Complete Streets For Columbus Avenue

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Last week, the City hosted an open house to present on the Columbus Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Project. There were over a hundred participants from the neighborhood who were greeted by staff from multiple agencies to answer questions and listen to community feedback. We are encouraged to see a high-level of coordination by the City, and in the end, the message is clear: We want Complete Streets for Columbus Avenue!

There was strong representation from Columbus Beautiful, a locally-driven group consisting of our own SF Bicycle Coalition members, merchants, neighborhood groups, pedestrian advocates and more. From the start, we have been working towards a friendly and welcoming livable street that puts people first. We have been advocating for bike lanes on this key connection on the bicycle network, wider sidewalks for a more comfortable pedestrian experience and better intersections for safe crossings.

The City has responded with a menu of proposals as part of existing initiatives, such as WalkFirst and the Transit Effectiveness Project. WalkFirst is a data-driven initiative to improve street safety throughout San Francisco, focusing on high-injury corridors and intersections. The Transit Effectiveness Project is a large, network-wide overhaul of the transit system to improve travel times and reliability. This, along with a repaving of Columbus Avenue scheduled for later this year, gives the opportunity to move the “complete streets” concept forward.

The proposals include trial buffered bike lanes on Columbus from Broadway to Washington. The trial would last six months and the SFMTA would closely monitor the impact of the lane reduction.

SFMTA Trial Bike Lanes

There are also several pedestrian improvements proposed, including advancing the stop lines where vehicles need to stop or yield before a crosswalk and signal timing changes to give people more time to cross the street. There will also be temporary painted bulbouts, similar to the examples at 6th and Market, which decreases the crossing distance. Continental crosswalks will also be painted throughout the corridor, from Washington to Stockton, to highlight intersections.

For the full details of each intersection, SFMTA has posted the WalkFirst improvements online here (pdf), with more background on the project here.

Call To Action

We are asking for you to voice your support for these improvements as the details of these proposals move forward and we work together to push for the full “complete streets” vision to return Columbus Avenue to a neighborhood street, that is bike-friendly and walkable with calmer traffic. In particular, with the support of merchants along Columbus Avenue, the full vision is possible but it requires funding and your support. Take a moment to write a letter to Supervisor Chiu and the SFMTA Board to tell them what complete streets mean to you as someone who bikes, walks and frequents Columbus Avenue. Click here for an email template.

Subject: I Want Complete Streets For Columbus Avenue
To: MTABoard@sfmta.com, David.Chiu@sfgov.org
CC: janice@sfbike.org

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