City Seeks Input For Ocean Avenue Transportation Projects

Bike lanes to better streetcar boarding islands are the types of projects under consideration for the Ocean Avenue Mobility Action Plan.

Streetcar boarding island
Improvements to the K Ingleside light rail line boarding islands are under consideration for the Ocean Avenue Mobility Action Plan. File photo
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More parking, better streetcar service and safer crosswalks.

Those are the types of projects that the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is seeking the public’s input for narrowing down a list of projects that officials are putting together.

A virtual town hall meeting was held Thursday, Oct. 13, night with staff from the SFCTA and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency along with District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who secured funds for the project, in an effort to seek outreach from the public on which transit projects the city should prioritize in the Ingleside and surrounding neighborhoods.

The project ideas are part of the Ocean Avenue Mobility Action Plan. The plan also includes identifying funding for the projects.

The area is surrounded by businesses along Ocean Avenue as well as educational institutions, such as City College of San Francisco, Archbishop Riordan High School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Aptos Middle School and nearby San Francisco State University.

“This is a corridor that sees so much activity,” Melgar said. “I am really excited that we are looking at all of these plans comprehensively.”

The Ocean Avenue Mobility Action Plan's focus area. Courtesy image

A task force made up of merchants, residents and community members from District 7 and District 11 began meeting last year to help identify the study project area and project concepts.

The project concepts presented Thursday included six small to medium projects and two larger projects. Aliza Paz, a senior transportation planner with the SFCTA, said the larger projects would be more capital intensive. Paz said they want to further narrow down the project list to two or three small and medium projects and one to two large projects.

Small to medium-sized projects included pedestrian safety improvements along Ocean Avenue, such as pedestrian warning signs for drivers, red curb paint near intersections to improve visibility of pedestrians and installing ADA curb ramps, along with bike, transit and pedestrian improvements to Geneva Avenue between Ocean and San Jose avenues.

The idea for Geneva Avenue is to convert a travel lane to a shared bike and transit lane. Bulb outs would also be installed in the project area to improve pedestrian visibility.

Another bike project would create an alternative east-west Holloway Avenue bike route. The project proposal includes adding bike lanes, green sharrows, raised crosswalks and roundabouts.

Other small project ideas include addressing speeding on Ocean Avenue, extending 2016 streetscape improvements between Frida Kahlo Way and Manor Drive and bike safety improvements on Ocean Avenue that would include green sharrows and a bike box at signalized intersections.

Major capital projects proposals included creating a shared space for bicyclists and pedestrians at City College. Paz said the project would address the east side of the Ocean Avenue, Geneva Avenue and Frida Kahlo Way intersection.

If this proposal moves forward, Paz said that it would require to move the retaining wall on the edge of City College in order to create the space and would also require the removal of the college’s pedestrian bridge.

The presentation slide also added that the median would need to be worked on to allow for Muni buses to run in the center as well as shifting the rail track so the track can be centered along Ocean Avenue.

Another major project proposal would improve the K Ingleside light rail service by adding passenger capacity as part of Muni Forward improvements. Work would include lengthening the transit boarding islands on Ocean Avenue to accommodate two-car trains.

The K Ingleside currently runs two-car trains in the westbound direction, but the train operator closes the second-car train at West Portal station. Paz said parking would need to be configured to accommodate the longer transit boarding islands, losing approximately 10 parking spaces.

New parking spaces could be added by eliminating the Westgate Drive and Cerritos boarding islands. Additionally, the project would create a transit-only lane and restrict turns at intersections that have yet to be identified.

The public, which can watch the town hall online, may still provide feedback through a survey to choose projects that they would like to see move forward. The survey ends Oct. 28.

The SFCTA's next step is narrowing down the project ideas based on the information gathered from the survey and town hall meeting to further develop the projects that are chosen.

Paz, the planner, said the SFCTA will seek more feedback from the public once they complete a draft plan later this winter. They expect to complete the Ocean Avenue Mobility Action Plan by early next year.

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