Remember that SFMTA is hosting another meeting about the San Jose Avenue Road Diet on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 6 p.m., Glen Park Elementary School. Caltrans and MUNI Forward will also attend.
These are the notes I took at last week’s meeting; they are not official minutes.
August 13, 2015
SFMTA/GPA meeting regarding SJA road diet
Damon Curtis, SFMTA Traffic Engineer
Lewis Liss, SFMTA PIO
Scott Stawicki, Transportation Committee of the Glen Park Association, facilitator
Goal of project:
Slow speeds (to 35mph or lower)
Don’t back up traffic on the freeway mainline [corrected. On the original I had “facilitate turning]
Intent is to end this pilot this year or early next year in advance of repaving slated to happen early next year, likely Feb or March.
SFMTA also looking at side streets and those speeds and engaging with folks who live on side streets to mitigate the impacts of the pilot on those streets.
Will single lane exit be repaired?
Curtis has been talking to Caltrans. They’ve gotten many complaints about paving conditions on the resulting one lane. He’s been told they’ve got a long-term grant they are trying to re-scope to include this lane’s repairs. If that happens, Caltrans is looking at repaving next fall though maintenance is supposed to do some spot repair, hopefully around the same time the city contractor is repaving SJA.
What are the plans to reconnect streets in Mission Terrace and GP?
That’s a good question for your supervisor or planning dept.
If VisionZero is primary motivation for SJ pilot and data driven, where is the data showing there are more collisions on this stretch than neighboring stretches?
Open house will have collision data.
What are some possible post-study options?
Making a recommendation for striping during repaving. More intensive improvements are not in scope right now.
How will you improve traffic flow and signaling at Randall?
MUNIForward has a project on Mission that includes this intersection.
Is Caltrans open to reducing lane to one
(Note from Heather: I didn’t understand this question, I’m sorry to say)
Discussion has happened. Probably will happen again when we go over data in October.
Clarify stretch of roadway belonging to Caltrans/SFMTA and speeds on each
The first vehicle feedback sign is basically the border between freeway and city street, before Monterey and SJA enter the picture, before the triple merge and tunnel. The offramp is 35mph advisory speed. Past triple merge, SJA prior was signed at 45mph, then 25mph during school at Randall. During pilot, 45mph was taken down.
Why not post 35mph signs now.
State law prohibits that. You must engineer a road that 85 percent of drivers perceive to be a 35 mph limit.
Engineering traffic surveys are required to be done every five years. Last one for SJA was done in early 2000s. Data is available. Email Curtis. The former traffic survey supported the 45mph speed limit. So first we have to get people driving slower.
Will there be a concrete divider separating bike lane from roadway?
S/b yes. N/b is a possibility, depending on final recommendations
Are any land use changes be continued as next steps and could housing go back into the cut?
Nothing we’re doing is inconsistent with that longer-term vision. Calming traffic on SJA is the first step toward realizing something grander on the Bernal Cut.
Will next steps include evaluating Randall signal timing
Signal timing will be part of MUNI Forward scope. We are doing some pedestrian bulbouts north of Randall on SJA, enlarging Dolores island. Board at open house will show all pedestrian improvements.
A goal is to reduce cut-through taffic. Where do you want the traffic to go?
Depends on destination of vehicle. Pre-pilot studies (SFCTA did them) their model shows that after phase II we could see as much as 400 or 500 vehicles not using SJA exit. Combo of vehicles staying on freeway, people with destinations further west who could get off at Ocean.
How are you reaching out to commuters who use SJA daily for their feedback?
We’ve heard from a lot of them. They’re finding us. We’ve got info on our website.
Caltrans has a PIO assigned to this.
How do you factor traffic backup on 280 during rush hour. It is dangerous.
Caltrans has told him they’re collecting their data. If there was a severe impact on the mainline, Caltrans would have been in my office, and that hasn’t happened. We’re also taking travel time surveys during peak hours compared with freeflow speeds.
Are cyclists safer?
When we look at collision data, we need a wider longitude than this pilot offers. We’ve listened to folks who use the facilities to get feedback. Our goal is to increase level of comfort.
What concrete suggestions have you received from people who don’t want the diet?
Return the roadway to original conditions.
The street has no driveways, no houses have pedestrian access to the street. How can it be considered a city street rather than an off-ramp?
It’s a city street. It’s an unusual street b/c it’s over a mile before you encounter your first control, but it’s a city street. This corridor is flagged as a high injury corridor owing to vehicular accidents.
If we are stuck with higher MPH speed limit, can we find funding for separated bike lanes?
It’s a possibility.
What process does Caltrans use for making these changes?
They’re looking at how to make a freeway run efficiently. SFMTA we’re focusing on a slightly different set of principles. No one party is really calling the shots, though this was a city-initiated project.
Couldn’t it be policed into behavior that is acceptable?
No. We can’t place a traffic cop at every hot spot.
If K rails are installed, how will street sweeping be affected?
SFMTA working with DPW to handle maintenance of all bicycle infrastructure throughout the city. DPW purchasing a smaller sweeper.
Would you consider a yellow blinking light at Rousseau, etc. as a caution sign?
Working with residents of those streets, they are considering speed humps. Raised half-domes dots are a possibility. He has to look into the California Manual on Uniform Control Devices, the “traffic engineering bible,” to see what the standards say. I don’t think a beacon would be warranted but there are other things we could potentially do.
Turn at Rousseau seems to be most dangerous. Looking at options?
We’ve gotten word of a couple of recent collisions at Rousseau. I’m not sure anything we’ve done has exacerbated that, so I’m not sure how to respond to that. Individual crashes that have happened don’t constitute a pattern, so we can’t say. Collision data is challenging to analyze in such a short time period.
SJA is identified as a HIC. Are their exceptions to speed limit posting rules on an HIC?
Can you put in speed bumps and chicanes before the study is done?
No, we cannot. We’re confined by the existing right-away.
What happens if Phase I and II do not bring 85th percentile speed down to 35mph, and it is a HIC, what happens next?
Unless speeds miraculously increase, or we have a bunch of crashes we can attribute to the pilot in some way or traffic on the freeway mainline backs up to Ocean, that’s the only we have to go back to the drawing board. Beyond that, if we get a slight reduction in speed, then we continue moving forward.
Is there a public comment period after Phase II?
When we take data in Sept., analyze it, sit down with Caltrans, come up with recommended final solution. We’ll share that with the public and potentially tweak it. Hopefully before Thanksgiving. Everybody involved will have an opportunity to comment on what we propose some time in the fall.
As we approach 1 million residents, more lanes for cars are not the solution for congestion
If you’re adding a barricade, you need to clean up the trash. There is a ton of it.