First-Ever Project Improved Pedestrian Safety in Key Area, Officials Say

The agency behind a first-of-its-kind project in San Francisco is reporting success in its goal of bolstering pedestrian safety in a small neighborhood in the Mission District.

Officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said data released Thursday demonstrated that the traffic-calming measures put in place in its first-ever “home zone” project are working.

The project, first introduced in 2011 and completed in 2014, implemented a number of speed humps, shortened and raised crosswalks, narrowed roadways and reduced lanes.

The Minna-Natoma Home Zone Project, as it was referred to, focused on a residential area bordered on the north by 14th Street; on the west by Mission Street; on the south by 16th Street and on the east by South Van Ness Avenue.

The area featured Marshall Elementary School, which has the city’s highest rate of kids and families walking, biking and skating to school, agency officials said.

And, according to a study evaluating the project’s impact, there has even been a 20 percent surge in pedestrian volumes in the surrounding area.

Vehicle speeds were reduced to less than 20 mph throughout the project area and people report an increased perception of pedestrian safety with regard to vehicles yielding and stopping, according to data released today.

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos said this was a critical area to improve pedestrian safety in.

“(And) we are thrilled to see that traffic is slowing down, and that our families and community feel safer thanks to the home zone project,” Campos said.

Prop K, a half-cent sales tax for transportation that was approved by San Francisco voters in November 2003, paid for the project. It was done in support of the city’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2024.

City officials hope to see the project replicated.

Brett Johnson, Bay City News

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