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Irving Street Improvements Started TODAY

Starting today, the Department of Public Works will begin work making several improvements to Irving Street, between 4th and 9th Avenues. The intent is to improve pedestrian safety with "bulb-outs" at several points, and build curb ramps in several locations. I've got a call in to DPW to get a bit more of an idea of exactly how this will all look (They kindly returned my call, but I was unavailable, so we're in "phone tag" mode right now), but I'd heard about this idea for some time, and it's designed to make that busy section of Irving better for everyone.

I did find out one thing - the work, which will last about 2 months or so, shouldn't have much of an impact on the N-Judah or traffic like some were thinking. The only real hassle will be the loss of some street parking as the crews work on each intersection.

When I get more information from DPW, I'll update this post accordingly!

Comments

If this is anything like the Valencia Street sidewalk project, expect long delays between tearing out the old sidewalk and putting the new one in.

From what I've read, it isn't - they're not doing the entire sidewalk, just intersections, but that's why I called DPW.

I wonder if the plan includes no left turns at 9th and Irving? I've noticed a disturbing number of drivers racing into the intersection as soon as the light turns green in an attempt make a left hand turn before waiting pedestrians and cross traffic get into the intersection.

@brendan: I don't think this will change that, but I'll ask anyway. I've noticed a lot of bad behavior by drivers who have no regard for the traffic laws or the pedestrian right of way. More often than not, I want to chuck a 40 at someone's car when they do something really bad, like the jerk the other day who almost plowed through two women with baby strollers because he just HAD to make that turn and everyone else be damned.

Obviously, that's not cool, though, so I wouldn't do that. But I'm not a traffic engineer expert, and with the changes they made a few years ago, I don't know what would happen if they banned left turns . I would imagine it'd push a lot of traffic on side streets, and on mine, we already have a problem with speeding cars driving like mad between irving and lincoln.

@Greg

From what I've noticed as a pedestrian, cyclist, and occasional driver, the signal changes (giving the N it's own light) appear to have helped in reducing the confusion.

A few observations I have made especially while cycling through the area are
1) the amount of auto traffic leaving the park at 9th and Lincoln with the intention of traveling eastbound. This requires a left turn at Irving as no left turns are permitted at Lincoln
2) the amount of auto traffic attempting to enter the park from the west, which requires a left turn at 9th and Irving because there are no lefts permitted from Lincoln into the park.

I'm definitely not an expert on the subject but I can't help but wonder if the congestion at 9th and Irving would be reduced if a left turn signal allowing turns from Lincoln into the park and/or left turns out of the park on to Lincoln.

The downsides of this are pretty obvious though, it'd created a bottleneck at 9th and Lincoln, slow down the 71, and just shift the problem to another already dangerous intersection.

@brendan: that's pretty accurate. I also find more people are willing to try driving to the park because they think they'll get parking in that garage, but that garage is always full, no matter what, and they get frustrated trying to find parking.

It'd be nice if only the people who really needed to drive (people with disabilities, seniors, out of towners) would drive to the park for the museums, etc. and those that didn't could rely on a fast, reliable transit system to take them there, and avoid all the hassle of parking!

Where is the money coming from? Is this from the federal stimulus bill? Otherwise, I can't imagine why spending on these minor improvements when the city needs to cut costs. Chron front page, SF teachers getting laid off.

Actually, it is stimulus money, from what I recall when heard about this a while back, but I'll double check.

And, just to be clear, they could have canceled this and not a dime would go to "laid off teachers."

What happened? When will this work start? Does anyone know.

Thanks,
R

Um, it's going on literally as we speak. The contractors have been prepping the first block, and there's a link to the MTA explaining all of this. It's something Irving has needed for some time.

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