Creating a Better Route for All
Supervisors Reiterate Support for Masonic Avenue Funding
Supervisors Breed, Farrell and Mar, representing the Districts surrounding Masonic Avenue, have reiterated their strong support for the Masonic Avenue Complete Streets project in a letter to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The Supervisors outline the importance of the improvements, not only for people on bicycles, but also for pedestrians and car drivers. They also detail the overwhelming community support the project has garnered and their desire to make Masonic a safer corridor.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been organizing members who live and travel near Masonic Avenue for years. Masonic Avenue has long been a dangerous throughfare and we are exited that the Supervisors recognize the importance of this project. We thank them for advocating on behalf of their constituents for a safer and calmer Masonic Avenue. Continue making a difference and send your own letter of support for this project to city leaders!
Key Vote on Masonic Avenue Funding This Year
In just a few short weeks, the SF County Transportation Authority Commission will vote on whether to allocate the funds the neighborhood-driven Masonic Avenue project needs to finally get built. Last year, your support letters were critical in ensuring the approval of the project. This historic vote was preceded by years of intense neighborhood organizing and support on behalf of a bold vision.
You can continue making a difference in getting Masonic finally tamed by sending a letter of support to city leaders to guarantee the funds are guaranteed for this critical project. These funds are by no means guaranteed, and Masonic may continue to claim lives.
You can use the text below as a guide, and email to MayorEdwinLee@sfgov.org, David.Campos@sfgov.org, London.Breed@sfgov.org, and CC Chema@sfbike.org:
SFMTA Board approves the Boulevard Proposal for Masonic Avenue!
After years of community outreach, organizing and planning, the Boulevard Proposal for Masonic Avenue was approved by a unanimous vote at the September 18 SFMTA Board of Directors Hearing! Thank you to the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, FixMasonic, Walk SF, University Terrace Neighborhood Association and all the neighbors and SF Bicycle Coalition members who showed their support for improvements to Masonic Avenue between Fell Street and Geary Street. Special thanks go out to Supervisors Olague and Mar for their ongoing commitment and support of this project. The approved project includes a tree-planted median, bus and sidewalk bulbs and a grade separated bikeway.
The SFMTA will now be completing detailed design work related to the project and seek funding to construct this project. The SF Bicycle Coalition will continue to work with our city and regional agency partners to ensure Masonic Avenue improvements get funded soon. Email Neal@sfbike.org if you have any questions or would like to be on our email list.
Masonic Avenue Milestones for a safer neighborhood street
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been organizing members who live and travel near Masonic Avenue for years, starting in 2007 with the founding of the group Fix Masonic. After 5 years of intense community outreach and planning, the MTA Board will be voting on the Masonic Avenue Street Redesign Study a blueprint for pedestrian and bicycle safety and streetscape improvements. Here is the history:
Spring 2007 SF Bicycle Coalition convenes the first Fix Masonic meeting with neighbors interested in making Masonic Avenue a safer street for everyone.
Summer 2007 SF Bicycle Coalition and Fix Masonic run a crossing guard program at the Fell and Masonic intersection to ensure a safe path of travel for people walking and biking across Masonic Avenue
Fall 2007 Fix Masonic and SF Bicycle Coalition begin collecting signatures and building local support for a traffic calming application to the SFMTA
February 2008 Fix Masonic and SF Bicycle Coalition hand delivers an official traffic calming application with over 600 signatures to the SFMTA.
May 2008 The speed limit on Masonic Avenue is reduced from 30mph to 25 mph.
September 2008 Bicycle signal head installed at Fell and Masonic, improving the popular crossing along the Panhandle.
Spring 2009 SFMTA receives Prop K Funding to begin planning for Masonic Avenue traffic calming. SF Bicycle Coalition and Fix Masonic speak up for funding at Transportation Authority Hearings.
Spring - Summer 2010 Fix Masonic and SF Bicycle Coalition conduct widespread community outreach to notify Masonic residents and businesses about first Community Meeting to redesign Masonic Avenue. Volunteers place hundreds of fliers on residents doors.
