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Seven intersections have been targeted to pilot traffic calming measures that San Francisco transit officials hope will encourage drivers to slow down while making left turns.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said they have installed guide bumps, painted safety zones and delineators as “visual cues” to caution drivers making left turns. The measures are part of the agency’s Left-Turn Calming project and part of Pedestrian Safety Month.

Last year, Mayor London Breed announced a package of pedestrian safety improvements that called upon the SFMTA to pilot calming measures in a effort to reduce driver speed when making left turns.

Breed said in a statement that street traffic will increase as more businesses reopen and people head outside, adding:

“That’s why the SFMTA has installed traffic-calming measures to reduce the speed of left turns at especially dangerous intersections, which will help keep our community safe.”

The agency sad that in 2019, 40 percent of traffic crashes involved motorists making left-hand turns.

The SFMTA installed traffic calming infrastructure at the following intersections:

  • 10th and Folsom streets
  • Broadway and Montgomery Street
  • Gough and Sacramento streets
  • Ellis and Leavenworth streets
  • Leavenworth and Sutter streets
  • 17th Avenue and Lincoln Way
  • 18th Avenue and Lincoln Way

Transit officials said they will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot and prepare a report by next summer.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said in a statement:

“We believe that the streets can be made safer for all – especially the most vulnerable – by helping drivers understand that little changes can make a big difference in saving lives.”

The SFMTA said it was inspired by work done by cities like New York and Portland, which have both established turn calming programs.

In addition to the traffic calming measures, the agency launched the Safety—It’s Your Turn campaign, which encourages drivers to make a turn at 5 miles per hour, turn at a 90-degree angle and to always look out for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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