Sunday, January 7, 2018

Draft Proposed PSAC Resolution Requesting Converting Lower Stockton Street to a Pedestrian Mall

Whereas construction for the Central Subway has required elimination of all traffic from Lower Stockton Street, formerly south bound only, with one lane for the Muni 30 Stockton route and two traffic lanes from Sutter to Market Street, for six years, with the exception of traffic to the Union Square Garage; and during this time the adjacent Union Square District, San Francisco’s premiere shopping/theater/hotel area, and the Chinatown shopping district, north of the Stockton Street Tunnel have both continued to prosper, and

Whereas during the Central Subway construction period the ‘3O’ Stockton south bound bus has been detoured to Mason street adding many minutes and inconvenience to the route while south bound general traffic dispersed to cross Market, and the northbound 30 bus and most general traffic moved on Kearny Street to Sutter Street to the Tunnel, unaffected by construction, and

Whereas before Lower Stockton Street was closed down for subway construction these four intersections averaged about seven injury collisions per year and during the construction shut down injury collisions were reduced to about four per year and the difference was not due to no automobile traffic on Stockton but was due to to turns on to Stockton, in addition the Muni bus had about three collisions per year before the shutdown, and

Whereas during the last five yearend holiday shopping periods subway construction on lower Stockton was essentially stopped to allow the conversion of most of the street level to Winter Walk, a festive traffic free green carpeted mall which was greatly appreciated by shoppers and children, and

Whereas the SFMTA has prepared a proposal for Lower Stockton, after subway construction is completed, which includes: a twenty two foot wide sidewalk on each side of the street, suitable for special events and pedestrian amenities; a twelve foot wide bus lane, which greatly segregates buses from moving traffic minimizing future Muni collisions and improves transit reliability; no turning traffic at intersections, which improves pedestrians safety; two five foot wide bicycle paths, which is necessary because nearby downtown streets currently have no bicycle lanes and also provides room for a bus to pass a disabled bus and ample yellow, white and blue parking zones around the corner from Stockton Street, for deliveries to stores, the drop off of passengers and access for the disabled, and

Whereas this proposal is supported by the Union Square business community because similar designs of traffic free malls combined with transit are working well and producing increased business activity in many American and foreign cities, and

Whereas an exhaustive traffic study shows that while returning lower Stockton Street to the former configuration, before the start of Central Subway construction, would add about a 1,000 cars an hour to south bound capacity, this traffic when added to the increase in downtown traffic, since the start of construction would result in no new net additional capacity to leave upper Stockton Street because the traffic would bog down soon after it crossed Market Street before it got to the freeway, now

Therefore the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Resolves to support the SFMTA Lower Stockton Street proposal and urges rapid implementation of the Proposal to improve: pedestrian and bicycle safety and amenities while improving transit and commercial prosperity.