Continued Disruptions on 19th Avenuedetour sign

Median improvements aimed at safety, beautification from Wawona to Lincoln Way

Work on the 19th Avenue corridors, originally scheduled to begin in “Sprint of 2012” is finally under way to beautify 19th Avenue along one of the City’s busiest transportation corridors. Demolition crews have begun scooping concrete out of the 5-foot-wide median, which will be transformed into a patch of green over the coming months.

To minimize disruptions to the public, the construction team will work on two blocks of 19th Avenue at a time, closing off no more than one lane of traffic in each direction between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays. However, motorists may experience traffic delays. Warning signs will be posted prior to the lane closures. The goal is to complete construction by March at the latest.

The median greening project is part of community-backed efforts to make 19th Avenue safer. The median will be planted with drought-tolerant ornamental plants, primarily succulents, to soften the landscape. The project is modeled after the successful median upgrade on Guerrero Street.

“We hope this greening project, coupled with the upgrading of traffic signals and the upcoming public-safety improvements, will provide a positive experience for drivers and pedestrians along 19th Avenue,’’ said District Four Supervisor Carmen Chu, who represents the area.

The median greening project is part of community-backed efforts to make 19th Avenue safer and more attractive. The City already has upgraded traffic signals and has plans to build pedestrian “bulb-outs” to extend the sidewalk at the intersections to make crossing easier. In 2008, a double-fine zone was established for the 19th Avenue corridor; a year later, the speed was reduced to 30 mph.

DPW is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and much of its infrastructure. The department cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and maintains city street trees; designs, constructs and maintains city-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; constructs curb ramps; removes graffiti from public property. More information can be found at www.sfdpw.org.

December 2012

Expect Disruptions on 19th Avenue

Median improvements aimed at safety, beautification

The San Francisco Department of Public Works announced that work is under way to beautify 19th Avenue along one of the City’s busiest transportation corridors. Demolition crews have begun scooping concrete out of the 5-foot-wide median, which will be transformed into a patch of green over the coming months.

Overseen by DPW, the 15-block landscaping project runs from Wawona Street to Lincoln Way in the Sunset District and is part of a multipronged approach to make 19th Avenue safer and more welcoming.

The median will be planted with drought-tolerant ornamental plants, primarily succulents, to soften the landscape. The project is modeled after the successful median upgrade on Guerrero Street and supports DPW’s commitment to make San Francisco a beautiful, livable, vibrant and sustainable city.

As a major north-south roadway with six traffic lanes, 19th Avenue carries more than 85,000 vehicles a day and is part of State Route 1. To minimize disruptions to the public, the construction team will work on two blocks of 19th Avenue at a time, closing off no more than one lane of traffic in each direction between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays. However, motorists may experience traffic delays. Warning signs will be posted prior to the lane closures. The goal is to complete construction by March at the latest.

The median greening project is part of community-backed efforts to make 19th Avenue safer and more attractive. The City already has upgraded traffic signals and has plans to build pedestrian “bulb-outs” to extend the sidewalk at the intersections to make crossing easier. In 2008, a double-fine zone was established for the 19th Avenue corridor; a year later, the speed was reduced to 30 mph.

The 19th Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project falls under DPW’s Great Streets Program that aims to improve the public rights-of-way for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and to soften the urban landscape with more greening. Among the corridors already improved are Valencia Street, Divisadero Street and Leland Avenue.

More information can be found at sfdpw.org.

November 2012

May 8th Traffic Nightmare-Bus Cuts

MUNI Schedule Cuts Expect longer waits and more crowded buses. The SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will begin MUNI schedule changes May 8th including reduced frequencies and shorter hours of operation on many bus routes and rail lines. “needed to bridge the Fiscal Year 2009-10 operating budget deficit,” according to official sources. For details on specific schedule changes please visit www.sfmta.com.

