13th Street is an essential east-west corridor underneath the Central Freeway. This street borders both the South of Market and Mission neighborhoods, and with many on and off ramps along the stretch, it’s one of the city’s most heavily trafficked corridors. Many people bike on 13th street as it is a direct connection to Mission Bay and the Design District. 13th Street is one of the city’s most dangerous corridors and we’re excited it’s getting a make-over. This safety project will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety by filling the gap between projects from Folsom Street to Valencia Street.
In 2017, we worked with the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to bring much needed street safety improvements to 13th Street between Bryant Street and Folsom Street. Construction of protected bike lanes, traffic signal upgrades, and the removal of a traffic lane have significantly improved biking and walking along this small stretch of 13th Street.
However, on 13th Street from Folsom to Valencia there is a large gap in bicycle facilities and pedestrian infrastructure. Riding in the protected bike lane from east to west, people on bikes are either forced to make a turn, ride on the sidewalk, or otherwise compete with fast moving vehicles merging off the freeway to continue west after Folsom Street. For someone walking along this stretch, you’ll notice how narrow the sidewalks are, how far the distance is to cross the street, and how fast the timer to cross is.
In the last five years, 99 collisions have occurred between Folsom Street and Valencia Street along this corridor, one-third of these collisions involving a person walking or biking. It is imperative to fill this gap and bring much needed street safety improvements to build on the existing ones and complete 13th Street.
That is why we are excited to be working with the SFMTA on this project to continue the protected bike lane that stops at Folsom Street all the way to Valencia Street and for the much needed traffic signal upgrades and sidewalk widening the proposed project will bring. The project is scheduled for construction in 2023 and the SFMTA wants to hear from you about your experiences along the stretch. The survey closes next Friday, December 10 so give SFMTA your feedback today!