August 13, 2008
The Reconfiguration Of Cesar Chavez: It’s All About The Pedestrians
Speaking of a the evolution of Cesar Chavez (Army) Street, a plugged-in tipster notes the next Cesar Chavez Street Design Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 (6:00 to 7:30 pm, Leonard Flynn Elementary School, 3125 Cesar Chavez Street).
The Planning Department will be presenting two preliminary design proposals that reflect public comment at an earlier workshop in May. The early community feedback (as summarized in the forced tradeoffs above): it’s all about the pedestrians, not the cars.
∙ Cesar Chavez Street Design Plan [SFGov]
∙ Cesar Chavez Street Design: May workshop presentation [SFGov]
∙ Cesar Chavez Street Design: May workshop results [SFGov]
∙ Like A Bug In Amber And Not Just On Bernal (Via Laughing Squid) [SocketSite]
First Published: August 13, 2008 12:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
And the bikes. And it might even be worth considering where runners fit in since that ends up being a kind of cross between parambulation and wheels that isn't entirely compabable with other pedestrians, bikes, or horseless carriages.
There should be a tunnel underneath it all for the few who made cars their focus on the surveys.
Posted by: Mole Man at August 13, 2008 2:07 PM
This is refreshing. How many billions will it cost us though?
Posted by: sf at August 13, 2008 2:36 PM
The PUC is going to rip up Chavez between Valencia and Bryant in order to install a secondary sewer line to help deal with the combined sewer overflows into the Bay. So, we might as well leverage the PUC's money already allocated towards the subsequent rebuild, as well as DPW's money allocated to the subsequent repaving, ADA complicance, etc., towards a configuration that connects, rather than divides the Mission from Bernal. I know the merchants on Mission south of Chavez look forward to foot traffic crossing Chavez. And there are still several of those surface-level parking lots left over from the widening of Chavez in the 1950s...
Posted by: goneguerrero at August 13, 2008 3:08 PM
What are the plans for Valencia st? I would love to see a large median in the middle with large trees willows or shrubs, right now it is so void and soul less. Dolores is a great example of a beautiful street. I really like what they've done with Guerrerro with native plants in the medians.
Posted by: sf at August 13, 2008 6:47 PM
While I am sure the immediate neighbors like these plans, I don't think they are very practical. CC is already a traffic mess without eliminating vehicle lanes. Add in all the new construction that is proposed to occur in the Mission under the new eastern neighborhoods plan and it makes even less sense to restrict CC.
CC definitely needs some improvements, particularly for pedestrian safety, but it is going to remain a vehicle oriented boulevard because it is the only way for people in these areas to get to and from 101.
As a bicyclist, I would much rather have them make 26th St. a bike boulevard than put in bike lanes along CC. That would be much more pleasant and safe ride.
So far these plans have been developed with very little input from people outside of the immediate area; it will be interesting to see what everyone else in Mission, Noe and Bernal thinks of them.
Posted by: NoeNeighbor at August 13, 2008 7:59 PM
Folks living on Precita are concerned that traffic backups on CC will lead to more cars on Precita.
I think the workshop results are goosed in favor of those who want to re-do CC. Who else even knew about the workshop?
Posted by: Dan at August 13, 2008 8:16 PM
They sure have, it was mostly the work of a few dedicated volunteers. Maybe if the TEP passes we can talk about what to with the busless Valencia Street. Maybe make it into a primary bike route, with only local and delivery car traffic?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 13, 2008 9:56 PM
We should return Cesar Chavez back to the two lane street it was before it was widened in the 30's:
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 13, 2008 10:05 PM
Almost everyone at the workshop favored less delay for transit over faster vehicle speeds-- but there is no Cesar Chavez bus.
Posted by: Dan at August 14, 2008 10:18 AM
Re: CC being a traffic mess.
Do you really think so? It typically flows just fine. Folsom is a traffic mess because it is such a narrow four lane, is oddly timed, and there are so many piss poor drivers who would rather double park because nobody ever taught them to parallel park or else they never even learned.
CC is merely a busy boulevard. There are a few potentially scary aspects to CC. One of them is completely changeable. That is the careless manner in which the buses park on the north side just west of Mission. They invariably park four or five feet wider than they should, taking up another lane. I would like to see DPT ticket irresponsible bus drivers on a daily basis (heck, we could do a thread about that.)
The other scary things are the merge at Guerrero going west into Noe, where the street narrows. Too many drivers, many of whom probably know better, try to shoot that gap and cut other driver's off. That is scary. The right hand lane should be dedicated to only right hand Guerrero turns.
The last scary thing is all the idiots who try to make the right on red off Mission or Valencia in front of oncoming eastbound CC drivers. Wow. That is bad. There should be "No Right on Red" signs at both intersections.
Posted by: fluj at August 14, 2008 10:29 AM
I vote we change it to Barack Obama st. Cesar Chavez is last century's minority hero.
Posted by: sf at August 14, 2008 1:21 PM
@Fluj: In the morning and afternoons it really is a mess and typically bogs down. In addition to the scary things you mention, the number of people making left hand turns, means the left lane is useless (except for those who zip along in the left and then abruptly cut in)and the buses, wide right hand turn people, and double parkers do a pretty good job of mucking up the right lane. So you are left with a bunch of people trudging along in the middle. I would agree there are worse streets in the City, but removing a car lane and adding a bike lane would be a disaster.
Posted by: NoeNeighbor at August 14, 2008 2:36 PM
The proposals being put forth by neighbors working with parents from schools on Cesar Chavez, merchants, and other users (including some drivers from Noe Valley and the Castro) include implementing left-turn pockets to avoid those speed-and-screech sudden movements and to smooth the use of that left lane. Now, traffic travels in a pack from light to light, and big gaps occur between the packs (this is obvious when you're crossing Cesar Chavez on foot, but not when you're smack in the pack in a car). Reconfiguring the street to reduce traffic lanes and add bike lanes can be done without snarling traffic -- it worked on Potrero!
Posted by: grumpyduck at August 14, 2008 3:44 PM
i cross CC quite a bit on foot, from 22nd in the mish to precita in bernal. it is very pedestrian unfriendly, and would really benefit from greening of the median, dedicated left turn turnouts, and some manner of making the intersections more pedestrian friendly. especially the mission/cc intersection....what a shitty intersection to cross...waiting for the light to change between that divey palace steakhouse, random immigrant workers, and odles of cars whizzing by at 45 mph- pretty bleak!
so yes, let's make some changes, only please, let's not take 5+ years!
Posted by: AMinSF aka 44yo hipster at August 14, 2008 9:34 PM