Crossing SF’s Geary Street Just Got a LOT Safer
Thankfully, SF’s hideous pedestrian bridge at Geary & Steiner has been replaced with accessible crosswalks.
The Steiner pedestrian bridge was originally built in 1962, before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) set standards to ensure that public spaces are accessible to people of all abilities. The ramps to access the bridge had slopes between 11-17%, which far exceeds the 5% limit.
The bridge’s support piers also reduced visibility of people crossing at the intersection. Previously, a person crossing Geary was eight times more likely to be hit by a vehicle than the city average.
The City plans to make big changes to Geary as part of the Geary Rapid Project. SF launched the Geary Rapid Project to improve safety for people walking by redesigning intersections to make them safer, introducing new crosswalks and reducing the number of travel lanes in some parts of the corridor to calm traffic speeds.
The latest improvements to Geary include: accessible crosswalks on both sides of the street, “Pedestrian Refuge Islands” to aid crossing, and improved visibility for drivers.
Geary Rapid Project
The Geary Rapid Project aims to improve one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors with much-needed safety improvements and more reliable bus service for the 38 Geary and 38R Geary Rapid’s over 56,000 daily customers.
The first set of transit and safety treatments, including dedicated bus lanes, was completed at the end of 2018. Major upgrades and coordinated utility work began in early 2019 and are expected to continue until summer 2021. That work includes replacing sewer and water mains, traffic signal upgrades, roadway repaving, new crosswalks, and sidewalk extensions, or “bulbs,” that help make bus service more reliable and the corridor safer for people walking.
- Dedicated transit lanes to reduce unpredictable delays
- Transit bulbs to decrease bus delays by allowing buses to remain in the travel lane when passengers load and unload
- Bus stop changes to improve efficiency
- Upgraded Transit Signal Priority to increase the likelihood buses get the green light at intersections
- Calming the Geary Expressway by decreasing the number of travel lanes from four to two general-purpose lanes and one bus-only lane in each direction
- Accessible pedestrian signals and curb ramps allow people with disabilities to safely travel on the corridor
- Pedestrian bulbs at intersections to shorten crossing distances, make people walking more visible to motorists and reduce vehicle turning speeds
- Pedestrian countdown signals to let people walking know how much time they have to safely cross the street
- New crosswalks and enhanced medians to provide safe opportunities for people to get across Geary
- Improvements for bicyclists crossing Geary on streets within the bike network that intersect the corridor
Related Story: SF’s “Fugly” Geary Pedestrian Bridge Demolished This Weekend – 5/27/2020
Geary and Steiner now has:
✓ Accessible crosswalks on both sides of the street
✓ “Pedestrian Refuge Islands” to aid crossing
✓ Improved visibility for drivers #GearyRapid is improving the corridor for all users! 👏 https://t.co/qt1IUJX1rR pic.twitter.com/zQu84arnMr
— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) May 5, 2021