Blindly Pushing Cars into SOMA
|May 20, 2009||Posted by jamie under Activism, Transportation & Ped Safety|
Some residents in SoMa (evidenced by reactions and questions for the SFMTA presenters at recent Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association and South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay Neighborhood Association meetings) are concerned about pedestrian safety problems increasing with changes to 2nd Street proposed as part of the long-awaited Bike Plan implementation. Now, it appears as though the other transportation department in San Francisco government, the San Francisco Country Transportation Authority, is considering blindly pushing even more car traffic congestion onto SoMa streets by phasing in a closure to eastbound private cars on Market Street past 8th Street.
SoMa residents already risk life and limb by walking the walk of the pro-environment talk because our streetscape does not provide adequate traffic calming on the long-uninterrupted blocks. Add to it the pollution of noise and CO2 from vehicles sitting parked in our neighborhood arteries between 4pm and 6pm Monday through Friday, and one has to ask just how oblivious the people planning changes to traffic patterns are in San Francisco to the dangerous situations they’re proposing for people trying to safely walk around as their primary mode of transportation in the downtown area.
I have a suggestion …. charge a toll of $5 between 4pm – 6pm to get on the Bay Bridge at 1st Street Monday through Friday. Charge a toll of $3 between 3pm – 4pm and 6pm – 7pm. Charge a toll of $2 between Noon – 3pm and 7pm – 9pm. Free entry onto the Bay Bridge between 9pm and Noon from 1st Street. That may help to lower congestion on the SoMa streets at the hours when the most people are walking around so that lives are saved and may help to cut down the negative impacts of congestion (noise and air pollution)
At any rate … we need to get together as SoMa residents, call a meeting with the SFMTA and SFCTA to ask them just what in the hell are they going to do about making SoMa safer for pedestrians in the midst of squeezing more cars onto our streets?
Harrison and Folsom streets need some massive changes to recognize the residential purposes in Rincon Hill and Yerba Buena (and further west, to a lesser population density).