Second Street is Getting A Makeover!

by Live SoMa

Four design options for Second St. were displayed at the open house and a survey was taken on them

By Nellie Tran

Second Street is in the works to get a $6 to 8 million makeover by the city.  This mile-long street runs from AT&T Park to the Financial District and is one of the main thoroughfares drivers use on their way to the Bay Bridge.  As many of you know, the Second Street corridor can get clogged up with a swarm of traffic during rush hour and the congestion is only expected to get worse over time.

The area is becoming increasingly residential and along with a booming local economy and continued population growth, the city recognizes a need to improve the movement of traffic and pedestrians on Second Street, including accommodating the increasing number of cyclists.  Supervisor Jane Kim has said of Second Street, “It’s a really important corridor for us to focus on.”

The SF Department of Public Works has been reaching out to residents on how to transform Second Street to better meet current and future transportation needs.  An open house was held back on September 20th to review four different design options that were based on resident feedback from a previous meeting.

While the final design is still being decided and fine-tuned, here are a few features common to all the design options that we will see implemented:

Enhanced bulb-outs will narrow the entrance to South Park. Right now the entrance is so wide that cars can park perpendicular on both sides.
  • There will be enhanced bulb-outs on the sidewalks at the entrance to South Park and a new traffic signal.  There is more foot traffic there now so this will enhance pedestrian safety and slow cars down as they turn into the South Park area.
The dual-right turn at Harrison Street is dangerous for pedestrians, so it’s going to be squared off into a regular street corner.
  • There is a dual right-turn at Harrison Street that many residents have complained about.  During peak times, cars queue up at the dual right-turn. When the area is off-peak, cars take the corner very quickly and this creates a dangerous situation for pedestrians trying to cross.  To fix this problem, the DPW will square off the corner.
These are the plans to fix the dual-right turn at Harrison Street and the South Park entrance.
  • The sidewalks on the western side of Second Street will be widened to 15 feet.  The sidewalks on the eastern side of Second Street may not be widened for some time due to funding constraints.  There are a lot of utilities that will need to be moved underground if the eastern sidewalks were to be improved and that will require a few million more dollars to do so.
  • Dedicated bike lanes are included in all of the designs.  Some of the options include bike lanes protected by medians while others place the bike lanes between parking spaces and bus lanes.
More common design options you should expect to see. One of the designs includes an unusual two-way cycle track, which Project Manager Cristina Olea says would require getting used to, like driving on the right side of a car in the UK.

What we already know we don’t like about Second Street, but backed up by data.Even if you have not attended any of the meetings, you can still view and provide your comments on the four design options here, before October 12th.

Construction on Second Street is estimated to begin in mid-2014 and will take about a year to complete.

The next public meeting will be held in early November, the date TBA.

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