed and operated to accommodate all roadway users, including bicyclists, public transit riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities”.
This new design has the support of the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association and will be put before the SFMTA on Tuesday, September 18th. Not everyone is behind the proposal, however, and the point in contention is that which could most successfully stall the improvements, the money. The project has an estimated cost of $18 million and right now funding is at only $1 million. SFTMA is hoping to find more funding from regional grant sources, but even if the project finds the funding and goes forward, it will be years before residents see any change.