Construction Disruptions May 8th is also the beginning of preliminary work on the St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project. “The busiest intersection on the Westside,” it is expected to cause major traffic tie-ups. The M Ocean View and the K Ingleside lines will be suspended on May 8 and May 9 to allow for a temporary crossover to be installed on West Portal Avenue. Rail service will be restored from May 10 through May 16 and then suspended again on May 17 for the duration of construction. While construction is underway, rail service between West Portal Station and Balboa Park BART/Muni Station will be replaced by K and M line substitute bus service. Replacement Map for St. Francis Circle

The project will include:

• New Muni tracks for a smoother ride

• Street base repairs and new asphalt pavement

• New Muni signals and traffic signal systems

• Low level Muni boarding islands including platforms

for customers with disabilities

• Improved storm sewer system and curb ramps in

coordination with the Department of Public Works

• Improved pedestrian islands

• New crosswalks and smoother sidewalk surfaces

The replacement of Muni tracks and other improvements at St. Francis Circle are scheduled to start on Monday, May 17 and conclude in late summer. Before then you will see preconstruction activity in the area including surveying, sewer work, underground electrical conduit work, curb, gutter and sidewalk work.

Expect construction dust and noise seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, construction equipment and crews, periodic traffic lane closures and detours, temporary removal of some street parking, slower traffic, substitution of K Ingleside and M Ocean View buses operating on residential streets, increased traffic on side streets, longer transit travel times and some stop changes.

For details on the bus substitute service please visit www.sfmta.com/stfranciscircle.

For assistance in other languages, riders are encouraged to call 311. For bus and rail schedules and arrival/departure times by transit stop location, dial 511.

May 2010

19th Ave Slated for Upgrades

Traffic on 19th Ave

Improvements to the pedestrian crossings at the intersections of 19th Avenue and Judah, 19th and Taraval and 19th Ave and Sloat Blvd is set to begin sometime before the end of this year. Traffic at all three intersections will be subject to crossing closure and detour to parallel streets. This improvement work is part of an extensive series of projects that began in 2007.

The improvement work will require vehicle-traffic detours and closure of the intersections as work progresses. Ha Nguyen of SF MTA met with Sunset Heights Association of Responsible People this past Sept. 29. As project manager she and some of her staff made a presentation to the members of SHARP at that Tuesday evening gathering.

Vern Waight of SHARP said that he was impressed with Nguyen’s presentation. “It is a very extensive and complex project and while they are working on the streets crews will also work on other utilities as well as the intersection improvements,” said Waight.

Waight who worked as a traffic engineer for many years with Caltrans also admitted that while he was impressed with the presentation in the initial plans, “It’s going to be a mess along 19th Ave for a while.”

Traffic police will be directing traffic at each of the intersections while construction is taking place, he noted. “As the work gets going people will have to get used to the inconvenience,” said Waight. “Yet, once it is done it will be better and last for quite a while, at least 30 years,” he added. With the utility work that will be included in the repairs Waight said he understood the estimated cost to be at about 18 million.

The Westside Observer tried several times to reach Nguyen and Judson True at the SFMTA for verification and clarification, but requests for further information were ignored.

Waight also mentioned that at the SHARP meeting discussion about the “rebuilding of the mess at St. Francis Circle was also presented.” This work will require detours and closure of the intersection as work progresses. Described by SFMTA traffic engineer Bond M. Yee as “the most complicated intersection in the city,” St. Francis Circle is a five-legged intersection. According to a report this past February in the SF Chronicle, St. Francis Circle, which really isn’t a circle in the traditional sense of the word, has over 40,000 motorists daily. All those cars are simply trying to get to and from nearby San Francisco State University, Stern Grove, the Stonestown Mall, Interstate 280 and the West Portal commercial district. (See the full story on page one.)

Hopefully this work at St. Francis Circle as well as the work with the three intersections at 19th Ave will go smoothly. From Waight’s perspective as a former traffic engineer, 19th Ave is a “surrogate highway” as he called it. “It was never meant to handle so much traffic like a freeway.” He also said that even with the improvement work completed at the three intersections, 19th Ave would have the same six lanes.