Improvements Completed in Noe Valley Aim to Create Safer Streets

Streetscape improvements that aim to make the 24th Street corridor of San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood safer and more livable have been completed.

Bulbouts for buses and high-visibility crosswalks along with new benches and planters are included in some of the new streetscaping improvements along that commercial stretch of road between Church Street and Diamond Street.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transportation Ed Reiskin said today that both visitors and locals alike will be able to benefit from better traffic signals, wider sidewalks near bus stops and more high-visibility crosswalks.

The roadway is designed to prioritize public transit and pedestrians, Reiskin said.

San Francisco Municipal Railway bus stops are bulbed out, designed with the intention of helping buses flow more easily and making buses “more reliable,” Reiskin said.

John Dennis, a program manager with the San Francisco Department of Public Works who worked on the project, said the improvements are part of the neighborhood’s urban village plan, which aimed to create more livable, safer streets.

As a result of the improvements, the stretch of 24th Street from Church Street to Diamond Street is now adorned with numerous benches and permanent planters.

The $560,000 neighborhood improvement project was funded through the voter-backed 2011 Road Repaving and Street Safety Bond as well as with additional funds from San Francisco’s District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner’s Office, according to Dennis.

The Noe Valley Community Benefit District, known as the Noe Valley Association, provides greening, cleaning, beautification and community planning services to the 24th Street neighborhood commercial district. The community benefit district includes 176 properties, according to San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The streetscaping improvements in Noe Valley haven’t spread to the rest of 24th Street. But on the other side of Church Street, in the Mission District, new lights were put up to counter the dense trees that made the area feel “unsafe” at night, Dennis said.

San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the improvements today, that this section of 24th street “is a model for what San Francisco streets should look like.”

However, the roadway doesn’t have bike lanes or sharrows and cyclists are expected to use Jersey Street, one block south, which also doesn’t have bike lanes, but does have sharrows, according to Dennis.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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