Potrero Avenue is the only direct bike route between the Mission District and southern neighborhoods east of Valencia Street. Thanks to SF Bicycle Coaltion members and community partners, Potrero Avenue will receive critically needed safety improvements later this year.
The new Potrero, with its buffered bicycle lanes from 17th-25th Streets, will open up safe, healthy and affordable transportation alternatives for the Mission, Portrero Hill, Bayview and Dogpatch neighborhoods, all while facilitating access to SF General Hospital and local businesses.
As a truly multi-modal project, the Potrero update will also improve the transit experience of thousands of people who travel the corridor. Today, Potrero Avenue is one of the most dangerous corridors for people walking, an unacceptable state of affairs in front of San Francisco’s largest hospital. The approved sidewalk-widening will be a necessary first step in making the area safer for everyone. Construction is slated to begin late in 2014, with repaving from Alameda to the 101 on-ramp included. The project will be completed by Summer 2015.
In the summer of 2005, this former six-lane arterial was re-striped between 17th and 25th Streets to add bicycle lanes, a partial bus-only lane and turn lanes. A coalition for safer streets made up of neighbors, employers, families and teachers from the Buena Vista Elementary School spent years organizing community, advocating, and working with city planners to put Potrero on a successful road diet.
In spite of these hard-fought improvements, Potrero continues to claim lives. Potrero Avenue is an important transit corridor, with 12,000 people riding Muni daily. All along Potrero, narrow sidewalks force pedestrians to be in close proximity with thousands of fast-moving cars and trucks. This has deadly consequences, particularly for children and seniors. Earlier this year, the community set out to improve this unsafe design with the goal of creating a Potrero Avenue that acknowledges the presence of transportation modes beyond just motor vehicles.
The approval follows public outreach that began in 2012 and culminated with five bilingual community meetings in 2013. In collaboration with Walk SF and CC Puede, the community group that led the recent Cesar Chavez improvements, we have worked diligently to ensure maximum participation and support for this project from members, residents and businesses.