Octavia street onramp to gain traffic safety
By Emmett Berg
July 10, 2007
Local transit officials got approval today to build a raised
median island to protect a Market Street bike lane and further
reinforce a law banning right turns onto the Octavia Boulevard
Central Freeway onramp.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 today to support
the project. One of its sponsors, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, said
the median was a trial that could last up to six months as officials
and users gauge its usefulness. Board President Aaron Peskin voted
The intersection feeds southbound traffic from Octavia Boulevard
onto the Central Freeway serving the San Francisco Oakland Bay
Bridge and southbound U.S. Highway 101.
While turns from Market Street right onto the Octavia onramp
are prohibited, scofflaws and others continue to ignore signage
and speed past.
Collisions between cyclists and motorists, including a dramatic
hit and run ending in an arrest, have marked the debut of the
reconfigured onramp since its debut in fall 2005.
"We're sensitive of the vulnerability to cyclists at that
intersection," Supervisor Bevan Dufty said. "But the
more we do, the more we create an impression that it's safe. And
that intersection is going to be potentially dangerous no matter
what we do."
Supervisor Bevan Dufty
A California Highway Patrol officer was unable to confirm whether
the bicycle crossing played any role in the solo fatal crash of
a motorcyclist on June 28 at the intersection.
Engineering that San Francisco transit officials will perform
at the site will help them determine the design of the median,
Dufty said. Right now a no-right-turn sign is augmented by paint
and mounted reflective plastic wands demarcating the bike lane.
Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly also were co-sponsors
of the resolution along with Dufty, who added that he appreciated
the communication his office had received regarding the crossing.
The concerns expressed by motorists were well taken amid the
focus on protecting cyclists and pedestrians, Dufty said.
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.