New Folsom, Howard Designs

Late last month, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) presented their new designs for Folsom and Howard streets to a packed house at Bessie Carmichael Elementary. Over a hundred people attended the first of a pair of open houses, among them nearby residents, neighborhood activists, SF Bicycle Coalition members and elected officials.

These new designs are a big step forward for The Folsom and Howard Streetscape Project which has been in planning since 2015. With feedback from this latest round of open houses, the SFMTA hopes to narrow down their design and see a final version approved by the end of 2017

For those who couldn’t make the meetings in person, we’re sharing the designs with you below. We are also hoping to hear from you, our members, about which design alternative you prefer. On June 1, we are hosting a SoMa Member Committee Meeting to review and talk through these four designs. This will be a space for you to bring your questions and feedback, while shaping our recommendation for the future of these streets.

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1. Bicycle Connectivity option:

Two-way protected bicycle lanes provide a huge 12 feet of space for bikes on both Folsom and Howard. In this option, people biking are able to travel in either direction on both streets.  

2. Widest Sidewalk option:

While all of the design options widen the sidewalks significantly, this option takes them to a full 15 feet on both sides of the streets. One-way, eight-foot protected bicycle lanes on the north side of each Folsom and Howard offer plenty of space for people riding.

3. Transit-Focused option:

A transit-only lane on Folsom significantly speeding up buses along the corridor. Two slightly narrower, seven-foot bike lanes are protected in part by transit boarding islands along the south side of Folsom Street.

4. Two-Way Traffic option:

Both Folsom and Howard allow two-way automobile traffic in this option. Folsom has two seven-foot, one-way bike lanes — one in either direction. Significant trade-offs with this option include a 65 percent reduction in transit time and increased inter-modal conflicts due to new turning movements.

All of these design options offer protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks for the full length of the project. We’ve advocated alongside our members for years for safe SoMa streets, and these quality designs are the result. Let’s keep pushing and ensure that the final design has the best elements from those above.

Along with our 10,000-plus members, the SF Bicycle Coalition is campaigning for safety improvements for people walking, biking and driving in every neighborhood across our city. Join our community of members supporting this advocacy and elevate the voice of people committed to more bikeable, livable streets.

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