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‘Shared Space’ in San Francisco

Via Streetsblog SF comes news of an innovative ‘pedestrian priority’ proposal for Jefferson Street at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Based on shared space or woonerfs, the plan calls for removing traditional traffic demarcations, such as the separation between streetbed and sidewalk, and slowing vehicle movement on the streets by making conditions less familiar for motorists. With 85,000 daily pedestrians and only 5,000 vehicles, 30 percent of which transportation consultants Nelson Nygaard estimated were cruising for parking or passing through, the proposal will use design elements to prioritize the street’s majority users. High visibility pavers will be used to demarcate pedestrian “safe” zones beyond existing sidewalks, and trees, benches, and street furniture will break up the street and create loose divisions meant to exclude vehicles while encouraging pedestrians to use the whole street for crossing, strolling, or standing…

…Because many of the design elements in the Jefferson Street vision are new for the city, agencies have tried to adapt their design standards for the innovative street. The Mayor’s Office of Disabilities has been working with Lighthouse for the Blind and other disabilities advocacy groups to come up with solutions for visually impaired street users that meet ADA guidelines and also account for street’s with less rigid divisions between elements. Central delineators, or slightly raised and beveled street pavers, such as those used successfully in the UK for similar shared streets, will likely define the boundary between pedestrian safe zones on the street and sections where cars will drive. A slightly raised curb will be installed beside the proposed streetcar lines once those are built.

Other treatments Planning hopes to implement are reduced speed limits of 5-10 mph, significantly lower than the minimum city speed limit of 25 mph, elimination of jaywalking regulations, and flexible traffic control devices like retractable bollards and gates.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 9:35 am and is filed under Cities, Pedestrians, Traffic Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “‘Shared Space’ in San Francisco”

  1. David Hembrow Says:

    Woonerven and Shared Space and not the same thing.

    Woonerven are residential areas as in the link above. Very low traffic and great for families. Shared Space is pretty much universally disliked, and avoided by cyclists if they can do so.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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