Friday, August 26, 2011

New Phelan Avenue Left-Turn Lane Endangers Pedestrians, Bicyclists

Students crossing the loop entrance of are constantly in fear of being struck by NB and SB motorists entering the college
  Upon arriving on the City College campus this week for the fall semester, I noticed a new left-turn lane has been installed on southbound Phelan Avenue into the City College campus loop.  This left turn is critical for drivers arriving from the north side of campus in order to access the loop, however, this new turn lane has created a dangerous conflict for pedestrians walking along the east side of Phelan Avenue. The newly installed bicycle lane on Phelan was also not taken into consideration during the redesign process.
  As the photo suggests, pedestrians must dodge cars entering the loop, or run to avoid being harassed by impatient drivers for blocking the entrance. This is the most widely used entrance to the campus by drivers picking up students, disabled-access vehicles, campus police, and faculty accessing the parking lot in front of Conlan Hall.  This was already a dangerous place for pedestrians crossing the entrance to the loop, now it is a death trap.
The existing conditions at the CCSF loop entrance looking Northbound

Suggested lowest-cost option for the CCSF loop entrance
  Options include installing a wide, brightly painted crosswalk, adding curb bulbouts to reduce the distance needed for pedestrians to cross, or adding a dotted line to link the bike lane on either side of the intersection. Pavement markings in the actual turn-lane could instruct drivers to yield to pedestrians for left turns into the loop.  Besides the curb bulb-outs, these other options are low-cost, simple solutions to a situation that can only get worse.
  All the intersections along Phelan Avenue were poorly designed to begin with (due to the bureaucracies involved in the initial design of the avenue) since the SFMTA, the fire department on Ocean, City College, and the City all had a say in the final design. Since no consensus was ever reached on the safest designs for these intersections due to bickering, we now have to redesign this street for everyone who uses it; without regard for red tape and the opinions of those who probably rarely walk or bike through the Phelan corridor.
  A copy of this blog post has been forwarded to the maintenance department of City College, the City College Police, and the CCSF Student Association to make them all aware of the importance of safety for pedestrians and bicyclists who attend or visit City College.

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