Image courtesy of the San Francisco Planning Department.

A project to beautify and calm traffic on Bryant Street was approved last Friday at a meeting at City Hall.

Engineers from the Sustainable Streets Division of San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency gave the go-ahead for the proposed construction of two landscaped medians, new parallel parking and the removal of a left-turn lane.

One of the new medians will go up at Bryant and 26th streets, and another at Bryant and Cesar Chavez streets. The medians will be 8 feet wide, 110 feet long and filled with greenery planted by Friends of the Urban Forest.

“I’m very excited, my neighbors are excited. It will be a great improvement to the safety of our blocks,” said Rob Thomson, who lives at 25th and Bryant streets and has been with the project since its inception in 2008. “Over the years we have seen many speed-related accidents.”

Other neighbors agreed. “Every morning I sit with my coffee and watch drivers roar down Cesar Chavez coming off the 101 and careen around the corner onto Bryant,” said Jay Goldman, also a resident of Bryant Street.

To increase the safety of their street, Goldman, Thomson and other community members went to the Planning Department and asked for help.

“The Planning Department was great. They worked with us very well, listened closely and helped us come up with ways to increase safety,” said Goldman.

From there, the project eventually became part of a larger program called the Mission District Streetscape Plan, headed by city planners Ilaria Salvadori and Amon-Ben Pazi. The goal of the plan is to make the Mission a place where the streets are vital public spaces that serve the community.

In addition to the median, 10 perpendicular parking spots will be added between 25th and 26th streets on Bryant. The new spots “slow speeding traffic by narrowing an overly wide roadway,” according to Tom Radulovich, the executive director of Livable City, a group that aims to improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The last approved change was the removal of one of two left-turn lanes from Bryant onto Cesar Chavez — the left-turn-only lane on the southbound approach. That decision was made in anticipation of a future median on Bryant Street.

The planners expect the project, which will go in front of the full SFMTA board, to be completed by the end of the year.

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    1. No Mortimer! The shrubs will actually enhance gang warfare tactics. The new trees and median will provide camouflage cover for gang operative snipers. In some cases the trees and median landscaping will provide effective cover from bullets as well.

  1. Also,

    They should install Round-abouts in the Mission, this would be very friendly to the gang members and their drive-bys 😉

  2. One question.

    Why is South Van Ness Ave being ignored?

    Everytime another street gets help South Van suffers. Not one thing has been done to make South Van Ness safe from speeding and buses trucks and cars.

    Let me get this rights…left turns are prohibited from Division on to Bryant, Folsom, And Mission.

    Now traffic can’t turn from CC to Mission, Bryant and soon to be others.

    It makes zero sense to shift all traffic onto a street that is geographically shorter than Folsom Bryant Harrison and Mission.

    One person was quoted about drinking coffee and watching traffic speed by.

    Come up to South Van Ness and learned what real unsafe traffic looks and sounds like.

    The planners have allowed traffic to move at forty miles per hour and faster on South Van Ness. The accidents all along this corridor are not an exagerration.

    Fix the problem.

    1. Totally agree. S. Van Ness needs help. It’s ugly, it’s mostly un-bikable and frankly, it’s not great driving it either. It’s just a mess.

      1. Get your facts straight. The plan is for no left turn ti Mission from CC. There is already a no left turn sign on Division at Mission.

        This was exactly how it was for Bryant where a no left turn sign was placed at Division and then one at CC.

    2. “Let me get this right…
      Now traffic can’t turn from CC to Mission, Bryant and soon to be others.”

      No. Left-turn pockets will remain at Mission and Bryant. The lane being removed by this plan is the second one in the double-left-turn configuration from Bryant onto Cesar Chavez. Drivers can still turn left there, but pedestrians crossing Cesar Chavez will no longer face two turning lanes — now very dangerous.

      Second clarification: This plan still has to be approved by the full MTA board, but it was approved Friday by the hearing engineer, and the board usually follows his recommendations.

      1. Fran, you’re right about the plans being approved by engineers from the SFMTA; we have added that to our post. We have also clarified that there are currently two lanes where drivers can turn left, only one of which will be removed. Thank you for your note. Best, LM

    3. Perhaps neighbors on South Van Ness should approach the planning department and fuf for help just as Bryant street neighbors did.

  3. Last time I checked there are plenty of car owners on Bryant St. Bryant St also runs all the way to the waterfront.

    Logically, people would want to use this street for the morning and evening commute.

    Bryant St did not move very fast and other than peak hours it was not heavily used.

    This is another street in the Mission that a select group
    of people have made semi private by gaming the syste

  4. I was emailed last month from SFMTA when I inquired when my street would get some well deserved help. I was emailed that there would be no more calming until 2013I so that the could step back and make it more equitable. I believed the person who emailed me.

    I was not told the truth.

    1. Never ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to incompetence, this is an SF city organization after all.

  5. Mission Local should have written more about how long the plans have been in the works and where the funding comes from so that others can learn how to improve their neighborhoods, too.

  6. Hopefully the plan also includes getting that row of used appliances off the sidewalk at Bryant & CC. So ghetto.

  7. The SFMTA knows that the South Van Ness residents want vast improvements and nothing had been done. To the commenter who suggested that we learn from them…pathetic.

    The planners are supposed to create a comprehensive plan that works as a whole, not a ridiculous system that is in place where one hires a connected consultant.

    The SFMTA did not even do a good job with informing us about the bus reroute and downplayed the issue about the noise and litter increase.

    Well played Bryant St

  8. So the MTA can spend our money on putting up trees in a road but then they voted to not provide free bus service to poor kids.

    1. MTA service is free for everyone since it’s racist to demand proof of payment on a bus.

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