Street Safety Fix Made After Years of Neighbor Advocacy

A tight intersection with a steep incline that made visibility an issue has been fixed after residents campaigned for a solution.

Street sign
A sandwich board sign neighbors placed on the corner of Ashton and Grafton avenues. | File Photo/Ingleside Light

A bid to improve traffic safety at the intersection of Ashton and Grafton avenues might be over after San Francisco's transportation department made a streetscape change last week.

“Hopefully it will give us enough visibility to enter the intersection safely,” Gene Michalak said. “Hopefully it will provide the safety we have been looking for.”

Michalak lives near the intersection. He said near-miss collisions happen regularly. In 2021, there was a four-car pile up. Along with neighbors, he has been calling for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make it safer for years by restoring a four-way stop.

Officials conducted an evaluation under state and federal guidelines and determined there was not enough vehicle or pedestrian traffic, visibility issues or past collisions to install stop signs.

“Installation of additional traffic control devices where they are not warranted can result in poor compliance and weakens their authority,” Eddie Tsui, a senior engineer with the street division told neighbors in a letter.

However, city crews painted the red stripe on the south east corners of Ashton and Grafton avenues on Thursday, May 18.

The intersection has “cross traffic does not stop” signs facing both northbound and southbound traffic on Ashton Avenue.

A factor against putting in stop signs is the 29 Sunset which runs along Grafton Avenue.

“While the effect of one additional stop sign may have only a small impact on delay, the cumulative effect of additional stop signs at other intersections can degrade Muni service,” Tsui said. “The city's transit first policy requires that we pay particular attention to Muni's service requirements, especially when an intersection operates relatively safely.”

The new 10-foot red zone sets parked vehicles further back from the intersection to improve visibility for pedestrians and motorists crossing Grafton Avenue.

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