June - September 2010 SFDPW, SFMTA and Planning Department hold three Community Meeting to solicit ideas on improving safety on Masonic Avenue.
February 2011 North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association shows support for Boulevard proposal for Masonic Avenue.
May 2011 SF Bicycle Coalition, Fix Masonic, Walk SF and numerous community members show overwhelming support for Boulevard option for Masonic Avenue at SFMTA Public Hearing. Hearing officer votes to approve changes to Masonic Avenue and move to MTA Board.
October 2011 Fix Masonic and SF Bicycle Coalition speak up for funding for Environmental Review of Masonic Avenue at Transportation Authority and funding is awarded.
December 2011 SFMTA activates red light camera for illegal left turns against red arrow at Fell and Masonic.
June 2012 the Planning Department completes and authorizes Addendum to Environmental Impact Report for Masonic Avenue changes.
September 2012 SFMTA Board approved Boulevard proposal for Masonic Avenue.
The Boulevard Proposal for Masonic includes:
North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) has officially endorsed the Boulevard Option for Masonic Avenue, bringing a world-class Masonic Avenue one step closer to a reality!
NOPNA's endorsement comes after a broad survey of hundreds of Masonic neighbors who voted in an online survey, with a whopping 86% support for the Boulevard Option. The result of 3 Community Workshops and endorsed by the SF Bicycle Coalition and Fix Masonic, the Boulevard Option will bring an additional 200 trees (as many as the Panhandle!) to Masonic Avenue while improving crosswalks and creating a green, raised curbside bike lane.
With NOPNA's endorsement, we're one step closer to seeing the world-class Masonic Ave. we all deserve! Read below to see how the SF Bicycle Coalition has worked with neighbors to get to this point, and join Fix Masonic to stay informed on how you can keep this process rolling!
After three community meetings, where over 200 neighbors shared ideas and comments and voted for their favorite design, there is overwhelming support for the Boulevard Design. The Boulevard Design, endorsed by the SF Bicycle Coalition and Fix Masonic, includes a large tree-lined median, a raised 6" green bike lane, and large sidewalk bulb-outs to allow pedestrians safer and easier crossing at intersections. The Boulevard Option was called a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' by MTA Engineer, Javad Mirdbal and we are very excited to see that over 60% of the meeting participants strongly supported this bold plan to improve Masonic for everyone.
Next, Fix Masonic will work to educate the surrounding neighborhood associations to endorse the option that was overwhelmingly supported by attendees who live along the corridor. The SF Bicycle Coalition will continue to work with the city to finalize the technical street design and identify and support requests for funding for construction.
Meanwhile, Fix Masonic proposed a list of 10 interim safety measures in November 2010. With such a large-scale redesign of this street, this project will require funding and continued design work. Some of these ideas have already been implemented by the city, and the SF Bicycle Coalition continues to work with Fix Masonic to build a calmer, safer Masonic Avenue for everyone who uses the corridor or lives along it.
Follow all the latest Masonic news at the BikeNopa's A Better Masonic Series
Big improvements for biking are being proposed for Masonic Avenue, and we need your support at the final community workshop to discuss design options this Thursday. The City is narrowing in one of two different options - both include separated bikeways on Masonic and will result in a much calmer street to bike on. Read this great article from I Bike NOPA on some amazing improvements the Fix Masonic group has been able to achieve recently, and an overview of the future design options. And come to the final community meeting this Thursday, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the SF Day School!
Masonic Avenue is an important direct route and the flattest north to south route between the Haight and the Presidio, and is a very important route for commuters getting downtown and families on their way to Golden Gate Park. However, the current high speeds and lack of dedicated bike space make biking on this street uncomfortable and often times scary.
Thanks to the advocacy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and community group Fix Masonic, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency is moving ahead with a traffic-calming project for this busy street. The MTA heard requests from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Fix Masonic on how this street could be improved to make cyclists feel comfortable and confident, and the MTA has proposed the installation of separated bike lane. The separation would be from either a raised curb or soft-hit posts. The planning process will wrap up by the end of 2010, and the City will begin to seek funding for this exciting project.
For more information, please contact:
Chema Hernαndez Gil