Divisadero street is not only our primary merchant corridor packed with usable retail, Divisadero is the pathway of the 24 Divisadero which provides critical north-south transit service to San Franciscans across the economic spectrum. The 24 also serves a high percentage of neighborhoods with people of color and low-income households. During the early weeks of Shelter in Place in 2020, the 24 Divisadero traveled up to 30% faster on the route from Geary Boulevard to Page Street. Relieving that bottleneck demonstrated how congestion normally affects the 24 which goes from Bayview-Hunters Point to Pacific Heights.
Traffic congestion threatens to paralyze the city’s economic recovery as more people begin using this key pedestrian and transit artery.
A growing number of ASNA members have voiced concern over wreckless vehicular speeds along the Divisadero corridor. If we do nothing, we will all suffer the costs of increased vehicle congestion on Divisadero, slower and more crowded buses, and a feeling of unease in parklets or on sidewalks as we support our Divisadero Merchants.
In attempt to improve service on the 24 Divisadero and reduce vehicle collisions, the SFMTA is proposing implementation of left turn restrictions at most intersections from O’Farrell to Waller streets in both directions which will reduce congestion without removing travel lanes or parking.
Courtesy of SFMTA: Left turn restrictions will be implemented on Divisadero Street at select intersections; several intersections already have rush hour restrictions in place
Vehicles making left turns on Divisadero create bottlenecks by obstructing the travel lane while waiting to turn. By reducing delay from this congestion, the 24 Divisadero can save up to 10% of travel time along the project corridor, helping to improve performance along the line. Improved performance will help better utilize available buses and operators throughout the city while more efficiently getting passengers where they need to go .
The entire project area is also part of the San Francisco Vision Zero High-Injury Network, where just 13% of streets account for 75% of collisions. Left turns are one of the top three crash factors in severe injuries and fatal collisions for people walking and biking. At the proposed left turn restriction locations, 10 injury collisions between 2015-2019 involved an improper left turn.
Left turn restrictions in this heavily-utilized corridor will make Divisadero safer and more appealing for residents and visitors. Left turn restrictions will also reduce the risk of sideswipe collisions caused by vehicles changing lanes to avoid left turn queues.
The travel lanes on Divisadero Street are narrow and much of the corridor features a median, which makes it difficult to widen lanes or implement standard-width transit lanes without major construction. By greatly reducing the number of left turns in the project area, SFMTA's aim is to improve Muni travel times and reliability while avoiding more expensive and disruptful infrastructure changes.
The proposed left turn restrictions will be open to public comment at an online hearing during the last two weeks of May 2021. Information on how to participate, ask questions, and provide comments will be posted as soon as we know. Following the hearing, the left turn restrictions will be installed in summer 2021.
Outreach and Evaluation
Community-based organizations like ASNA, Divisadero merchants, and Alamo Square / NOPA neighbors will help in evaluating the impact of this project by providing public input on evaluation methods during the public hearing. Based on public feedback and ongoing, on-the-ground data monitoring SFMTA can modify the project to best meet the needs of the community and Muni riders.
Weigh in on this Safety and Transit Initiative!